BREAKING NEWS: Replacement of SNAP Benefits Due to the Winter Storm

  • Tuesday, February 18, 2014

At this point South Carolina has not received a Federal Disaster declaration for the recent winter storm which resulted in numerous power outages across the state.  Therefore, disaster SNAP (D-SNAP) benefits will not be issued in the State.  SNAP regulations do, however, allow for replacement of SNAP benefits to households whose food purchased with SNAP benefits was destroyed due to a household misfortune.  A household misfortune is defined as an isolated personal disaster which destroys or substantially damages food purchased with SNAP benefits.  This includes but is not limited to power outages, fire, etc.   The following conditions must be met in order for a household to qualify for a replacement of SNAP benefits: The lost SNAP benefits must have been validly issued to the household. The household must have reported the loss to the agency (verbally or in writing) within 10 calendar days from the date the loss occurred.  Once the report is made, the agency must provide the household with a DSS-1634B, Affidavit of Loss Due to a Benefit Group Misfortune to complete and return to the agency within 10 calendar days. The household must complete and submit to the agency the DSS-1634B, Affidavit of Loss Due to a Benefit Group Misfortune, no later than 10 calendar days from the date the loss is initially reported to the agency. The DSS-1634B must include the actual amount of food purchased with SNAP benefits that was destroyed.  Do not issue a replacement if the agency does not receive the DSS-1634B within 10 calendar days from the date the original report was made. If the tenth day falls on a weekend or holiday, and the DSS-1634B is received the day after the weekend or holiday, consider the statement to be received timely. The loss must be due to a household misfortune caused by an occurrence such as a power outage, flood, fire, etc. but does not include mechanical failure.  The misfortune must be verified through a collateral contact, the Red Cross, other Community Agency, Fire Department, Electric Company, or any other source that is familiar with the household’s circumstances.  Note: When determining if a household is entitled to a replacement due to power outage, the household must have been without power for more than 4 hours. 

Once it is determined that the household is entitled to a replacement of benefits, the Agency must replace the benefits within 10 calendar days of the initial report of the loss or two (2) business days from the date the completed DSS-1634B is received, whichever is later.  Replacements may be issued for the actual amount of the loss up to the original issuance amount. Replacements must be authorized by certification staff and processed by the EBT Coordinator in the residence county on CHIP screen FSRE.  Documentation and reconciliation procedures outlined in Chapter 22, Section 22.8 of the SNAP Manual must be followed. The household has a right to a Fair Hearing to contest the denial or delay of replacement benefits.  However, replacements will not be allowed/issued while the denial or delay is being appealed.     If you have question or comments, please contact Chandor Horton at Chandor.Horton@dss.sc.gov .

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