MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Hurricane Zeta may be long gone but the effects of the storm that slammed Alabama in late October are still present for many.
Wednesday, the federal government provided a boost when it granted the Alabama Department of Human Resources permission to distribute Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or D-SNAP, benefits to some qualifying residents in seven counties.
Those counties include Clarke, Dallas, Marengo, Mobile, Perry, Washington and Wilcox.
“The hurricane season may be over, but the hardships left behind by powerful storms like Hurricane Zeta continue to linger for thousands of households across Alabama,” said Alabama DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner.
D-SNAP benefits are reserved for non-SNAP, income-eligible households with both unreimbursed disaster-related expenses and food loss caused by Hurricane Zeta. Disaster-related expenses include:
- Home or business repairs;
- Temporary shelter expenses
- Evacuation or relocation expenses
- Home or business protection
- Disaster-related personal injury
- Lost or no access to income due to the disaster
“The arrival of these D-SNAP benefits will provide an important financial boost to households recovering from Hurricane Zeta and help ease the burden as they move forward into the new year,” Buckner added.
It’s important to note that those who received SNAP benefits in November do not qualify for the latest assistance as they have already gotten D-SNAP benefits, according to DHR.
Non-SNAP households in these seven counties can start the D-SNAP application process by submitting a pre-screening form online during the five-day application period, which will operate in three phases:
- January 19-22 and January 25 for Perry, Wilcox and Marengo counties
- January 25-29 for Dallas, Clarke and Washington counties
- February 1-5 for Mobile County.
- The form will also be available two days prior to each D-SNAP phase for those who want to submit it early.
The pre-screening form will be available each day of the application period from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at https://dhr.alabama.gov/ and applicants must complete the form to determine their eligibility.
There is also a required phone interview that must take place for those submitting a pre-screening form. Interviews will take place during each county’s regular application period and those applying should keep their phone nearby to accept the incoming call.
Elderly and disabled residents may request help completing the pre-screening form by calling their local DHR office. Those calls should be made from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the applicant’s designated application period.