The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

78. What if I need benefits right away?

You can get help with immediate needs within 24 hours of your application. 106 C.M.R. § 702.125(F). Be sure to tell the worker if you need help with immediate needs. DTA is supposed to screen you to determine if you qualify for an immediate needs payment. DTA Operations Memo 2013-35 (July 26, 2013).

  • Rent, utilities or fuel: If you need help right away with rent, utilities or fuel and you appear to be eligible, you can get an advance on your EAEDC benefits to pay for these things. The advance will be paid as a voucher to the landlord, utility or fuel company and the amount deducted out of your first EBT payment.
  • Food:  You may qualify for emergency or "expedited" SNAP (food stamps). This means you can get SNAP within seven (7) days of when you apply. 106 CMR § 365.800. Ask your worker about this. If, for some reason, you are not eligible for expedited SNAP, DTA may issue you a food voucher, which would be deducted from your first EAEDC payment.
  • Health Care: You can get a temporary EAEDC Medical card when you apply for EAEDC. Even if you are ultimately denied EAEDC, you may still be eligible for MassHealth. See Question 65.

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