Louisiana

Assistance Programs, Local Agencies and Charities

Food  Housing  Cash Assistance  Bills  Health  Education  Employment

 

QUICK INFO BOX

  • Louisiana Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)  – Monthly food stamp benefits to help low-income people and families buy the food they need for good health, Call: 888-524-3578
  • Louisiana Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP)  – Provides cash as a temporary financial assistance for pregnant women and families with one or more dependent childrenCall: 888-524-3578
  • Louisiana Telephone Assistance Program (Lifeline) – Offers discounts on basic monthly service for qualified telephone customers, Call: Local telephone company
  • Louisiana Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP) Provides cash assistance for eligible children who reside with qualified relatives other than parentsCall: 888-524-3578
  • Louisiana Medicaid  – A health insurance program that provides medical and health-related services to eligible Louisiana residents, Call: 888-342-6207
  • Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program (LaCHIP)  – Offers health care coverage to Louisiana uninsured children up to age 19, Call: 877-252-2447
  • Louisiana Medicaid Purchase Plan (MPP) – Offers health coverage for people with disabilities who work, Call: 888-342-6207
  • Louisiana Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)  – Helps low-income families in Louisiana pay for child care while working, or attending school, or training, Call: 877-453-2721
  • Louisiana LaMOMS  – Offers pregnant women access to no-cost health care coverage, Call: 888-342-6207
  • Louisiana Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)  – Healthy foods, breastfeeding support, nutrition education, health care referrals, Call: 504-568-8202
  • Louisiana National School Lunch Program (NSLP)  Provides low-cost or free lunches to school children, Call: 877-453-2721
  • Louisiana Special Milk Program  – Offers milk to children in schools, childcare institutions, and eligible camps, Call: 877-453-2721
  • Louisiana School Breakfast Program (SBP)  Provides low-cost or free meals to school children, Call: 877-453-2721
  • Louisiana Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)  – Provides free meals and snacks to help low-income children in the summer months, Call: 877-453-2721
  • Louisiana Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)  Provides healthy meals and snacks to children and adults receiving day careCall: 877-453-2721
  • Louisiana Head Start  – Comprehensive child development programs serving low-income children and their familiesCall: 337-942-9669
  • Louisiana Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Designed to help eligible Louisiana low income households with their home energy bills, Call: 888-454-2001
  • Louisiana Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) – Assists households reduce energy bills by improving energy efficiency of their homes, Call: 888-454-2001
  • Louisiana Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)  – Designed to aid individuals at least 60 years of age known to be at risk of malnutrition due to low income and poor health conditions, Call: 225-342-8254
  • Louisiana Farmers Market Nutrition Program – Provides low-income seniors with special coupons to buy fresh, nutritious fruits, vegetables, and herbs from authorized farmers’ markets, Call: 985-345-9483
  • Louisiana Housing Choice Voucher Program  – Helps eligible low-income households lease privately owned rental units from participating landlords, Call: Local PHA
  • Louisiana Public Housing  – Provides safe, decent, and affordable rental units for eligible low-income residents., Call: Local PHA

 

Homeowners Assistance and Housing Programs

Louisiana – Making Home Affordable options

Making Home Affordable is a federal program designed to cover different homeowners’ hardships and financial situations. Under the program there are various options that can help Louisiana homeowners in hardship stay in their homes. Depending on the situation Louisiana homeowners in hardship can apply to lower their monthly payments, lower the interest rate on their home loan or even get principal reduction in some cases.

There are foreclosure alternatives and temporarily help for unemployed homeowners as well.

Here are some of the most used options under Making Home Affordable Program:

HUD (US Department of Housing and Urban Development) approved housing counselor can be reached at: 888-995-4673  (Hearing impaired: 877-304-9709 TTY) to help you understand your options, prepare your application, and work with your mortgage company.

 

Food Assistance Programs, Services, and Organizations in Louisiana

Louisiana Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or the Food Stamps Program as it is known by the public, is a federal program that provides grants to the States for purpose of reducing the hunger and malnutrition in all eligible households across the nation. SNAP helps provide healthy food to qualifying low-income families with children, elderly or disabled in each State of the USA, including Louisiana. Learn more about SNAP.

It is important to know that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal entitlement program funded by U.S. Government grants. Any U.S. Citizen, even some legal alien residents, will get free food assistance as long as they meet the SNAP eligibility guidelines. In other words, there is enough Supplemental Nutrition Assistance for every American that qualifies.

In Louisiana, the SNAP is known as Louisiana Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamp Program) and is administered by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The Federal Government pays 100% of Louisiana Food Stamp Benefits with federal grants appropriated for SNAP. The SNAP federal grants also pay a share of the Louisiana SNAP administrative cost.

According to the Louisiana Department of 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.”

Who is Eligible for SNAP (Food Stamps) in Louisiana?

The eligibility rules and benefit amounts in Louisiana, like in other States, are based on limited income, limited liquid resources, household size, and other requirements, some of them specific to each State. Most eligibility rules are determined by regulations issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service.

