Lower-income residents who need one-time help with food expenses as a result of Hurricane Sandy can apply for benefits starting today at Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic County officials announced.

The program is intended for people who don’t make much money and whose expenses following the storm left them with even less money to buy food.

Implementation of the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as D-SNAP, following Hurricane Irene last year was heavily criticized after state officials said that nearly 1 out of 5 New Jersey households who received the benefit were in fact ineligible.

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County officials said they have put together new rules for this year’s program. For instance, applicants must provide identification and proof of residency, such as a driver’s license.

Pay stubs and bank statements covering Oct. 28 through Nov. 26 also must be presented to show income eligibility. Only certain families making below a certain income threshold will qualify and receive specific benefits. For instance, individuals who can show an income limit of $2,268 can receive a benefit of $200 while a family of four with an income limit of $4,034 can receive a benefit of $668.

In addition, applicants must produce receipts showing more than $100 spent on disaster-related expenses between Oct. 28 and Nov. 26, including for temporary shelter, home repairs, evacuation expenses, disaster clean-up and other related expenses.

Potential recipients must apply in person through Dec. 4 between 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. other days at Boardwalk Hall. Applicants whose last names begin with an A through E should apply today, F-J on Tuesday, K-O on Wednesday, P-S on Thursday and T-Z on Friday. Dec. 3 and 4 are designated as make-up days.

Only those who are not enrolled in the state’s regular Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program may apply for the benefit. Those who are enrolled in the regular program should have already received an automatic allocation for October benefits and an additional one by Dec. 7, according to officials.

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