If you are currently receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in New York City and were affected by Hurricane Sandy, you may receive automatic partial replacement benefits for spoiled food due to power outages and floods. You may receive up to 50% of your household’s current monthly allotment without needing to apply. However, you must be a current food stamp client as of October 31 and live in an area of the City affected by the storm to qualify for this replacement benefit.
The areas in New York City that could receive automatic replacement benefits include severely affected areas where flooding and power outages occurred, such as the Rockaways, Staten Island and Lower Manhattan. For zip codes, view this document. Additional zip codes in New York City that experienced extended power loss may be added as more details about the number of households affected becomes available.
By receiving your replacement benefit automatically, you do not need to travel to apply at a local Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program office. Benefits will appear on your Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. If you are eligible, replacement benefits will be placed onto your EBT card the week of November 5, 2012.
You may also apply for up to the full allotment of your monthly grant, if you are eligible and meet the following criteria:
- You must have an active SNAP case by October 31;
- The food you lost must have been purchased with SNAP benefits;
- You must have lived in an affected area and had power outages or flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy;
- You must complete and sign appropriate paperwork explaining your loss within 10 days of you reporting the loss.
You will need to verify you live in a storm-affected area and fill out the form for Replacement Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. HRA will review your request and if approved, benefits will be issued to you through your Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.
Food stamp recipients will also be able to use food stamp benefits to purchase hot and prepared foods at already approved retailers that accept EBT cards throughout New York City. Hot and prepared foods purchases are not usually permitted under the United States Department of Agriculture guidelines, however, a federal waiver was given to allow this in order to help recipients in storm-affected areas with no ability to refrigerate or cook. The waiver will be in effect through December 31.
For food stamp recertifications scheduled to expire 10/31, we expect they will be extended through November 28.
Buy Prepared Foods with SNAP Benefits (in PDF)
View Zip codes of Affected Areas (in PDF)
Read Governor's Press Release