People on public assistance who lost food because of storm-driven power failures this week will be eligible for replacement food stamps.
The Department of Health and Human Resources said Friday it's adjusting the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program to help families who are suffering.
Anyone who lost food in June can apply for replacement food stamp benefits through local DHHR offices.
The deadline is Monday, but the DHHR says that could be extended with federal government approval.
The storms that tore across West Virginia on June 29 affected 53 of 55 counties and initially left more than 680,000 people without power. Since then, temperatures have been in the 90s.
As of Friday afternoon, the number of people still awaiting electricity had fallen under 200,000.
Income Guidelines for Food Stamps in West Virginia
In West Virginia people must pass a gross income and net income test to be eligible for assistance. The total income, after certain deductions for housing costs, child-care and medical expenses, is then compared to federal guidelines. The federal limit for assets is $2,000 a month in most households, but may be higher if a person over 60 years old or a disabled person resides there. You can go online to the USDA website and use the eligibility calculator to get an idea if you qualify.
Most adults will need to be employed to qualify for food stamps. Exceptions are made for single parents with young dependent children. Able-bodied adults with no dependent children can only receive food stamps for three months out of every three years, unless they work or in some cases are full-time students.
Food stamps must be used to purchase food or seeds and plants to grow food. You may not use your SNAP benefits to purchase pet food, tobacco, alcohol, cleaning products or household items.