In an effort to help Kansans recover from the effects of the winter storms
that hit the state December 28 through December 31, 2006, SRS will offer food
stamp benefit replacement to cover the loss of food from power outages.
The impact of this storm has been tremendous, said Governor Kathleen
Sebelius. It is imperative that we fulfill the critical needs of those Kansans
who have been affected.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines for the replacement
of benefits dictate that individuals must contact their local SRS office or case
manager within 10 days of a loss. SRS is working on a waiver to extend that time
frame to 20 days due to the severity of the storm and continued power outage in
Caseworkers will work with recipients to determine value of the food lost and
complete the necessary paperwork. Follow up verification will be coordinated
with emergency management officials. SRS is only able to replace up to one month
of benefits. In most cases, benefits should be restored within 24 hours.
At this time officials have determined that the Western Kansas storm
situation does not fit the criteria for the issuance of disaster food stamps.
However, SRS will continue to monitor the weather and the accompanying impact to
see if the issue needs to be reconsidered.
During times of great disruption, SRS strives to respond in a timely manner
to ensure everyone's needs are met, said SRS Acting Secretary Don Jordan. SRS
will provide continued support to the West Region during the recovery process.
The SRS West Region includes 46 counties, 43 of the 46 counties were affected
by the storm. Counties affected by this storm are Cheyenne, Clark, Comanche,
Decatur, Edwards, Ellis, Finney, Ford, Gove, Graham, Grant, Gray, Greeley,
Hamilton, Haskell, Hodgeman, Kearny, Kiowa, Lane, Logan, Meade, Morton, Ness,
Norton, Osborne, Pawnee, Phillips, Rawlins, Rooks, Rush, Russell, Scott, Seward,
Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Stafford, Stanton, Stevens, Thomas, Trego, Wallace and
Estimates indicate these storms left approximately 69,000 residents and
businesses without power for more than 48 hours. It is estimated that it will be
another three weeks before all service is able to be reconnected.
Approximately 7,550 households receive food stamps in the West region. It is
unclear at this time how many families have been impacted and what the loss
amount may be.
SRS offers food assistance (also known as food stamps) to low income
individuals and families to buy food from the local grocery store. The cost is
electronically subtracted from the person's Vision card account. The Vision card
looks and acts like a debit card.
Eligible individuals include persons who work, but have a low income, as well
as those who do not work, persons who live together and buy food together
(household members do not have to be related to be considered part of the
household), and persons age 60 and over and persons with disabilities such as
those receiving Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability
payments, certain Veteran's disability payments, disability retirement benefits
for a permanent disability and railroad disability.
The amount of assistance is based on household size and income. SRS asks that
all those in need of food assistance, please apply.
For more information or to apply for services call or visit your nearest SRS
office, call toll-free 1-888-369-4777, or visit www.srs.ks.gov .