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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 11, 2008

CONTACT
Kathie Osterman, Communications and Legislative Services, 402-471-9313 or 402-326-4277   

Deadline Extended to Apply for Omaha-area Disaster Food Stamp Assistance

Lincoln – The deadline to apply for Disaster Food Stamp Assistance in the Omaha area has been extended to Monday, July 21, to help serve victims of the June 27 storm that damaged homes and left thousands without electricity.

"We’re thankful that the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service approved our request for an extension," said Todd Landry, Director of DHHS’ Division of Children and Family Services. "There has been a real need to help people replenish the food they lost during the June 27 th storm."

DHHS will continue to staff several centers to accept and process Disaster Food Stamp Assistance applications. The following sites will be open through July 21, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Sundays:

Our Lady of Guadalupe Hall, 5005 S 23 rd St.
Family Resource Center, 3040 Lake St.
Salvation Army gymnasium, 24 th and Pratt

5005 S 23 St. , 3040 Lake St., 24 and Pratt

The DHHS Office at 12001 Q St. will be open Saturday only from 8 a.m to 5 p.m. to process disaster food stamp applications. It will then stop processing disaster food stamp assistance applications due to a decrease in volume and more efficient use of staff at the larger sites.

To save time when applying, people can print off the Disaster Food Stamp application from the DHHS Website, complete the form, then take it to one of the centers where staff will review it with the applicant. The form is available at: http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/fia/Disaster-Application.pdf.

Some people who apply already receive food stamp benefits and need to get their spoiled food replaced, and some have never received food stamps before but need assistance now to help them recover from the storm. Once a person applies, their benefits will be available within three to five days. People who currently receive regular food stamps may see the disaster benefits put on their EBT card in two parts, on different days.

Disaster Food Stamp Assistance has special rules to follow and income guidelines apply. For example, the limit for household income and cash resources, minus disaster expenses, for a month, for a family of 1 is $1,416. For a family of four, that limit is $2,295 per month.

Also, in order to get Disaster Food Stamp Assistance, you have to either live or work in one of the disaster-declared counties and you have to answer "yes" to at least one of the following questions:

  • Has your home or self-employment property been damaged or destroyed by the disaster?
  • Does your household have any other disaster-caused expenses?
  • Has your income been delayed, reduced or stopped because of the disaster?
  • Does your household have any cash or money in a bank account which you cannot get to because of the disaster?

Under this special disaster program, there is a limit of one month’s assistance. After that one month allotment, applicants wishing to continue food stamp benefits must apply for "regular" food stamps at their local DHHS office and meet the income and eligibility requirements for the regular food stamp program.

Applicants must bring documents to prove their identity (such as driver’s license, wage stub, birth certificate) and where they live (such as rent or mortgage receipt, post office records, utility bills, driver’s license). Disaster Food Stamp Assistance applications will be audited after the event. People who get benefits they are not entitled to will be required to pay them back.

For more information about the Disaster Food Stamp Assistance for the Omaha area, contact DHHS at (402) 595-3400.

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