MASON COUNTY — For those still feeling the effects of the June 29 derecho, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (WV DHHR) will soon be accepting applications for D-SNAP benefits.
Applications for the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP), will be accepted starting Monday, Nov. 26 and last through Dec. 2 for residents in the 16 affected counties, which includes Mason County. Residents may obtain applications at the local DHHR office, located at 710 Viand Street in Point Pleasant. The office’s hours are 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 1-6 p.m. on Sunday.
According to the WV DHHR, eligibility will be determined based on the household net income and applicants must bring the following with them to their local DHHR office: photo proof of identity such as a driver’s license or other picture ID; documentation of residence in the affected county at the time of disaster; verification of all income received during June 29, 2012 – July 28, 2012; verification of assets such as checking and savings accounts; and verification of all disaster related expenses.
According to the WV DHHR, residents of affected counties who would not be eligible under the regular SNAP rules may also qualify temporarily if they did not have access to their money in checking or savings accounts, they had un-reimbursed disaster-related expenses, or they had a loss or reduction of income as a result of the disaster.
The WV DHHR also stated that some residents who currently receive SNAP may also be eligible for supplemental benefits. A supplement will automatically be added to the EBT card of current SNAP recipients who requested a replacement of June benefits. If one did not request a replacement for June benefits, they must complete an affidavit for supplemental benefits, which are available at local DHHR offices, on-line, or by calling 1-877-716-1212. Current recipients who received the maximum benefit for their household are not eligible for supplemental benefits.
It was also stated that most benefits will be available within one day of the date of application. D-SNAP benefits can be used to purchase food for human consumption, but cannot be used to buy alcoholic beverages, tobacco or non-food items. Benefits must be used within 120 days. Persons who purposely provide false information on a D-SNAP application may be denied benefits and legal action may be taken. All D-SNAP applications will be checked for duplication. If one violates the D-SNAP rules, you may be disqualified from the program, fined up to $250,000 and/or put in jail for up to 20 years, according to the WV DHHR.
Other counties where residents can also apply for the D-SNAP benefits include the following: Boone, Cabell, Clay, Greenbrier, Jackson, Lincoln, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, McDowell, Pocahontas, Roane, Tyler, Webster and Wood counties.