The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Blog Archive for July 2016

2016/2017 MLRI Basic Benefits Training Series - 11 Training Sessions with first one starting September 20th

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 1:46pm -- FoodSNAP

Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) and Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. (MCLE) present a series of trainings every year for legal, social, health services, and community advocates who assist low- and moderate-income individuals and families. Each session includes substantive materials and is led by expert advocates from legal services programs throughout the state. The 2016-2017 series covers 11 different topics (see below). Also attached is a PDF of the training events.


SNAP Coalition tomorrow; Initial Success on Key Veto Overrides but MEFAP Needs your Support; SNAP Press on Military Service, on Junk Food Bans

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 1:56pm -- FoodSNAP

1. Veto override updates:

TAFDC cash assistance:

On the GOOD news front, both the House and Senate overrode the Governor's TAFDC vetoes which totaled almost $24M in cuts! This PROTECTS the full TAFDC clothing allowance and STOPS the proposal to cut TAFDC benefits by counting the SSI of disabled children or disabled parents as income to the rest of the TAFDC family.

Please Urge your Rep to Seek OVERIDE of Gov's plan to cut TAFDC for 8, 500 families where a member gets SSI

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 6:21pm -- FoodSNAP

The alert below is from Deborah Harris, MLRI. PLEASE EMAIL, TWEET or CALL your House Member tomorrow !

Check out Hester Prynne's commentary on Governor's veto of language to protect low income families with disabled members:

Public Comments due by August 20 on MassHealth Access to Care Report

Thu, 07/21/2016 - 5:31pm -- Health-Law-Anno...

A November 2015 federal regulation requires a "transparent data-driven process for states to document whether Medicaid payments are sufficient to enlist providers to assure beneficiary access to covered care and services." MassHealth has developed a draft plan and released it for public comments by August 20, 2016. 

ABAWDs and CORIs - How you can Help Your Client Regain Temporary SNAP Eligibility

Tue, 07/19/2016 - 4:41pm -- FoodSNAP

We've heard from a number of community organizations that one of the biggest barriers in assisting low income individuals keep or regain their SNAP benefits through employment or community service is past criminal history. This was evident in a number of the appeal decisions MLRI reviewed, as well as in stories from community organizations who report that the individual's "criminal offender record information" (CORI) is surfacing as a significant barrier in doing complying with the work rules.

Proposed rule on MassHealth Managed Care Lock-in: August 10 Public Hearing

Tue, 07/19/2016 - 3:26pm -- Health-Law-Anno...

In January, EOHHS announced plans to implement a Managed Care lock-in policy effective October 1, 2016.  This would restrict the ability of MassHealth members to freely change managed care plans. Despite opposition from most consumer, legal aid and disability rights groups, EOHHS is moving full speed ahead to implement this change. 

Proposed rules are posted on the MassHealth website with a publication date of July 20, 2016.  A public hearing is scheduled for Wed. August 10 at 10 am in Boston. Written comments are also due by 5 pm August 10. 

Boston Herald re Gov's veto of language barring Admin from counting SSI for TAFDC

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 10:46am -- FoodSNAP

Veto override may be taken up today. Please call your State Representative and Speaker DeLeo. Ask them to take up the override of the Governor's veto and protect families with disabled members.

See Boston Herald article: Advocates rip cuts in disability funding

SNAP and the 3-Month Time Limit in Massachusetts: A Summary of SNAP ABAWD Terminations from Appeal Decisions and Community Group Referrals

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 3:26pm -- FoodSNAP

MLRI recently received from the Division of Hearings a batch of redacted appeal decisions involving the ABAWDs terminated from SNAP benefits. (The federal SNAP regulations, 7 CFR 273.15 (q)(5) requires states to keep a public docket of appeal decisions, as do the DTA Division of Hearings regulations at 106 CMR 343.130.) ABAWD = Able Bodied without Dependent. For more on the 3 month time limit, go here: /ABAWD

Governor's vetoes target poorest families with children, particularly families where one member is severely disabled

Mon, 07/11/2016 - 12:41pm -- FoodSNAP

The following information is based on an alert from MLRI's benefits attorney, Deborah Harris:

Just before 5 PM on Friday afternoon,7/8/16, the Governor issued his vetoes of parts of the FY 17 budget.

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