The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

FoodSNAP's Blog

The latest information on SNAP/ Food Stamp advocacy in Massachusetts.

MA Veterans May Not Be Receiving Correct Amount of SNAP Benefits - PLEASE flag these cases

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 2:13pm -- FoodSNAP

This is an unusual post on Veterans Day, but you need to know about it.

In the past few weeks we have learned of erroneous SNAP cases where DTA has been counting the wrong amount of VA Pension in calculating SNAP benefits. The VA Pension program is the needs-based federal program for non-service connected disabled and/or elderly veterans. It appears that many of these veterans many be getting lower SNAP benefits that they are entitled to receive and/or hit with SNAP overpayments as a result of DTA retroactively counting the wrong amount of the VA Pension.

DTA Assistance Phone Line - unable to take calls today! Are your SNAP and cash assistance clients getting served ??

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 4:19pm -- FoodSNAP
We are hearing ongoing rumblings of problems getting through to DTA. One example from today from a community advocate:  
 
"Every time I have tried to call DTA'€™s new main number or the recipient services line, I get the same message: âDue to an extremely high volume of calls, we are unable to connect you to a case manager. Please call back again. Then the message directs people to MAP and then… The end –i t hangs up on you!"
 
We are most worried about unassisted clients.  
 

Basic Benefits Training on SSI & SSDI Basics - Thursday, November 13th in Boston

Mon, 11/03/2014 - 12:26pm -- FoodSNAP
See information below re upcoming training on SSI and SSDI.  Attached also is a flier to share with your colleagues.   For non-profits and community organizations to qualify for the $25 registration fee, click on "Non-lawyer advocate" in the registration form.  This is the appropriate code for ommunity Based Organizations.
 

DTA's Business Process Redesign Day 4: Phone numbers for TAO Office Directors; Help needed tracking SNAP and cash client access, problems

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 2:47pm -- FoodSNAP
As Coalition members likely know by now, DTA has abandoned it's "case-based" system in favor of a "task-based" system.  The new "Business Process Redesign" started Monday, Oct 27th.  Today is DAY 4. Not surprisingly, there have been some systems problems. BEACON shut downs on Monday and Tuesday, Verizon deactivating lines of local office directors, long wait times and disconnects.  We are hoping this is temporary - but we need to know what you are experiencing on the ground.
 

SNAP Coalition Meeting AGENDA - Tuesday, October 28th; Reminder to track any problems with EBT Retailers not accepting EBT - starting this weekend

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 7:00pm -- FoodSNAP
The NEXT Boston SNAP Coalition Meeting is Tuesday, October 28th from 10 to Noon at St Francis House (6th Floor)

The SNAP Coalition AGENDA will include:
  • Review of DTA's major "Business Process Redesign" (BPR) which goes into effect on Monday, Oct 27th. See DTA Operations Memo 2014-66 for more information. Bring any questions you may have - this will be Day 2 of BPR

SNAP Policy Update: Earnings of school youth is NOT countable income - Please flag erroneous DTA wage matches/SNAP terminations

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 12:54pm -- FoodSNAP
DTA's extreme implementation of it's DOR wage match policy has reached new lows. In addition to many erroneous wage matches/SNAP terminations based on non-countable work study, VISTA, SCSEP income for seniors - we have recently seen a large number of SNAP cases involving earnings of school age children!
 

Upcoming Events: SNAP Coalition Meeting; DTA Webinar on Business Model Changes; Basic Benefits Training for Working Households; SNAP Academy Webinar

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 11:18am -- FoodSNAP
This email is to let you know about four important upcoming events end of October and mid-November. Mark your calendars!  
 
October 28th SNAP Coalition Meeting in Boston 
Tuesday, October 28th
10:00 AM - Noon, St Francis House, Boston
 
We will sent out an agenda separately.  Mark your calendar for this important Coalition meeting. 

AARP Foundation and FRAC Announce New Tools to Fight Hunger among Seniors; Updated DTA SNAP medical expense deduction brochure

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 2:36pm -- FoodSNAP
AARP and FRAC have just announced the release of a new "tool kit" to help connect more seniors to SNAP benefits and combat food insecurity.  The press release with links to the tool kit is below - check it out!
 

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