Governor Gina Raimondo has closed State offices and buildings Thursday, January 4, 2018 due to severe winter conditions. All Department of Human Services offices will be closed as a result.
For additional winter storm updates, please continue to monitor the local news and Twitter accounts for Governor Raimondo (@GovRaimondo) and the R.I. Emergency Management Agency (@RhodeIslandEMA).
In the event of extended power outages and storm aftermath, DHS would like to remind the individuals and families we serve that SNAP recipients may seek and receive replacement SNAP benefits due to a loss of food caused by a disaster. Power outages of 4+ hours meet that criteria.
Households seeking to replace benefits must report the loss within 10 days. They then have an additional 10 days to submit their signed affidavit of loss – the SNAP 55 form that can be found on the DHS Website - SNAP Other Forms page (direct links listed below).
DHS typically gets a list from National Grid to confirm energy loss. Though this may happen, the verification of loss can be a landlord, neighbor, community agency staff member, etc. It does not need to be the power company.
According to federal regulations, replacement issuances must be provided to households within 10 days after report of loss or within two working days of receiving the signed household statement, whichever date is later.
Our staff knows the SNAP 55 process and are ready to help those who need it.
SNAP recipients who lose food due to power outage are encouraged to seek replacement benefits. However, in the event that at least 50 percent of a certain community (eg. city, zip code) is reported to be without power for more than 4 hours, the Department may opt to apply for and receive a waiver from the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) for mass replacement of benefits. This will allow for an automated mass replacement of a percentage of SNAP benefits for households in the designated cities and towns.