It is important to know that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal entitlement program funded by U.S. Government grants. Any U.S. Citizen, even some legal alien residents, will get free food assistance as long as they meet the SNAP eligibility guidelines. In other words, there is enough Supplemental Nutrition Assistance for every American that qualifies.

The federal law allows States some flexibility when implementing SNAP on a State level. State agencies can adapt some of the food assistance program rules in order to meet the needs of eligible, low‐income local population.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is designed for individuals and families with limited income resources, who compose a household, and purchase and prepare their meals together for home consumption.

For the purpose of the SNAP, certain people must be included in one household account even if they purchase and prepare meals separately. Husbands and wives of any household member, their children under age 22 when living together, plus children younger than 18 who are dependents of an adult household member are all considered as a part of one household formation.

In Louisiana anyone with limited income and resources may apply for food stamps but, in general, to qualify for Louisiana SNAP (Food Stamp) Benefits you must meet the following basic eligibility requirements:

  • Louisiana Resident – must be a U.S. Citizen or a legal resident with SNAP eligible non-citizen status;
  • Work Requirement – unless exempted, each able-bodied household member who is 16 to 60 year old must be registered to work, and accept a suitable employment offer;
  • Limited Resources – households must have countable household assets limited to $2,250 or less ($3,250 or less for households containing a member who is disabled or 60 years of age or older) – exempted are individuals getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and households with members receiving Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP), Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP), or Strategies to Empower People (STEP) Program benefits;
  • Income Limits –  Income limits eligibility depends on the household size and composition. Households with no elderly or disabled individuals must meet both gross and net income limits. Households with elderly or disabled individuals must meet only the net income limits. Gross income includes wages, salaries, commissions, dividends, child support, self-employment income, unemployment compensation, social security benefits etc.

See the table for Maximum Monthly Income allowable for SNAP benefits eligibility in State of Louisiana as per household size:

Oct. 1, 2015 through Sept. 30, 2016 USDA FNS SNAP Max Income
Household SizeGross Monthly Income Limits
(130% of poverty)
Net Monthly Income Limits
(100% of poverty)
1$1,276$981
2$1,726$1,328
3$2,177$1,675
4$2,628$2,021
5$3,078$2,368
6$3,529$2,715
7$3,980$3,061
8$4,430$3,408
Each additional member+$451+$347

Source: USDA, SNAP Income Eligibility Standards

 

Quick Eligibility Check

Use this Pre-Screening Tool to find out if you may be eligible to get Louisiana SNAP benefits (Food Stamps). Although you will be notified immediately if you qualify after completing the questionnaire you still have to make an application for Louisiana SNAP benefits and send it to the DCFS office. There are other federal and state specific requirements that must be met for Food Stamp benefits applicants in different situations.

 

What are Maximum Louisiana SNAP (Food Stamps) Benefits?

If approved, the Louisiana SNAP benefit amounts depend on the household size and the amount of the their net income. USDA has maximum SNAP benefit limits per month per household size. Check below what are the maximum food stamp monetary amounts a household can get. The dollar amounts of the food stamp benefits are called allotments.

Oct. 1, 2015 - Sept. 30, 2016 USDA Max SNAP Allotments
Household SizeMaximum Food Assistance Monthly Allotment
1$194
2$357
3$511
4$649
5$771
6$925
7$1,022
8$1,169
Each additional member$146

Source: USDA, SNAP Maximum Allotments

 

How to Apply for SNAP Benefits (Food Stamps) in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, applicants for SNAP can start the application online at the Louisiana CAFE Web Portal.

Using online tools you can also apply for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP) or Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP) benefits.

You can also download the Louisiana SNAP application from here, answer as many questions as you can, sign, and drop your application to any parish/district DCFS office.

Return the completed form to any parish/district DCFS office, if a paper application is completed

Follow this link to do local DCFS office search or call: 1-888-524-3578.

With your SNAP application you may need to provide some supporting documents that would help DCFS office determine your eligibility.

If you do not have all the information that is needed to complete the SNAP application, provide as much as you can – but you must include your name, social security number, what you are applying for, and your signature. The Department of Children and Family Services has to accept the application with the current date. You can provide the rest of the information later.

After the application is received and processed a DCFS worker will contact you over the phone to complete the SNAP eligibility interview.

Within 30 days of the interview, if eligible, you will receive a notice stating how much food assistance benefit and for how long your household is eligible for before a review of the case is due.

The SNAP benefit amount depends on the household size and its net income – that is all countable income minus all allowable deductions.

If Louisiana DCFS finds that you qualify for SNAP benefits, you will be eligible to receive food stamps from the date your signed application is received.

 

Louisiana SNAP Benefits Approval, Rules, Proofs Required

The DCFS has to verify provided information and interview you before determining if the household is eligible for SNAP Benefits.

