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COVID-19 3/24: DTA Connect Cash application! + co-sponsor HD 4951, WIC, etc.

Thanks to the more than 130 of you who tuned in for a robust discussion this morning. We will share a Zoom link later, but note that for at least the next few weeks we will be having COVID-19 SNAP Coalition calls every Tuesday morning at 10 AM. A number of resources below. 
 
TAFDC and EAEDC applications can now be filed (started) online!!
 
Great news in a time where we don't have much to celebrate! As of today, cash assistance applications can be filed online at DTAConnect.com (click the blue "apply" banner). Just like with SNAP, a case manager will need to speak with the client after the application is filed. This is a significant step towards ensuring folks have access to these critical benefits during the COVID-19 crisis. Thank you to DTA for making this happen on very quick turnaround time. 
 
Please encourage families with children and very low or no income, or adults 65+ or disabled who don't have income and have very low assets, to apply for cash assistance benefits. 
 
Get legislators to co-sponsor HD 4951 to issue cash assistance supplements to very low-income households by tomorrow, 3/25 at 5 PM!

Please ask your state legislators to co-sponsor HD 4951, Act to Provide Short Term Relief to Families in Deep Poverty, filed by Rep. Marjorie Decker and Sen. Sal DiDomenico.  Click here to send them an e-mail.
 
HD 4951 would provide an immediate one-time supplemental cash assistance to Massachusetts’ 30,000 families with children who receive TAFDC benefits and 19,000 elders and persons with disabilities who receive EAEDC benefits. Deadline for legislators to sign on to co-sponsor is tomorrow, 3/25, at 5 PM. 
 
Message from WIC: Services are being done by phone. 
 

A message from WIC in MA: ALL WIC Programs are able to provide all services by phone.  Again, WIC Services are being done by phone! Don't come in, call in!  WIC participants can contact their local WIC office with any questions.  

 

Please refer to Mass.gov/wic or facebook.com/MassWIC  for ongoing updated information.

 

SNAP and Low-Income College Students 
 
We know many of you have questions about SNAP for students who are struggling with school closings and food security. If students move home, they should be added to their parent's SNAP case (if they meet the student rules). As far as we are aware right now DTA's policies and procedures regarding college student eligibility have not changed. However, on the paperwork front the CCE-1 and EDUC-1 are not required during the crisis - students can self declare that information since schools, in most cases, are not open and cannot do the paperwork. We are hopeful that USDA will give states permission to relax some of the stringent college student rules, but we are not there yet. 
 
For the most up to date information we have on SNAP for college students, see MassLegalServices.org/food4students
 
MLRI Resources and Google Form for reporting issues
 
Reminder that MLRI is sharing the most up to date information we have about DTA COVID-19 policy and procedures on this google doc. Report issues clients are having accessing DTA benefits by filling out this google form. Both of these links and our eblasts to the SNAP Coalition can be shared widely. 
 
If folks in your network want to be added to this eblast list, please send me (Vicky) their email addresses.