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Program Description

The Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) gives food assistance to low-income households with food loss or damage caused by a natural disaster.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS) must approve states to operate D-SNAP in a disaster area. The President must declare Individual Assistance for the disaster area and your state must request FNS approval to operate D-SNAP.

If approved for D-SNAP benefits, you will get an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card to access them. You use it just like a debit card to buy food at most local grocery stores.

General Program Requirements

Because of the unique needs of disaster survivors, D-SNAP uses different standards than normal SNAP. If you would not normally qualify for SNAP, you may qualify for D-SNAP if you had one of the disaster-related expenses below:

  • Home or business repairs
  • Temporary shelter expenses
  • Evacuation or relocation expenses
  • Home or business protection
  • Disaster-related personal injury, including funeral expenses
  • Lost or no access to income due to the disaster, including reduced, terminated, or delayed receipt of income, for a large part of the benefit period
  • In some cases, food loss after a disaster like flooding or power outages

If you’re a current SNAP client, you can request a supplement when your state operates a D-SNAP if you meet the conditions below:

  • You currently get benefits that are less than the monthly maximum, and
  • You have losses from the disaster.

The supplement brings your benefits up to the maximum for your household size. This way benefits are equal between D-SNAP and SNAP households after a disaster. 

Current SNAP clients may also request replacement benefits for food that was lost in the disaster and bought with SNAP benefits. Just contact your local office.

Application Process

As a disaster survivor, you may apply for D-SNAP benefits at special sites in your community. Before the program begins, state agencies release information through local media and press. This can help you learn the location of application sites, their days of operation, and the eligibility requirements.

You can also view a list of state SNAP hotlines to call for other benefit details.

Last Updated: 07/25/2018