Replacement SNAP benefits available for storm-related food losses

Current recipients of SNAP–Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps–can apply for replacement benefits if they lost food because of a storm-related power outage.

Recipients must have lost food costing more than 15 percent of their October SNAP benefit amount. To report a loss, call 2-1-1 or visit before midnight Saturday. The determination of whether a person receives replacement benefits will require a signed affidavit.

The federal government has already approved an across-the-board replacement of 15 percent of October benefits for SNAP recipients, which will be issued Thursday. As a result, the additional replacement benefits are limited to people who lost more than 15 percent of their SNAP benefits, Department of Social Services Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby said.

Disaster SNAP benefits will not be available for people who do not currently receive food assistance, as they were in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene. To get federal approval for the disaster food assistance benefits, which are federally funded, a state must be granted a major disaster declaration that includes individual assistance. Preliminary damage assessments following the October snowstorm suggest that the state would not meet the threshold.