The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Application procedures, P-EBT updates, etc

Many updates below and in the google doc - a lot is happening this week and more is to come!
 
DTA SNAP Application - Interview waived if all mandatory info provided 
 
On Monday, DTA shared with us their guidance to workers on when the application interview should be waived. In brief, if an applicant provides all mandatory proofs, they do not need to have an interview. Learn more at this section of the google doc. Also, click here to see a flow chart created by MLRI based on DTA guidance. We have summarized our understanding of all the guidance for DTA case managers we have from DTA in the google doc. If you want to see the guidance, you can see recent Online Guide Transmittals here. 
 
All DTA case managers now working remotely! 
 
DTA has transitioned all case managers to working from home. Calls made my workers should still show up as from the Comm of MA or the Assistance Line number (877 382 2363). Text messages sent by DTA will show up from “382 674”  
 
This has been a herculean effort by DTA central staff, local office managers, and local office staff to ensure all workers are able to safely work from home. 
 
Updated Extra Emergency SNAP Fliers in English & Spanish 
 
DTA shared on the Coalition call Tuesday that they expect the April supplement payments to go out on May 2 - but, as always, that date is subject to shift a bit. Fliers updated in English and Spanish to include that supplements will be paid for each month we are still in a public health emergency declaration. Updates in other languages to come. Please distribute widely. 
 
Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) update - Round 1 this week!
 
Round 1 of P-EBT issuance: DTA shared that the first batch of P-EBT payments - to families getting SNAP - will be put on EBT cards likely tomorrow, April 30 (again, subject to shift, but tomorrow is the plan!). DTA did not yet share data on the number of families who will be included in this first round. Notices and text messages should go out to this "first round" of families known to DTA tomorrow.
 
For a DTA Q&A on P-EBT visit: Mass.gov/p-ebt 
 
Public charge: DTA also confirmed that USDA agrees that P-EBT will not trigger public charge concerns for immigrant families. Thank you to DTA for pushing USDA on this issue! DTA has also put this information clearly on its P-EBT FAQs here and it will be in the notices sent to families. 
 
NSLP applications: Please contact your local school districts to see if they are taking NSLP applications. Remind them of how important it is to continue to take these NSLP applications for newly poor families who may not want to apply for SNAP even if school is closed or regardless of grab and go meals. NSLP = P-EBT! Because all students approved for free/reduced price meals should get P-EBT. 
 
 
More to come and as always see info in the google doc. We have also posted a list of the 2019-2020 CEP schools and districts here - all children in a CEP school should get P-EBT. 
 
CBPP National Webinar: Thursday 4/30, 1-3 PM

More Action Needed, and Soon: Priorities for Future COVID-19 Federal Legislation and What You Can Do
Register here

On this webinar, experts from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities will offer their recommendations for the major, additional steps that Congress and the President must take to protect people from COVID-19, assist those who were largely or entirely left out of the laws passed so far, and help prevent the economic harm from getting even worse.

Topics will include ensuring that key relief measures last for the length of the economic downturn, providing more flexible state and local fiscal relief, and increasing food assistance, health coverage options, and other measures that help people who are facing the greatest health risks and worst financial fallout amid the pandemic. Speakers will also discuss the expected timetable for future COVID-19 federal legislation and what state and local advocates around the country can do to build support for these priorities.

This webinar is open to any advocate interested in learning more about and engaging on federal COVID-19 priorities, but is geared specifically toward state-based and local advocates. The webinar is off the record and not open to members of the media or legislative staff.
 
School Lunch Hero Day, May 1
 
The Governor has declared May 1st as School Lunch Hero Day. On Friday May 1st, DESE will be hosting a virtual School Lunch Hero Day Celebration with school nutrition professionals to honor them.  As you know, they have selflessly been serving non-congregate meals at over 1,500 sites to over 400,000 students who depend on school meals even when schools are closed. DESE is inviting community partners in submitting a short 15-30 second video or photo/quote to share during their Zoom webinar/call with statewide school nutrition staff. DESE will be putting together a video to share with our school lunch heroes during the virtual celebration, and are inviting individuals and organizations to share sentiments about what these “school lunch heroes” mean to you.  
 
What do to:  1) All videos should be taken in landscape mode on a mobile phone; Please introduce yourself and your organization; Describe what a “School Lunch Hero” means to you; Submit your video in any file format via email to Denise.Courtney@mass.gov  by Tuesday, April 28, 2020.  For photos, please submit all photos with a quote to Denise.Courtney@mass.gov by Tuesday, April 28, 2020.

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