New Assistance Available for Victims of the April 12 TornadoFamilies encouraged to apply for food and financial support while recovering from the disaster
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is making new resources available to those with a financial need who were impacted by the April 12 tornado disaster. Beginning Wednesday, May 6, 2020, individuals can apply for both Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) benefits and the Families First/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Cash Assistance program.
Applications for both programs will be accepted until May 12, 2020 for impacted individuals who are living or working in an approved Bradley County zip code (37311, 37323, 37309, 37310, 37353, and 37312) or Hamilton County zip code (37302, 37363, 37379, 37412, 37416, and 37421).
D-SNAP provides one month of food assistance for families who may not normally be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Benefits are loaded onto an EBT (electronic benefit transfer) card that can be used at any authorized SNAP retailer or grocery store.
The Emergency Cash Assistance program provides a one-time cash payment to families significantly impacted by the April 12, 2020 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.
“These two programs provide Tennesseans with the temporary resources they need to focus on putting their lives back together,” said TDHS Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes. “The April 12 tornado arrived during a time when many families were still impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are going to be there for them during this time of need providing assistance and helping rebuild a thriving Tennessee.”
To be eligible for D-SNAP, applicants can’t be receiving SNAP currently and they must meet income requirements and have experienced at least one of the following conditions as a direct result of the April 12 weather disaster:
• 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.
TDHS is encouraging applicants to start the pre-application process online and upload documents to the department’s website here. Once those documents are submitted, applicants can complete the application process by calling 833-990-2348 or 423-781-0808 from 8:00am until 4:30pm EST Monday through Friday.
If requested, elderly and/or disabled households can apply for D-SNAP over the telephone by calling the number listed above. An eligibility counselor will assist them in completing an application and conduct an interview for eligibility over the telephone.
To be eligible for emergency cash assistance, 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 April 12 storm.
All TDHS offices are currently operating on appointment only as a precaution for COVID-19. During this time, the department is asking applicants to complete the application process for emergency cash assistance online here. Applicants are required to upload their verification to the application prior to submitting to TDHS. Once the application and verifications have been submitted, no further action will be needed.
Learn more about the Tennessee Department of Human Services at www.tn.gov/humanservices.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.