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Updated List DTA Contacts; Trouble shooting "Disappearing" SNAP Web Applications and EBT cards; 2017 SNAP Coalition Meetings

Updated DTA Local Office and Regional Contacts:

Thanks to the great advocates at GBLS, we just received updated contact information for the local DTA Office Directors and Assistant Directors (names and direct phone numbers), as well as the Regional Directors who oversee these local offices. This can be a very handy list for trouble shooting cases. However, please DO try the DTA Assistance Line first before calling these folks. http://www.masslegalservices.org/DTAcontacts 

Troubleshooting "Disappearing" SNAP Web Applications:

At the November 29th, Project Bread and a number of other groups raised concerns that certain Virtual Gateway or "Web" SNAP applications filed did not appear in the BEACON system. It turns out that DTA has a process for getting rid of duplicate pending SNAP applications (for example someone files 2 or 3 SNAP applications on the same day, by mistake or whatever). But this process of dealing with multiple SNAP applications also allows SNAP workers to erroneously delete legitimate SNAP applications that are not duplicates.

DTA issued "Blurb #65" to address this issue and instruct workers how to NOT delete pending applications not properly processed.  We think this may be at the heart of why folks have clients with "disappeared" SNAP applications.

How do you know if a Web app has disappeared? If your client never gets an interview notification or other requests for verifications after initiating a Web application through the Virtual Gateway, it is possible that a SNAP worker accidentally closed the Web application before it was complete. And if you are a SNAP Outreach provider, you can also check application status through your provider VG portal.

If you learn that a Web application (Virtual Gateway SNAP application) you or a client submitted has "disappeared" - here's what we recommend for now:  

  • Identify any information you have on when it was filed (SNAP outreach providers can track their VG applications, hopefully clients have a print of the VG application confirmation page).

  • Contact the DTA Assistance Line and ask to speak with a Supervisor, or contact the Ombuds Office - and ask them to look into the Virtual Gateway portal to see if there is any Web application filed on X date that is marked as "processed" in error.

  • Let us know if you cannot get this situation fixed!

€‹Households not issued EBT cards timely:

Another area of concern raised by Coalition members is new SNAP applicants not timely issued their EBT cards or told they must go to a local DTA office. Again, thanks to Project Bread and SNAP Outreach partners, DTA has issued "Blurb #64" that reminds SNAP workers when they must make a request to get an EBT card (and PIN) shipped to the client. The worker must request the EBT card be issued "Day 1" of processing the case if the application includes proof of identity, and by "Day 2" if DTA can verify identity through its data confirmation process. There may be $0 benefits on the SNAP Card until the SNAP application is approved and processed. This is NOT new DTA guidance, but DTA does have a large number of new SNAP workers.

Remember, SNAP workers cannot require a household to go in person to a local DTA office to pick up the EBT card, that is a choice of the household but not a requirement. If the household needs a photo for an EBT card (if not exempt) and there is no RMV photo, getting a photo EBT card can happen at a later date. (About 70% of MA SNAP applicants are exempt from photo EBT). 

2017 Boston SNAP Coalition Meeting dates:

As you are pealing the plastic wrapper off your sparkling new calendar (this is what we did in the "olden days"), the following are the dates for the 2017 SNAP Coalition meetings in Boston at St Francis House (39 Boylston Street). Always from 10-Noon on the 4th Tuesday of the month, with the exceptions of August and December. 

1/24/17
2/28
3/28
4/25
5/23
6/27
7/25
No August meeting€‹
9/26
10/24
11/28
No December meeting

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