This version replaces the guidance published on Sept. 9, 2005. We have clarifi ed that the policy is applicable to evacuees that apply either in September or October 2005, and to households that move within the state. Concurrently, we have revised the Expanded Disaster Evacuee Policy to allow that policy to apply through Oct. 31, 2005.
The Food Stamp Program is implementing a new, one-month policy for certifying evacuees who have left Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi because of Hurricane Katrina. This policy applies in all states, the District of Columbia, and the territories only for September or October, 2005. The policy provides for a one-month maximum food stamp benefit for any evacuee household. Eligibility is based simply on evacuee status. States with unusual needs based on their volume of evacuees may work with USDA for additional relief.
- Applicability - This policy applies to an applying household that meets all four requirements:
-- The household lived in a county or parish in Alabama, Louisiana, or Mississippi on August 29, 2005, and
-- The President declared the applicant’s county or parish to be a disaster area, and
-- The household moved within the disaster state, or
-- The household has moved to another state, and
-- The household applies by October 31, 2005.
-- The household will receive the maximum allotment for its household size
-- The state will not prorate the allotment.
-- One monthly allotment may be issued (for September or October) based on these rules.
- Household size
-- The state will ask about household size and use that information to calculate the allotment.
-- The state will treat the household as a separate household.
-- This is the case even if the household purchases and prepares meals with others.
- Eligibility - There are no income or resource eligibility tests. There are no other non-financial tests.
- Deductions – The state will not ask about deductible expenses, because an entitled household will receive the maximum allotment for its household size.
- Verification – The state will verify every applicant’s identity to the extent possible. The $2,000 debit card issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be sufficient. For other criteria, the other documentation, collateral contacts, or the applicant’s self-declaration will be sufficient.
- Quality Control – These cases are not subject to quality control reviews.
- Future assistance: In most states, the state will apply the Disaster Relief Evacuee Policy at http://www.fns.usda.gov/disasters/disaster.htm to continue food stamp assistance.
The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.