State plans to reissue SNAP benefits to certain Hurricane Zeta victims

Updated: Nov. 6, 2020 at 4:53 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Low-income families impacted by Hurricane Zeta could soon get some relief.

The Department of Human Resources is working to reissue SNAP benefits for some affected residents.

Hurricane Zeta knocked out power to thousands across Alabama. With no power up to days for some, food stored in refrigerators and freezers spoiled.

“SNAP benefits are designed to help low income families in the first place. They feed vulnerable populations that include children and elderly adults. And these low income people lost food. And sometimes if you’re low income, you don’t have the resources to make up for your food that is supposed to feed your family,” said DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner.

To help, the Alabama Department of Human Resources plans to reissue SNAP benefits to eligible families in 20 counties. Those include Autauga, Bibb, Butler, Calhoun, Chilton, Clarke, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, Dallas, Elmore, Lowndes, Mobile, Monroe, Perry, Randolph, Shelby, Talladega, Tallapoosa and Wilcox counties.

Buckner says that affects 62,000 households and about 142,000 people in those households.

SNAP recipients in these counties do not need to take any action at this time. After approval by FNS, benefits will be automatically added to their EBT cards.

If you live outside those areas and were without power, you may be eligible for benefits too if you lost food due to the power being off four or more hours.

“They need to contact their local DHR office to determine if they’re eligible for partial SNAP benefits replacement. Elderly participants that are head of the household and have no earned income, participate in what’s called the ASAP program. And that’s run out of state DHR. And those people just need to contact ASAP," Buckner said.

Buckner says they hope to have final approval for the benefits within two weeks.

“If we could make sure that people in those 20 counties would just wait and let us get this worked out with FNS that would be a much simpler way to get them their benefits,” she said.

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