Loss of Food Reminder to Our SNAP Recipients

Published on Friday, August 20, 2021

With news that Tropical Storm Henri may impact Rhode Island this weekend and power outages may occur, the state Department of Human Services (DHS) would like to remind the individuals and families we serve that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (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 to report loss of food can be found in English, Spanish and Portuguese on our SNAP Forms page

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. 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.