LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Thousands of DSNAP recipients ran into some issues with using their cards this week.
The Department of Children and Family Services which oversees the DSNAP program that has been a big help for those still recovering from Hurricanes Laura and Delta said a system error deactivated some cards overnight Monday leaving a zero balance.
“We worked all day yesterday trying to make this right...Trying to get clients their benefits back as soon as possible," said DCFS Family Support Asst. Secretary Shavana Howard.
A glitch at the Department of Children and Family Services caused quite the headache for the nearly 65,000 receiving disaster benefits in the wake of Hurricanes Laura and Delta.
“When they went to issue benefits, it inadvertently deactivated cards for our clients. It means that as of midnight if clients went to the store any benefits that they previously had on their cards they also weren’t able to use," Howard said.
Howard says as of Wednesday, the issue has been resolved but cardholders may experience a delay with November benefits.
“We were able to restore all benefits back on cards. Clients did not have to reorder new cards nor did we want them to. So, it was like it never happened.”
DSNAP cards for the following parishes were deactivated.
The following 14 parishes were scheduled to receive 45% DSNAP Replacement benefits on 10/28/20. This benefit is now rescheduled for no later than Friday, 10/30/20. The parishes include:
- Jefferson Davis
- St. Landry
- Don’t cancel your card and order another one. This would only cause further delay, and we want to avoid it if we can.
- You will not lose any of your benefits, and even though benefits are delayed, you will receive them.
Howard stresses that if you weren’t able to use your card over the last 24 hours to not throw it away because it will still work once the issue is completely resolved.
“It’s been a lot but we are definitely trying to make sure that our clients have access to the food that they need. It just hurts that this even happened.”
Residents affected by Hurricanes Laura and Delta still have time to apply for DSNAP Benefits:
- The application runs from Monday, Oct. 26, to Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. Call the LAHelpU Customer Service Center at 1-888-524-3578 (select language, then press 3-3-1) between 7:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
- A caseworker will walk you through the application on the phone, verifying your identity and residency, your household income, resources, and disaster-related expenses.
- After the interview, you will be told whether you are approved to receive DSNAP and, if so, how much. You will also receive a letter in the mail confirming the eligibility decision made on your application.
- If approved for DSNAP benefits, your card will be mailed to you through the U.S. Postal Service.
- If you are staying in a shelter or state-provided hotel room, be sure to tell the caseworker so your card can be sent to your hotel/shelter.
- Applicants may name an Authorized Representative (AR) to apply for DSNAP benefits on their behalf. The head of household must authorize the person to serve as AR on their behalf, and the worker will need to speak to the head of the household to confirm that they agree for the AR to speak on their behalf.
For more information, visit www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP or text LADSNAP to 898-211