The Louisiana SNAP food benefits program gives low income people access to affordable food. Food stamps benefits are part of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). However, each state, including Louisiana, is in charge of managing this program separately. LA SNAP benefits are not meant to provide recipients with their entire food supply each month but are intended to supplement the recipients’ existing food supply. Benefits for food stamps program recipients can use their EBT card to acquire food items deemed eligible by the program.
All Louisiana SNAP food benefits applicants must complete a simple enrollment process. If enrolled, the recipients will be sent an EBT card. Once the benefits card food stamps is activated, it can be used to purchase approved items at the grocery store. The amount of food stamps benefits a recipient receives is determined by many factors. To learn more about SNAP benefits and how benefits amounts are determined, read the following information.
Learn About Food Items You Can Purchase With SNAP in Louisiana
Food stamp recipients can buy a large variety of items with their benefits. Benefits for SNAP must be used to buy approved items from participating grocery stores. Louisiana SNAP benefits cover the following items:
- Breads and cereals
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meats, poultry, fish and seafood
- Dairy products
Food stamps assistance can also be used to buy seeds and plants, such as a tomato plant, that will provide food for the recipient. Also, LA food benefits cover items considered to be ‘junk food’ such as candy, snacks, soda and energy drinks. Luxury items such as live lobster can also be purchased with food benefits.
Items You Cannot Buy With Louisiana SNAP Benefits
Many items found at participating grocery stores cannot be purchased with LA food stamps benefits as these items do not provide nutritional sustenance to the recipients. Food stamps benefits cards cannot be used to purchase the following items:
- Cigarettes and tobacco products
- Beer, liquor and wine
- Household items
- Soap and cleaning products
- Paper goods
- Pet food
- Hot meals
Louisiana SNAP assistance cannot be used to purchase hot meals or items eaten in the grocery store as the program exists to help beneficiaries have access to food that they take home to prepare. While benefits from food stamps can be used to buy live seafood, living animals like barnyard chickens cannot be purchased with these benefits. Attempting to use cash withdrawn for the EBT benefits card to buy an unapproved item could result in the beneficiary facing criminal charges. Find out more about SNAP by downloading our guide.
How long does it take to receive Louisiana SNAP benefits after enrollment?
Most food stamps applicants will receive notice of their enrollment in about 30 days. Louisiana SNAP benefits petitioners must first fill out the food stamps application and schedule an interview with the Department of Children and Family Services. In extreme cases of need, applicants can receive word of enrollment much sooner than 30 days. If denied, the applicant can file for an appeal. If enrolled, the food stamps beneficiary will receive an EBT card and other SNAP benefits information via the post.
Beneficiaries can check the balance on a benefits card for LA food stamps through an online account on the website, LA Café. Benefits from other government programs, such astheFamily Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP), can be checked through the same account.
Louisiana food assistance applicants will have to provide many pieces of personal information to the Department of Children and Family Services such as their Social Security information, the sources of their income and any assets they may have. It is considered a criminal offense to purposefully lie about personal information during the food stamps enrollment process.
Louisiana EBT Card Overview
Louisiana SNAP benefits can be accessed by using the EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card. This food benefits card acts like a debit card to withdraw cash at an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and at cash registers at approved food retailers. This card is called a Louisiana Purchase card in the state.
Each month, a prearranged food stamps benefits amount is deposited into the beneficiary’s account. The EBT card is used to access these funds. If the recipient uses up their SNAP benefits, he or she will not be able to receive another deposit until the following month. Food stamps benefits do not have to be used up each month, however, if the benefits are not being used at all, the recipient could face unenrollment.
Benefits from food stamps assistance will not be replaced if the card is stolen. All beneficiaries should report a missing card as soon as they can. Beneficiaries cannot use their Louisiana benefits card to withdraw money from ATMS located inside liquor stores, gambling businesses or adult entertainment venues.
Learn About Louisiana SNAP Benefit Amounts
Each food stamps recipient will receive a benefits amount that is determined by several factors. The amount of income a SNAP recipient receives is the largest deciding feature. In general, those with higher incomes will receive less food assistance than those with low incomes. Assets, such as bank accounts and investments, are also looked at by the Department of Children and Families Services. Louisiana Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients with little or no assets will receive more benefits than those who have more assets. Food stamps benefits amounts in LA are also determined by household size, with larger families collecting more benefits than smaller families. Those who are disabled or older than 60 years of age may face different enrollment criteria.