Wednesday, September 07, 2005

LA social services post-Katrina

This is info from the Louisiana Department of Social Services about getting public assistance post-Katrina. The Department's website says: "Citizens seeking information to help them cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina now have access to a toll-free number to connect them with needed services. By dialing 1 (888) LAHELPU or 1 (888) 524-3578 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., information can be obtained on the following programs: Food Stamp Benefits, including Disaster Food Stamp Benefits Medicaid or WIC Mental Health Counseling Addictive Disorders Developmental Disorders Social Security Benefits or Social Security Disability Benefits Child Support Foster Care Program DHH Optional State Supplement Checks Louisiana Rehabilitation Services Unemployment Benefits and Disaster Unemployment Benefits" -- From the Shreveport office: Disaster Relief is available in the form of a food stamp EBT card (like a credit card) to anyone who lived in the areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina. I work for the Dept of Social Services and our office at 1525 Fairfield is open 24/7 to provide these disaster relief food stamp cards. For some reason, word is not getting out about this assistance so I thought if we all send it to everyone in Louisiana that we have in our Email address books, the word will spread. To apply, the person in need needs to: Go to 1525 Fairfield, Room 101 (corner of Fairfield and Jordan) Bring a picture ID if you have it, SS card if you have that or a piece of mail or something with your address on it. You'll complete a one page simple application. The cards are issued on site and the benefits will be available 4 hours after receipt. They can be used at any grocery store and are easy to use as they swipe in the credit card machine. You will be given a pin number when you apply. This is NOT just for the poor. It is for anyone displaced by the storm. We are finding that many people might have large bank accts but they don't have access to them. Others are not home to receive their SS checks, etc. Even if they are staying with family or friends, having this card helps defray the cost of feeding them. The benefit amounts for each household are as follows: 1. $149 2. $274 3. $393 4. $499 5. $592 The amount increases based on the amount of people in your family. I just listed the amounts for 1 to 5 member households. These benefits are available in all Parish offices in Louisiana but I believe Shreveport is the only one still open 24/7. I am not sure how much longer we'll have the nighttime hours but it will be at least through Tuesday. Again, send this to everyone on your list who lives in Louisiana. The assistance is available and it would be a shame for everyone who is eligible not to make use of it. Tell your neighbors, friends and family as most people know someone who has been affected by this catastrophic e! vent. Mary Salvail Caddo Office of Family Support