DCFS answer up to 94,000 phase one DSNAP applicant calls

Published: Sep. 25, 2021 at 11:36 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Hearing the horror stories, Penny Givens was expecting to spend a lot of time on the phone with DSNAP.

“It took me roughly 60 tries of getting redial redial redial to get through,” said Givens.

She says she was prepared to follow the rules though. She had her information lined up. She waited for her day to call and considering her household’s situation and how she spent decades working as a 911 call operator she was expecting to qualify for assistance.

“It’s really frustrating to know I paid into the system all of my life, all of my life, I worked gosh since maybe I was 15 and I’m in my 60s now my husband is in his 70s and having paid into the system all that time and to never really benefit from any of it,” said Givens.

For phase one parishes the Department of Child and Family Services opened Friday and Saturday for any callers who could not get through on their alphabet day.

In a statement, the department says they handled 76,515 calls Monday through Friday with upwards of 17,898 calls through Saturday evening.

However, with phase two and three parishes scheduled to start in a matter of days, the department says for those in phase one who have yet to get through there’s no telling if or when the phone lines will be open for them again.

“A loss is a loss and I can’t even count how many hundreds of dollars in food,” said Givens.

For people like Givens who believes there was a mistake, she says she just wishes the department was more transparent in their process.

“If they’re saying I make too much money and my husband combined we make too much money I think there’s a glitch in the system or some kind of poor planning. All in all it’s very disappointing especially when you take 2 1/2 to 3 hours of my time and nothing, nothing, not even a ham sandwich,” said Givens.

DSNAP is a one-time issuance. The department says for a family of four, the allotment is 782 dollars.

The next phase of parishes begins on Monday.

The next phase of parishes includes: Ascension, Assumption, Iberville, Jefferson, Livingston, Plaquemines, St. Helena, St Martin ZIP codes 70339 & 70380, St. Mary, Tangipahoa.

The third phase begins on October 4 and includes: Lafourche, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, Terrebonne.

Phase 2 and 3 will go by the same alphabet schedule as Phase 1 has.

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