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Coalition Meeting Sept 27th; SNAP Policy Updates

The next Food SNAP Coalition meeting is this Tuesday, September 27th from 10 to Noon at St Francis House in Boston (39 Boylston Street, 6th Floor).  Here’s a tentative agenda: 

  1. Federal budget deficit update: What’s at stake in Super Committee, SNAP reauthorization: McGovern letter to Super Committee, strategies with the MA delegation
  2. Gearing up for state budget deliberations:  SEIU seeking increase in SNAP Admin funding for 100 front line SNAP workers; Governor/A&F working on FY2013 budget this fall.
  • SNAP policy items:  Update on DTA office locations - Revere and Boston offices
  • Web unit applications – what’s happening with faxed verifications, expedited cases, staffing
  • Semi-annual reporting and recertifications – how “annual” reporting work (see link to DTA Ops Memo below) and report back on recertification processing
  • Interviews – DTA reminder guidance re contacting clients on interviews (see link to DTA Ops Memo below)
  • Verifications – review of optionals and self-declarations (are clients being asked for unnecessary verifications that are not required or can be self-declared?)
  • Minimum benefit for 1 and 2 person households – update on “cat el” changes in BEACON
  • Oct 1st COLAs – increase in SUA and small increases in standard deduction and shelter deduction 
  • Medical expense deduction – how to help MassHealth recipients offset increases in pharmacy co-pays
  • College students – brief refresher on college student exemptions and eligibility as more students return home (or never leave!)
  • Disaster and other “misfortune” benefits – when households can seek replacement SNAP benefits for loss of power

4. School meals discussion: foster care kids; school districts unpaid collection practices (constables in Wellesley?); tracking the progress of the 39 school communities using Virtual Gateway

 

Here’s links to important SNAP policy guidance in advance of the meeting:

 DTA guidance on “Annual Reporting” with sample “Interim Report” form, DTA Ops Memo 2011-43:

http://www.masslegalservices.org/content/ops-memo-2011-43-snap-annual-reporting-process-phase-two-interim-report-process  and also DTA Ops Memo 2011-31: http://www.masslegalservices.org/content/ops-memo-2011-31-snap-annual-reporting-process

DTA guidance on SNAP Application interview requirement  (worker to attempt contact within 2 days to schedule the SNAP interview, DTA Ops Memo 2011-38: http://www.masslegalservices.org/node/38726 

DTA guidance on categorical eligibility/minimum benefit  for 1 and 2 person households: DTA Ops Memo 2011-26  http://www.masslegalservices.org/node/38407 and Ops Memo 2011-33A  http://www.masslegalservices.org/node/38321

DTA guidance on verifications, reminders on optional verifications and self-declarations, Field Ops Memo 2010-55: http://www.masslegalservices.org/node/34678  and specific guidance on self-declaration of shelter costs, Field Ops Memo 2010-29:  http://www.masslegalservices.org/node/32460

DTA guidance on SNAP for community college students: DTA Field Ops Memo 2010-28  http://www.masslegalservices.org/node/32130

See you on Tuesday !!