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COVID-19 3/17 AM update: Coalition call 3/18, cash update & DTA staffing, EBT card rules


Reminder - SNAP Coalition special COVID-19 call on 3/18 at 10 AM

We will be using Zoom for the call. If you have issues getting on, email vnegus@mlri.org

 
To call in on Wednesday 3/18 at 10 AM (from 10-11 AM):
Ellen Vollinger from FRAC will be calling in with a federal update and we will be sharing information about DTA & SNAP and the situation as it stands tomorrow morning. 

No negative case actions for current DTA cash assistance (TAFDC/EAEDC) cases 
 
DTA is stopping all negative cash assistance case actions during the COVID-19 crisis. This means that, prospectively, no one should be terminated or reduced for any reason-- including sanctions, failure to verify information, reaching the time limit, etc. DTA has not yet worked out what to do about clients whose cash assistance cases are being reduced due to a sanction or overpayment. 
 
This is currently a policy for TAFDC and EAEDC cases only - SNAP policies and procedures to be shared in the coming days. Thank you to DTA for quick action to ensure some of our lowest income families do not lose cash assistance during the crisis. 

DTA staffing & local offices after today (Tues 3/17) - stay tuned

We will know more in the coming day or so. The Governor's office is giving guidance to agencies like DTA so DTA can make a plan around staffing, local office closures, etc. We will update the Coalition when we have confirmed and accurate information. For today, DTA is closed and is not able to process cases. 
 
Policy re. allowing friends/family to use EBT card to purchase food

Reminder that households can give permission to friends, family, or other trusted people to use their EBT card on their behalf, with no need for formal documentation or written paperwork. The federal rule about this says: "States shall not require households to notify or provide the State information regarding individuals making purchases permitted by the household on an ad-hoc basis." 7 CFR 273.8(f)((9)

This may be helpful to remind seniors, persons with disabilities, and other populations who are particularly vulnerable and at risk from COVID-19, and who may need to ask others to go shopping on their behalf. 
 
Please let  Pat or Vicky know if you have questions.