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Action alert on Build Back Better Act; SNAP for Haitian families; DPH texts 79K families re Child Tax Credit

 

We hope you all have power back on from last week’s power-packed Nor’easter (85-90 mph winds!)  As is our tradition, there is NO Coalition meeting the week of November 22rd.  The next "regular" SNAP Coalition meeting will be Tuesday, December 7th – to avoid the Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks.  Here’s a couple of important updates and action items to get on your radar:

Contact MA Delegation on the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) Child Nutrition Provisions NOW!

While not as robustly funded as we had originally hoped, the House version of the BBBA includes $10B to fund key child nutrition provisions including expanding the number of schools eligible for universal free meals (CEP), extending Summer EBT and more. We need to keep up the drum roll to ensure our MA Delegation (House and Senate) fights hard to keep these provisions in the final bill that lands on President Biden’s desk!  

 

Reminder on SNAP Misfortune Benefits for Food Lost Due to nor’Easter

Just a gentle reminder that any SNAP households who lost or had to toss that was unsafe to eat as a result of the October 26thpower outages that hit the Eastern part of MA can ask DTA for SNAP replacement benefits.  SNAP replacement benefits are available to families who lost food purchases with SNAP. 

 

The household should contact DTA within 10 days of when they lost the food (which for many families is often the date they had to toss food after losing power for an extended period.  Here’s MLRI’s SNAP misfortune webpage the explains the process, along with a form to fill out within 10 days after reporting the loss of food.   If DTA is able to get USDA approval for an extension on the SNAP replacement reporting deadline, we will let you know. 

Ensuring Haitian families get access to SNAP and Cash Benefits 

As discussed at the recent Coalition meeting, we are seeing more Haitian immigrant families in need of SNAP and cash benefits but who believe they are not eligible or were erroneously denied.  Many Haitian immigrants are in fact eligible for SNAP and TAFDC cash benefits under special federal laws that recognize both Cuban and Haitian nationals as “Cuban/Haitian entrants” (and there are broader rules for EAEDC cash benefits). This includes:

·         Haitians who have pending asylum, granted humanitarian parole, are under an order of supervision, have pending removal and some other statuses. 

·         Haitians who may have TPS (Temporary Protected Status) but also filed for another immigration status listed above (for ex, a Haitian with TPS may have pending asylum but not know to tell DTA of that fact.)  

·         Children born in another country, but whose parents are Haitian nationals. (These may be minor children of Haitian families who recently entered the U.S. from Mexico).  

 

If you are aware of any Haitian immigrants being denied DTA benefits, please contact MLRI right away. We will connect your client with the local Legal Services program who can represent them.  

Dept of Public Health Texting 79K Families about 11/15 Child Tax Deadline

We are very appreciative of DPH and the WIC team for doing text outreach to families about the Child Tax Credit. DPH is texting about 79,000 families who get WIC benefits tomorrow, Nov 3rd, to tell them about the Nov 15th deadline! 

 

HELP GET FAMILIES SIGNED UP FOR UP TO $1800 PER CHILD - 2 weeks to go!  

·         Families can go to www.findyourfunds.org for more information, outreach materials, FAQs and find out how to apply (in 6 languages). Please spread the word!  Email Sarah McKitterick at sarah@shahfoundation.org  with questions or to discuss outreach ideas.  

Need help for immigrant families and/or those who want an ITIN?  Contact Angela Divaris at Greater Boston Legal Services' Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.  She is available to host clinics, Facebook Lives or to provide in-person or phone help.  Call 617-603-1629 or email adivaris@gbls.org