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Common App Campaign VICTORY and Next SNAP Coalition Meeting

Our next Coalition meeting is this upcoming Tuesday! We look forward to seeing you then. 

 

SNAP Coalition meeting Tuesday, 2/22 from 10-11:30 

 

Our agenda will include:

 
  • Federal updates on SNAP, child nutrition and status of federal public health emergency declaration

  • State legislative updates including success on the SNAP Gap! (see below) and the FY23 budget process underway

  • DTA updates on SNAP

  • Discussion on the “SNAP Math” and best practices to screen households to maximize deductions before the Emergency Allotments end 

  • SNAP and college students - reminder that EDUC-1 and CCE-1 forms are NOT currently required

  • Online EBT purchasing - are SNAP households facing hidden membership or delivery fees?  

  • Reminder about FindYourFunds.org + who is newly eligible for tax dollars (including older adults 65+ and some college students who worked in 2021!)

  • Announcements

 

Zoom link here (and calendar invite link here)

 

SNAP Gap VICTORY and Next Steps on Common Apps Campaign

 

We are excited to share the BIG NEWS. During the Joint Committee on Ways and Means hearing on the FY23 budget on Tuesday, February 15th, DTA Commissioner Amy Kershaw publicly stated the Administration's plans to robustly implement a SNAP application policy for all MassHealth and Medicare Savings Program (MSP) applicants and recipients - effective hopefully by July 2022. This means that persons applying for healthcare or renewing their MassHealth coverage through the MassHealth Connector system will be able to use that same application to apply for SNAP - and their information and proof documents will be sent directly to DTA for processing. Common App Coalition members had been advised in December that EOHHS and DTA were moving in this direction, but we had not anticipated a public announcement so soon - This is HUGE! 

 

The Baker Administration is implementing this change as required by the Massachusetts Legislature as part of the FY22 state budget, EOHHS line item which requires a common application for SNAP and MassHealth in the current fiscal year. A huge hats off to our fearless leaders Senator Sal DiDomenico and Rep. Jay Livingstone for leading the charge both on H.1290/S.761 and the FY22 budget language! Check out:

 

Additionally, we want to share with you data MLRI received from EOHHS about the number of SNAP applications that DTA has received from the paper MassHealth and MSP applications: 3,207 SNAP applications were shipped to DTA from MassHealth or MSP applications between July and February 4th!  (See the entire public records request here). That’s HUGE and comparable to the roughly 5,500 to 6,500 SNAP applications filed annually by MA SNAP Outreach Providers.   

 
[Editorial comment from Vicky: Pat and I co-write our eblasts, but as I get to send this one out I want to take this chance to give Pat, Jamie Klufts at NASW, and the entire Common Apps Coalition MASSIVE KUDOS for this news! Pat has been leading the charge on closing the SNAP gap for many years - this is truly a testament to her and Jamie's leadership and to the very impressive work of the Common Apps Coalition! Thank you all!]
 

NEXT STEPS: While we savor this victory and profusely thank both the Massachusetts Legislature and the Baker Administration for this huge step forward, the final step is passing the Common Apps legislation (H.1290/S.761) and/or a FY23 budget provision that requires the Administration to implement a Common Application for all means-tested benefits for low-income Massachusetts residents including SNAP, cash assistance, WIC, healthcare, fuel assistance, childcare and housing. Stay tuned for updates on the next and hopefully final chapter of the Common Apps Campaign! If you would like to join the campaign, email Pat or Vicky.

 

Upcoming Basic Benefits trainings 

 

Basic Benefits Trainings on:

  • Tenant’s Rights: Wednesday, 2/23/2022, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

  • Income Maximization for the Working Poor: Tuesday, 3/1/2022, 9:15 am – 3:00 pm

  • Unemployment Benefits: Thursday, March 10, 2022, 1:00 pm–4:30 pm

 

To see all of the upcoming Basic Benefits training sessions and to register for a training, visit MCLE.org/main/MLRI