How To Apply For Louisiana Food Stamps
View the information below if you are interested in applying for food stamps in Louisiana. It is important that you have all the documentation and information needed so the application process is not delayed. If you still have questions or issues about applying for food stamps, known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), then you can call the Louisiana SNAP hotline at 888-524-3578. The department that handles this program is called the Louisiana Department for Children and Family Services.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides monthly benefits that help eligible low-income households buy the food they need for good health. For most households, SNAP funds account for only a portion of their food budgets, they must also use their own funds to buy enough food to last throughout the month. Eligible households can receive food assistance through regular SNAP or through the Louisiana Combined Application Project (LaCAP).
Qualifying for Louisiana SNAP
To get SNAP benefits in Louisiana, households must meet certain tests, including resource and income tests. For resources, Individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or households including anyone who receives Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP), Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP), or Strategies to Empower People (STEP) Program benefits are exempt from the resource limit.
Households not exempt from the resource limit may have up to $2250 in resources, such as a bank account, cash, certificate of deposit (CDs), stocks, and bonds. Non-exempt households that include at least one household member who is age 60 or older or includes a disabled member may have up to $3500 in resources. Households are not exempt from the resource limit if:
- Any member is disqualified for Intentional Program Violation or
- The household is disqualified for failing to comply with work registration requirements
The following individuals are not exempt from the resource limit:
- An ineligible alien
- An ineligible student
- An individual who is disqualified for failure to comply with work registration requirements
- An individual who is disqualified for failure to provide or apply for a social security number
- An individual who is on strike
For income, households must meet income tests (unless any member is receiving FITAP, KCSP, STEP benefits, or all members are receiving SSI). Most households must meet both the gross and net income tests, but a household with a person who is 60 years old or older or a person who is receiving certain types of disability payments only has to meet the net income test.
Gross income means a household's total, non-excluded income, before any deductions have been made. Net income means gross income minus allowable deductions. Households, except those noted, that have income over the amounts listed below cannot get SNAP benefits.
For allotment amounts, the amount of SNAP a household receives depends on the number of people in the SNAP household and the amount of their net income. The table below shows the maximum SNAP allotments by household size.
|Household Size||Maximum Gross Monthly Eligibility Standard||Maximum Net Monthly Income Eligibility Standard||165% Maximum Income Limits||Maximum SNAP Allotment|
|Each Additional Member||+$453||+$349||+$575||$144|
Additional eligibility requirements include your identity. Individuals must show proof they are the person they claim to be. Applicants must provide proof of their identity. Residence, the client must be living in Louisiana. Citizenship, household members can include either US citizens and or certain aliens with verifiable USCIS documentation. Enumeration, households must provide or apply for Social Security numbers for each member before certification. Work Registration, all able-bodied adults, with specific exceptions, must register for work and accept suitable employment.
You can use a pre-screening tool to see if you can qualify for Louisiana food stamps. By using this tool, you are not completing an application for SNAP benefits. Instead, you are completing a pre-screening tool that can be used to help determine if you may be eligible to receive SNAP benefits. Application for SNAP benefits must be made at your local DCFS office.
How to apply for Louisiana SNAP Benefits
The first step is to fill out an application online. You can also apply for the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP) or Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP) with this application. You can also download an application and fill it out by hand. The next step is to gather the documents you will need to verify the information in your application. What must be verified and examples of proof. If you downloaded the SNAP application and filled it out by hand, the next step is then to mail the completed form to the Document Processing Center at:
DCFS Economic Stability
P.O. Box 260031
Baton Rouge, LA 70826
Or you can fax the completed form to: 225-663-3164. The next step is, after receiving your application, a DCFS employee will call you to conduct an interview over the phone, saving you time. Please provide a valid telephone number for contact purposes, or If a face-to-face interview is requested, you may schedule an appointment with any DCFS parish office. If you have additional questions, please call 888-LAHELP-U. Please note, households composed entirely of people who are applying for or receiving SSI may apply for SNAP benefits through regular SNAP at the Social Security Administration office unless they already have a SNAP application pending.
Louisiana SNAP Benefits Amounts
Benefit amounts are based on the Thrifty Food Plan amounts established by the USDA-Food and Nutrition Service. The Thrifty Food Plan is a current estimate of the actual costs for providing a household with nutritious but inexpensive meals. Further, benefits depend on both the number of persons in the household and the net monthly income amount remaining after all allowable deductions have been subtracted. Income deductions allowed in the regular SNAP budget are subtracted from both earned and unearned income. The deductions are:
- Earned Income Deduction: 20% of gross earnings
- Standard Deduction: $160 for 1 to 3 household members;$170 for 4 household members; $199 for 5 household members and $228 for 6 or more household members
- Medical Deduction: allowable medical expenses incurred by elderly or disabled household members in excess of $35 per household
- Dependent Care Deduction: payments for the care of a child or other incapacitated adult which are necessary for a household member to work, look for work or attend school or training
- Child Support Deduction: allowable for payments of legally obligated child support
- Shelter Deduction: allowable shelter costs (rent or mortgage, property taxes, insurance on the structure and utility expenses) in excess of 50% of household income remaining after all other deductions. For households with an elderly or disabled member, there is no limit on the shelter deduction; for all other households the shelter deduction cannot exceed $535
Qualifying for LaCAP
Louisiana Combined Application Project (LaCAP) is a food assistance program for Louisiana residents who are at least 60 years of age and receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It is a simplified version of Louisiana SNAP. If you are eligible for LaCAP, you will receive a Louisiana Purchase Card and SNAP benefits will be automatically deposited into your account every month. There are three standard allotment amounts in LaCAP. Depending on shelter costs, LaCAP participants will receive $29, $82, or $173. LaCAP cases are certified for 36 months. You may be eligible for LaCAP if you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and you:
- Are age 60 or older
- Are not institutionalized or otherwise ineligible for SNAP benefits due to immigration status, or an Intentional Program Violation
- Live alone or buy and prepare your food separately or agree to buy and prepare your food separately from the other people who live with you
- Are not living with your spouse or own child who is under 22 years of age
Applying for LaCAP
There are 2 ways to apply for this program. The first way is to fill out the application LaCAP Enrollment form1A. Mail the completed form to the Document Processing Center:
DCFS Economic Stability
P.O. Box 260031
Baton Rouge, LA 70826
Or you can fax the completed form to 225-663-3164. Call 888-LAHELP-U (888-524-3578) for assistance. After DCFS receives your application, you will be assigned a worker who will determine your eligibility. DCFS will send you a letter within 30 days of the date we receive your enrollment form to let you know if you are eligible or not. If you are eligible, the letter will also tell you the amount of your benefits and when they will begin.
Other options, seniors receiving SSI who need food assistance do not have to use LaCAP. Food assistance is available through LaCAP or through regular SNAP. If you receive benefits through LaCAP and you want to change to regular SNAP, you can do so at any time. You may qualify for more benefits through regular SNAP if you:
- Pay more than $35 per month in out-of-pocket medical expenses or
- Pay more than $535 per month for shelter costs