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Disaster SNAP/ Food Stamp Benefits (D-SNAP)

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed July 2018

What is Disaster SNAP or D-SNAP?

D-SNAP Food Stamps are emergency SNAP. You can use D-SNAP to buy food in grocery stores or other shops that accept EBT cards.

If you are approved for D-SNAP benefits, you will get an Electronic Benefit card (EBT) with one month of benefits on it.

The amount of your benefit is based on the number of people that live in your household. See the D-SNAP Standard and Allotments Chart.

Can I get D-SNAP benefits?

If there is a disaster in your area, you can phone 1‐800‐445‐6604 to find out if you can get D-SNAP. To get D-SNAP, you must show the following:

  1. The date of the disaster, and that your lived in one of the affected areas or you were working in one of those towns;
  2. You were not getting regular SNAP on the date of the disaster. If you were getting regular SNAP, find out about Replacement SNAP;
  3. At least one of the following things happened to you because of the disaster:
    • you lost income;
    • your home or business was damaged;
    • you have disaster related expenses like home repairs, temporary shelter expenses, evacuation expenses;
    • you cannot get to your assets, like your bank account, because the bank is closed due to the disaster;
    • your food was damaged or spoiled because of the disaster or power outages after the disaster; and
  4. Your finances are low enough to get D-SNAP.
    The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) will decide if your finances are low enough. They will:
    1. Start with the total take home (net) income you expect to get in the month of the disaster;
    2. Add "liquid assets" you have that you can use right away, like money in the bank that you can get to -they will not count money in retirement accounts;
    3. Subtract the money you have already spent on disaster related expenses, if you live in one of the towns affected. They will also subtract money you expect you will have to pay for disaster related expenses;and
    4. Compare the final amount to the D-SNAP Standard and Allotments Chart.
    5. If the amount is less than the Disaster Gross Income Limit for a household of your size, your income is low enough to get D-SNAP.

What if I regularly get SNAP?

If you live in any town affected by the disaster and you can show you lost food, you may be able to get Supplemental SNAP, but you must apply within a certain time period.

How do I apply for D-SNAP?


You apply for D-SNAP in addition to FEMA. You must do both.

  1. You must apply for D-SNAP soon after the disaster.
  2. You can apply in person at your local DTA office.
  3. You will need to show DTA proof of your identity.
    You can prove your identity with a photo ID like a driver's license, or two other documents that show who you are. If you do not have these documents because of the disaster, you can give DTA a signed statement from someone else that tells them who you are. Or, you can bring someone who can tell DTA who you are when you go to the DTA office. DTA should not deny you D-SNAP because of problems showing your identity.
  4. DTA may ask you to show proof that on the date of the disaster you were living in one of the towns hit by the disaster.
    You can prove this by showing them bills, driver's license or other papers that have both your name and the address of the damaged property. If you do not have these documents, DTA should not hold up your application.
  5. DTA will ask you to fill out a form about the income you lost and your disaster related expenses. If you have receipts and any documents that show this information, it helps to show it to the DTA worker. If you do not have a way to prove these expenses and loss of income, DTA should not hold up your application.

How long will it take to get D-SNAP benefits?

You should be able to use your D-SNAP benefits within 2 business days after you file your application.

To find out if benefits have been put on your EBT card, call 1-800-997-2555.

I applied for regular SNAP benefits before the disaster, but my case has not been approved yet – can I get D-SNAP benefits?


If your SNAP case was approved and was open before the date of the disaster you cannot get D-SNAP benefits.

If you applied for SNAP before the disaster but you have not been approved yet, you can apply for D-SNAP benefits. Contact DTA right away to start a D-SNAP application. Your D-SNAP benefits may be more than SNAP.

What if I am living in a shelter that provides meals?

If you are living in a shelter that gives you at least 2 meals a day, you cannot get D-SNAP benefits.

What if I do not speak English?

DTA must give you professional interpreter services. DTA cannot make you bring your own interpreter to apply for D-SNAP.

What if DTA denies my D-SNAP?

If DTA denies your D-SNAP application, you can appeal.

If you are denied, DTA will send you a notice in the mail. On the back of the notice there is a form you can use to appeal the denial. Fill out the form. Keep a copy of your filled out form. Send the form to the address that is printed on the form.

Can I get replacement SNAP for food I lost during the disaster?

SNAP rules provide for replacement of food lost by SNAP recipients due to “household misfortune.” You can get funds to replace the food you purchased with your SNAP benefits. A federal or state disaster declaration is not required.

See Replacement SNAP benefits.

Income Eligibility Standards and Allotments -- Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Program

Effective October 1, 2017 - September 30, 2018

Household Size Disaster Gross Income Limit Maximum Allotment
1 $1,700 $192
2 $2,049 $352
3 $2,397 $504
4 $2,755 $640
5 $3,133 $760
6 $3,510 $913
7 $3,858 $1,009
8 $4,207 $1,153
Each Additional Member +$349 +$144

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