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COVID-19 3/17 PM- DTA processing cases starting 3/18, no in person service. + agenda for Wed AM Coalition call

DTA open starting 3/18 - No in person services 
 
DTA has shared the below update with stakeholders. They are open and will be processing applications and cases under normal procedures/protocols - but there will be no in person services. We don't yet have confirmation of the best way for families should apply for cash assistance - please let us know if you work with families who have trouble applying for cash assistance (TAFDC or EAEDC). 
 
Note that EBT cards will need to be mailed out - and in our experience this can take a few days to arrive in the mail (normally, approx. 5-7). We imagine that DTA will need to contend with a backlog of applications and paperwork from Monday and Tuesday, and that many DTA case workers have kids who are out of school or who face other barriers to get to work. If you need to reach out to DTA with clients, please thank DTA staff for all they are doing to help during this crisis. 
 
Agenda for SNAP Coalition call on 3/18 at 10 AM
 
If you have trouble accessing the call, email vnegus@mlri.org. The information about logging on is posted again below. Please try to log on a few minutes early. 
  • Federal updates - Ellen Vollinger, FRAC
  • School meals & status of student access to food - Project Bread
  • Updates from emergency food delivery system - Greater Boston Food Bank & Food Bank of Western MA
  • SNAP updates & next steps (ensuring workers who have lost jobs/pay apply for SNAP, etc)
  • Questions/info to share or other issues from Coalition members
To call in on Wednesday 3/18 at 10 AM (from 10-11 AM):
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Craven, Sara (DTA) <sara.craven@state.ma.us>
Date: Tue, Mar 17, 2020 at 6:13 PM
Subject: Important DTA Update
 

Dear Colleagues,

 

Out of an abundance of caution and to support the wellness of our clients and staff, effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020 and until further notice, the Department of Transitional Assistance’s local Transitional Assistance Offices will be closed to in-person visits. The Department has transitioned fully to serving clients over the phone and online.

 

We remain committed to serving our clients. Individuals and families can still apply for benefits, submit documents, check balances, and more by:

·         Calling the DTA Assistance Line: (877) 382-2363

·         Visiting DTAConnect.com

·         Downloading the DTA Connect Mobile Application. Available for download for iOS and Android devices

·         Visit mass.gov/DTA to learn more ways to submit documents to DTA.

 

For clients requesting new or replacement EBT cards, requests will be taken through the automated DTA Assistance Line and replacement cards will be mailed directly from the clients’ nearest local Transitional Assistance Office.

 

For additional information about food resources you can provide to clients, such as food pantries or student meal sites, please call Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at (800) 645-8333.

 

For current and accurate information about COVID-19 and how you can help prevent the spread of the virus, visit the Department of Public Health’s website: www.mass.gov/COVID2019. You can also call 2-1-1 for real-time COVID-19 information and resources.

 

                             We will continue to provide you updates as they become available.

 

 

Thank you for your continued support.