When a major disaster strikes, the state of Mississippi may request to activate the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP). This is the state’s disaster food assistance program.
For the state to offer the program, the President must declare Individual Assistance for the disaster area. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS) must then approve a state request to run a D-SNAP. Local grocery stores must also be open and operating.
After FNS approval, the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) sets a limited period for you to apply for D-SNAP.
General Program Requirements
You may qualify for D-SNAP benefits if you meet the conditions below:
- You do not already get help through the state’s normal SNAP. Current SNAP households may qualify for supplemental disaster or replacement benefits.
- You were living or, in some cases, working in the declared area at the time of the disaster.
- You have at least one of the disaster-related effects or unreimbursed expenses below:
- Home or business repairs
- Temporary shelter or evacuation expenses
- Home or business protection
- Personal injury, including funeral expenses
- Lost or no access to income
- Food loss, in some cases, if you have no other disaster-related expenses
We base eligibility on your “Disaster Gross Income” or DGI. When you apply, your caseworker follows the steps below to get your DGI.
- Add take-home pay, unearned income (such as public assistance payments), and liquid resources (such as bank accounts and cash on hand).
- Then subtract unreimbursed disaster-related expenses.
The maximum DGI is set each year based on household size. If your DGI is less than or equal to the maximum, you may qualify for D-SNAP.
Visit FNS’s Food Assistance for Disaster Relief page to learn more.
To get benefits, MDHS certification staff must review your case to see if you qualify. You must show proof of identity and verify your income and expenses.
You may apply in one of two ways:
- Apply in person at a local county office, or
- Send your application by mail or fax.
If you qualify, you will get an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. Your benefits are loaded onto the EBT card and it works just like a debit card at most grocery stores.