The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

SNAP and Cash Benefits during COVID-19

Date: 
05/11/2020
Author: 
MLRI

For most up-to-date information posted by MLRI on DTA & COVID-19, go to this google doc

Below are additional resources for community organizations and individuals.

Video on SNAP during COVID-19

Click here to view a 1 minutes and 25 second long video on DTA benefits during COVID-19 - including information about how to apply! Click here to view the same video in Spanish. 

Produced by MLRI and the Massachusetts Websites Project, with the support of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission.

FAQ: Extra Emergency SNAP Benefits 

These extra SNAP benefits started in March and are issued each month to houseoholds not already getting the maximum grant. Extra emergency SNAP will continue each month until the end of the public health emergency. Please see this flier for more information, also posted in Spanish , Portuguese, Chinese, and Haitian Creole-  distribute widely (fliers updated on 4-27-20). 

FAQ: SNAP for workers who lost hours due to COVID-19

Please see this link to a flier with more information and links to fliers in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Haitian Creole. Distribute widely. 

FAQ: Harsh SNAP time limit & work rules suspended 

Please see this flier for more information, also posted in Spanish. Distribute widely. 

MLRI Overview: Pandemic EBT benefits for families with children

Visit MAP-EBT.org to learn more. View detailed information on MLRI's google doc here. To view a list of CEP schools and districts (where all kids will receive P-EBT), please see here. 

DTA Local Offices: Status

As of late April, DTA staff are all working remotely. DTA urges clients and helping agencies to use DTAConnect, fax and mail to apply for SNAP and send in documents. See Mass.gov/DTA/covid-19 for more information.

To apply for SNAP:  

All applications for SNAP must be done online, fax or mail in applications:

  • To appy online, including from your smartphone, go to DTAConnect.com
  • Households can apply by phone through the SNAP Outreach Providers who are authorized to take applications by phone including the Project Bread Food Source Hotline, the Food Bank of Western MA and other outreach partners. For a list of SNAP Outreach Providers. go to Mass.gov/snap-outreach

For households requesting new or replacement EBT cards, requests will be taken through the automated DTA Assistance Line or directly with workers. EBT cards mailed out take about 7-10 days to arrive. If a client does not have a mailing address or for an urgent reason needs access to their benefits, you can try to contact a local office manager or the DTA Ombudsman Office. At this time, DTA may not be able to issue EBT cards in a different way than the regular mail process. 

For a flow chart of how SNAP applications should be handled by DTA in light of COVID-19 procedural changes, click here. 

To appy for cash assistance (TAFDC or EAEDC): 

As of March 24, cash assistance applications can be filed online at DTAConnect.com (click the blue "apply" banner). Just like with SNAP, a case manager will need to speak with the client after the application is filed.

TAFDC or EAEDC applicants can also call their local DTA office by phone to start an application for cash assistance.  Here is a link to the local DTA offices phone numbers. Applicants for cash benefits who do not apply online may also need to return (by mail, fax or uploaded to DTA Connect) signed paperwork after applying (please let MLRI know if that is a hardship for your clients).

Other DTA Information:

For clients with disabilities who need access to additional supports, please contact the appropriate local office client assistance coordinator - see attached excel spreadheet for contact information during covid-19

For additional information about food resources you can provide to clients, such as food pantries or student meal sites, please call Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at (800) 645-8333.

For recent updates sent to the SNAP Coalition (some information may be out of date), please see: Masslegalservices.org/blog/snap


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