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Astorino: County Department Of Social Services Accepting Applications For Disaster Food Stamp Benefits For Those Hit Hard By Hurricane Sandy

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Astorino: County Department Of Social Services Accepting Applications For Disaster Food Stamp Benefits For Those Hit Hard By Hurricane Sandy

November 14, 2012 - 20:43

WHITE PLAINS, NY -- Westchester County will begin taking applications for Disaster SNAP benefits (formerly known as Food Stamps) from low-income residents who have been severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy, County Executive Robert P. Astorino announced today.

“People need to know that help is available,” said Astorino.

In recognition of the devastating nature of the recent storm, the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) enables people who normally would not receive SNAP benefits, formerly known as Food Stamps, to receive this assistance.

Households who resided in Westchester County on Oct. 27 and suffered disaster related damage, material losses, or loss of income from Sandy are eligible to apply for D-SNAP benefits. Food loss alone will not be an allowable qualifying circumstance. There are other eligibility criteria based on household income, resources, disaster-related expenses and other circumstances.

Residents of Westchester County will be able to begin applying for D-SNAP assistance beginning Friday, November 16, 2012. Westchester County will accept D-SNAP applications until Friday, Nov. 23.

Applications will be accepted at the following location as indicated:

· Westchester County Department of Social Services (WCDSS) Yonkers District Office, 131 Warburton Avenue, Yonkers: Open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on each of the following dates: Nov. 16, Nov. 17, Nov. 18, Nov. 19, Nov. 20 and Nov. 21.

· WCDSS Mount Vernon District Office, 100 E. First St., Mount Vernon): Open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on each of the following dates: Nov. 16, Nov. 19, Nov. 20 and Nov. 21.

· WCDSS White Plains District Office, 85 Court St., White Plains: Open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on each of the following dates: Nov. 16, Nov. 17, Nov. 18, Nov. 19, Nov. 20, Nov. 21 and Nov. 23.

· WCDSS Peekskill District Office, 750 Washington St., Peekskill: Open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on each of the following dates: Nov. 16, Nov. 19, Nov. 20 and Nov. 21. 1/12.

· White Plains Disaster Recovery Center, County Center, 198 Central Ave., White Plains: Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on each of the following dates: Nov. 16, Nov. 17, Nov. 18, Nov. 19, Nov. 20, Nov. 21 and Nov. 23.

***No applications will be taken at any of the designated sites on Thursday, 11/22/12.

The federal government oversees SNAP, which is supervised in New York State by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) and administered by local departments of social services.

D-SNAP benefits can be made available when the number of people applying for SNAP benefits increases rapidly and significantly as a result of an emergency or disaster. Households will need to provide proof of identity and documentation of income and liquid resources (i.e., savings and checking accounts, amount of cash on hand). Electronic systems checks will be made to preclude duplicate participation. Income and resource verification checks will be conducted against bank and employer databases.

Current SNAP recipients are not eligible for D-SNAP. OTDA will be issuing D-SNAP supplemental payments to all current SNAP recipients residing in Westchester County to provide for equity in benefit amounts between ongoing SNAP households and new D-SNAP recipients, as the D-SNAP supplements bring the benefits of ongoing SNAP households up to the maximum allotment for household size. Ongoing clients already receiving the maximum monthly SNAP allotment for household size are not eligible for supplemental benefits.

Current Westchester County SNAP recipients do not need to apply in person to receive the supplement – it will be issued automatically on recipients’ current Electronic Benefit (EBT) cards.

To find out more about applying for D-SNAP benefits in Westchester County, call 1-800-342-3009, or contact the Westchester County Department of Social Services at (914) 995-5000.

Applicants knowingly providing inaccurate or incomplete information as part of a DSNAP application could face criminal prosecution and disqualification of benefits. WCDSS will investigate suspected fraud and aggressively pursue recoupment and possibly prosecution. Electronic systems checks will be made to preclude duplicate participation. Income and resource verification checks will be conducted against bank and employer databases. Additionally, post-disaster reviews of individual case files will be completed by Westchester County offices to verify eligibility determinations.