Emergency Assistance Programs - Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP)
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Emergency Assistance Programs - Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP)

Revised December 13, 2011

Purpose: This section explains the general eligibility criteria for the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) and when the State may use it.

WAC 388-437-0001Disaster food stamp program.

WAC 388-437-0001

WAC 388-437-0001

Effective December 9, 2005

WAC 388-437-0001 Disaster food stamp program.

  1. In the event of a disaster, the department works with the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) to change some requirements for the Washington Basic Food program and help ensure that people in a disaster area have access to food. This is known as the disaster food stamp program. 

  2. If the President of the United States has declared a portion of the state as a federal disaster area, we ask FNS to allow use of the disaster food stamp program for the areas impacted by the disaster. Both of the following conditions must be met:

    1. People's normal access to buy food has been disrupted; and

    2. These commercial channels have since been restored with reasonable access and sufficient food supplies as determined by FNS.

  3. The department will implement any disaster food stamp program as approved by FNS.

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.


The disaster must be declared by the President or FNS. When the disaster is declared, FNS negotiates with the department to determine:

• What eligibility rules we will use;

• The length of time we will accept D-SNAP applications in each area;

• If the allotment will be for a half or full month; and

• How we will calculate D-SNAP benefits.

General Guidelines

  1. Disaster related loss:  The assistance unit must have a loss from a federally declared disaster:

  2. Residency At the time of the disaster, the assistance unit lives within the geographical area designated as part of the disaster area. After the disaster, the assistance unit may be eligible for D-SNAP even if they are temporarily living outside the designated disaster area.

  3. Purchase and prepare The assistance unit must purchase food and prepare meals together during the disaster certification period. Assistance units residing in temporary shelters that provide 50%of their meals during this period are ineligible for D-SNAP.

  4. Resources Non-liquid resources are excluded. Liquid resources such as cash on hand or cash balances in accessible checking or savings accounts are considered as "income".

  5. Current food assistance recipients:  Food assistance recipients may also be eligible for D-SNAP benefits. When an assistance unit receives a replacement issuance before the D-SNAP is implemented, the replacement amount is deducted from the D-SNAP allotment.

  6. Other eligibility criteria:

    1. The following eligibility factors are not applicable to D-SNAP:

      1. Alien status;

      2. Social Security number;

      3. Student status; and

      4. Work requirements.

    2. A prior disqualification in the regular food assistance programs does not disqualify an applicant for D-SNAP.

D-SNAP Procedures

After the disaster is declared and FNS approves use of a D-SNAP, CSOs will receive instructions, procedures, and forms. These will be sent from the Community Services Division headquarters or the state office disaster alternate (Region 1).

Modification Date: December 13, 2011