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Food and Financial Help Available to Victims of the March Third Tornadoes

Residents of impacted counties encouraged to apply for Emergency Cash Assistance and Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
Friday, March 13, 2020 | 02:12pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is making two essential resources available to families with a financial need who were impacted by last week’s severe weather. Beginning March 16, TDHS will begin accepting applications for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) benefits and the Families First/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Cash Assistance program.

D-SNAP provides temporary food assistance benefits loaded onto an EBT (electronic benefit transfer) card that can be used at any authorized SNAP retailer or grocery store. Additionally, Tennessee has received temporary permission to allow SNAP recipients (including those using D-SNAP) to utilize these benefits to purchase hot food at authorized retailers through April 3.

Anyone living or working in approved Davidson County zip codes (37209, 37208, 37218, 37243, 37213, 37207, 37206, 37214, 37076), Wilson County, or Putnam County may be eligible for D-SNAP if the household meets income requirements, isn’t currently receiving SNAP, and has experienced at least one of the following conditions as a direct result of the March 3rd severe weather:

·         Unreimbursed expenses or personal property loss because of the severe weather or a resulting power outage.

·         Damage to residence or place of employment

·         Loss, reduction, or inaccessibility of income due to disaster related problems or damage to a work location.

·         Disaster-related expenses that are not expected to be reimbursed during the disaster benefit period.

Applicants for D-SNAP should apply by March 24 and bring any available information that indicates their identity, residence, and income. If claiming a loss of employment, applicants should also have the name, address, and phone number of their employer handy. Existing SNAP recipients who’ve already requested replacement benefits do not need to take any further action or come into the office to apply for additional SNAP benefits that might be available.

The Emergency Cash Assistance program provides a one-time cash payment to families significantly impacted by the March 3rd weather disaster.  This money is funded by the Families First/TANF program and provides:

·         $500 for a household of 1 to 2 persons.

·         $750 for a household of 3 to 4 persons.

·         $1000 for a household with 5 or more persons.

To be eligible, families must include a child under the age of 18 or a pregnant woman, have a valid Social Security Number, and live in a house or apartment or worked for a business that received significant damage during the March 3rd storm.  The Emergency Cash Assistance program is available to eligible families in Benton, Carroll, Davidson, Gibson, Putnam, and Wilson counties.

Applicants for the Emergency Cash Assistance program should apply by March 24 and bring a home or rental insurance claim document, an official statement from the landlord, or verification showing proof of a submitted FEMA application.  Household income or bank account information is also required.

“Across our state Tennesseans are pulling together to lift each other up during this time of need and we’re going to be there with them every step of the way,” said TDHS Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes.  “These two programs will provide families with the temporary resources they need so they can focus on putting their lives back together and rebuilding a thriving Tennessee.”

Applications for the Emergency Cash Assistance program and D-SNAP will be accepted beginning Monday, March 16, 2020. The head of household for non-SNAP recipient families can apply at the below locations.

·         TDHS Putnam County Office
1000 England Drive, Suite A., Cookeville, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

·         Hyder-Burks Agriculture Pavilion
2390 Gainesboro Grade, Cookeville, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

·         TDHS Wilson County Office
155 Legends Drive, Suite G, Lebanon, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

·         Goodwill Career Solutions Center

       937 Herman Street, Nashville, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

·         TDHS Benton County Office (Emergency Cash Assistance Only)
       272 Hwy 641 N., Camden, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

·         TDHS Carroll County Office (Emergency Cash Assistance Only)
       20810 Main Street East, Huntingdon, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

·         TDHS Gibson County Office (Emergency Cash Assistance Only)
       2205 Highway 45 By-Pass South, Trenton, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

DHS employees can provide further guidance if there is difficulty locating documentation.

ATTENTION, ANTI-FRAUD WARNING:

You must tell the truth when you apply for D-SNAP benefits, replacements, and supplements. You may not sell, trade, or give away your EBT card. You may NOT receive Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance twice for the same disaster. All applications are subject to review. If you get benefits to which you are not entitled, you WILL be required to pay them back. If you break the SNAP rules you may be disqualified from the program, fined up to $250,000, and/or put in jail for up to 20 years.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Learn more about the Tennessee Department of Human Services at www.tn.gov/humanservices.   

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