How to Use Louisiana Food Stamps (EBT)

Find out how to use Louisiana food stamps by reading this informative guide. We’ll tell you what you need to know in order to use your EBT card and get the food assistance you need.

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Introduction

The Louisiana Purchase EBT card is how food benefits are delivered to eligible households in Louisiana. You can use your EBT card at any store that accepts SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits. Just like a debit card, your EBT card is inserted into the card reader and the amount of your purchase is deducted from your total food benefit balance. You can check your balance online or by calling the customer service number on the back of your card.

Applying for Food Stamps

In order to apply for Louisiana food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), you will need to fill out an application. You can do this online, in person, or over the phone.

online: To fill out an online application, go to the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services website and click on the “Apply for Benefits” link.

in person: You can also apply for food stamps in person at your local Department of Children and Family Services office. To find your local office, click here.

over the phone: If you would prefer to apply for food stamps over the phone, you can call the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services hotline at 1-888-524-3578.

Eligibility Requirements

You may be eligible for Louisiana food stamps if you have a low income and meet certain other requirements. For example, you must usually be a U.S. citizen or legal noncitizen, work at least 20 hours a week (or participate in a work program), and have less than $2,250 in assets ($3,500 if you’re elderly or disabled).

To see if you qualify for food stamps, contact your local Parish Human Services Authority office. You can also call the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services Customer Service Center at 1-888-LAHELP-U (1-888-524-3578).

How to Use an EBT Card

To use your EBT card, simply swipe it at any store that accepts SNAP benefits. You can use your card to purchase food items such as fresh produce, meat, dairy, and other grocery items. You can also use your card to purchase seeds and plants, which can be used to grow food.

What Can You Buy with EBT?

EBT, or Electronic Benefits Transfer, is the term used for the government food assistance program formerly known as food stamps. If you qualify for food assistance benefits, you will receive an EBT card that can be used to purchase eligible food items at participating stores.

So, what can you buy with EBT? In general, you can use your EBT card to buy any food item that is considered to be “staple” or “necessary for good health.” This includes things like:

-Bread and other grains
-Fruits and vegetables
-Meat, poultry, and fish
-Dairy products
-Seeds and plants that produce food for the household to eat

You cannot use your EBT card to purchase non-food items, such as:

-Alcoholic beverages
-Tobacco products
-Pet food
-Paper products
-Cleaning supplies
-Household items

In addition, there are some restrictions on where you can use your EBT card. For example, you cannot use your EBT card to purchase hot foods or foods that are ready to eat. You also cannot use your EBT card at restaurants or other places where food is prepared for immediate consumption.

SNAP Benefits

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) is a federally-funded program that provides assistance to eligible low- and moderate-income households to purchase food. In Louisiana, the SNAP program is administered by the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

To be eligible for SNAP benefits, households must meet certain income and resource criteria. Households that qualify for other means-tested programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Medicaid, may also be automatically eligible for SNAP benefits.

In order to receive SNAP benefits, households must complete an application and participate in an interview with a DCFS caseworker. Once approved for benefits, households will receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which can be used to purchase food at participating retailers.

For more information on the SNAP program in Louisiana, or to apply for benefits, please visit the DCFS website or contact your local DCFS office.

WIC Benefits

The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program is a federally funded health and nutrition program that provides supplemental foods, healthcare referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, and to infants and children up to age 5 who are found to be at nutritional risk.

To be eligible for WIC benefits, applicants must meet certain income guidelines (185% of the federal poverty level), reside in Louisiana, and be individually determined by a health professional to be at nutritional risk. Pregnant women, postpartum women (up to 6 months postpartum), breastfeeding women (up to 1 year postpartum), and infants and children up to 5 years old may apply for WIC benefits.

Other Louisiana Benefits

In addition to food assistance, the Louisiana Purchase Card can also be used to purchase diapers, baby formula, and other personal care items at grocery stores and pharmacies. You can also use your EBT card to buy seeds and plants that produce food for the household to eat.

Resources

There are a number of resources available to help you use your Louisiana food stamps (EBT) card. The state of Louisiana offers an online portal where you can check your balance, view transactions, and find participating retailers. You can also call the customer service number on the back of your card for assistance.

In addition, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers a national hotline that can provide information about food stamps and other assistance programs. The USDA also has a website with information about nutrition and food assistance programs.

Contact Information

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) administers the state’s food assistance (EBT) program. You can contact DCFS by phone at 855-362-4433 or by email at [email protected]

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