Here is what DCFS lists as examples of proof that you may need to present when applying for SNAP benefits:

  • Identity – driver’s license, work or school ID, ID for health benefits or another social services program, voter’s registration card, check stub, or birth certificate;
  • Alien status – if not a U.S. citizen, forms or cards from USCIS that prove the person is a legal alien (unless you choose not to apply for this person);
  • Social Security Number – copy of the social security card or papers you received at the hospital for a newborn;
  • Wages – last 4 pay check stubs or employer’s statement for each person who works;
  • Self-employment – income tax returns, sales records, quarterly tax records, personal wage record;
  • Other income such as contributions, child support, alimony, Social Security, SSI, VA, retirement checks, Unemployment Compensation (UCB) – award letters, court orders, statements from contributors;
  • Income that stopped within the last 3 months – pink slip,termination notice, or statement from former employer,termination notice or statement from source of any income that ended;
  • Medical expenses – receipts, pharmacy printouts for last 3 months, doctor bills or other papers that show medical expenses for household members who are disabled or over age 59;
  • Child support payments made to someone outside your home – court order or other legal papers and proof that you are making payments such as cancelled checks or wage withholding statements.

Additional information and proof may be required depending upon your situation. In case you are not able to provide all the information during the SNAP application interview, you will be given time to provide the required proof.

Applicants for SNAP benefits in Louisiana should get a response within 30 days from the date they submitted their application to the local DCFS office. When start getting food stamps benefits, households must report any changes of their situation in a set period of time (in Louisiana – simplified reporting and 12/24 – month certification) in order to assure their participation in the Louisiana Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Under the simplified reporting option, households are required to report changes in income between certification and scheduled reporting periods when total countable income rises above 130% of the poverty level or when work hours change for able‐bodied adults without dependents.

SNAP regulations require all non‐exempt household members to comply with work requirements. Work requirements include registering for work, not voluntarily quitting a job, and accepting a suitable employment offer. As per federal SNAP guidelines, individuals who fail to comply with SNAP work requirements without good cause are ineligible for program benefits and disqualified from SNAP for certain periods of time, depending on how many prior instances of non‐compliance there have been.

The law limits the SNAP benefits to 3 months in a 3-year period for all able-bodied adults between the ages of 18-49 without dependents, who are not working or participating in a work program for at least 20 hours each week.

As part of the SNAP federal grant assistance requirements, each State has to offer employment and training (E&T) program to its SNAP benefits recipients. Participants in such programs, where available, can get adult education, vocational training, job skills training for specific jobs, and work experience via short-term unpaid work assignments.

The main goal of the work requirement is to help the food stamp recipients get jobs, reduce or eliminate their dependency on the government benefits.

The employment and training activities in Louisiana are known as the Louisiana Job Employment Training (LaJET) Program.

Call 1-888-524-3578 to find more about LaJET Program.

 

Approved! When and How Do I Get the SNAP Benefits?

Louisiana SNAP provides the benefits via the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system. The monetary benefits of the Louisiana SNAP benefits are transferred to the accounts of qualified beneficiaries and are accessible through an Louisiana Purchase Card, which is issued to anyone approved for SNAP benefits.  The Louisiana SNAP Benefits are deposited into the recipients accounts each month following the Benefit Issuance Schedule.

Benefits are made available between the 5th and the 14th of every month, based on the last digit of the client’s SSN:

SSN ends in 0 = benefits available on the 5th of the month
SSN ends in 1 = benefits available on the 6th of the month
SSN ends in 2 = benefits available on the 7th of the month
SSN ends in 3 = benefits available on the 8th of the month
SSN ends in 4 = benefits available on the 9th of the month
SSN ends in 5 = benefits available on the 10th of the month
SSN ends in 6 = benefits available on the 11th of the month
SSN ends in 7 = benefits available on the 12th of the month
SSN ends in 8 = benefits available on the 13th of the month
SSN ends in 9 = benefits available on the 14th of the month

If you have any question regarding your EBT Account or EBT Card call Louisiana EBT Customer Service: 1-888-997-1117

 

How and Where to Use the SNAP Benefits?

When approved, Louisiana SNAP beneficiaries will get Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards – Louisiana Purchase Card. The beneficiaries can use their cards at any Louisiana SNAP (Food Stamps) grocery stores and farmers’ markets that are authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). With their EBT Card food stamp recipients can buy any food to be eaten at home by people, including baby food, non-alcoholic beverages, and seasonings. Allowed are also seeds and plants to grow food for family’s consumption. Non-grocery items such as cleaning products, pet food, paper products, alcohol, or tobacco are not allowed.

 

I Need Food Assistance Now. It is an Emergency!

Some households may get Expedited Services – that is getting Food Stamp Benefits within 7 calendar days if your household has less than $150 in monthly gross income and liquid resources (cash, checking or savings accounts) of $100 or less; or your rent/mortgage and utilities are more than your household’s combined monthly income and liquid resources; or a member of your household is a migrant or seasonal farm worker. In order to get expedite assistance, if you qualify for it, provide all required information and proof as soon as possible. Call 1-888-524-3578 for more information on Louisiana Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.