The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

DTA data, SNAP PPT, Advisory Boards & TAFDC training

A few resources and updates below before the weekend - stay tuned next week for a sign on letter from the anti-hunger community to the MA delegation for the Biden/Harris transition team!
 
DTA SNAP Application, Phone Line, & Processing Data During COVID
 
Attached is a powerpoint of DTA data updates that DTA data guru (MLRI's title!) Michael Cole shared on the 11/10 SNAP Coalition call. Note that DTA tracks a number of important data points including the SNAP and cash application volume, the DTA Assistance Line call volume (including dropped calls), the time it takes to approve an application, etc. This data is important context for the spikes in workload DTA has experienced since March, and DTA uses data like this to make changes to their operations. For additional data from DTA, see the monthly performance scorecards posted here. 
 
SNAP During COVID-19: Training Powerpoint
 
We continue to get requests for trainings on SNAP, so MLRI is periodically hosting free Zoom trainings to keep folks updated on SNAP eligibility rules and how SNAP and P-EBT benefits are being administered during COVID. Yesterday we hosted a 90 minute SNAP 101 training with 170 registrants. Click here to view the powerpoint from the training. If you would like a link to a recording of the webinar, please email Vicky at vnegus@mlri.org. If your organization is interested in a SNAP 101 training, let us know and we will keep a running list. While we do not have the resources for individual organization trainings, once we have a critical mass we can offer another SNAP 101 Zoom training.    
 
DTA Local Advisory Boards - how to join & November updates
 
At a recent SNAP Coalition meeting there was interest in joining local DTA Advisory Boards. A number of SNAP Coalition members are active on their local DTA Advisory Board. The local Advisory Boards may meet monthly, quarterly, or randomly - it's up to the Boards to decide. (And all Boards are presently meeting by Zoom). Board members typically get updated information from the local DTA staff and active Boards often make recommendations to DTA Central on a range of issues - the annual state budget priorities, SNAP and cash policy priorities, issues surfacing at local offices or within geographic areas of concern (widespread power outage, closure of a major employer etc).  Attached is an application form and fact sheet about the Local Advisory Boards. If you are interested, check it out! 
 
If you are not a member, you can still listen in to the Advisory Board meetings - they are available to the public! DTA Open Meeting Notices are posted here: Upcoming events for Department of Transitional Assistance - 48 hours in advance of the meeting. 
 
Also attached are DTA updates shared for November with the Advisory Boards. 
 
Basic Benefits Training: TAFDC, Dec. 12 from 9:30-4 PM
 
This training is for legal services advocates, lawyers, social and health services workers, and community activists who want to learn about TAFDC (Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children)—the cash assistance program for families. The training provides an overview of program rules and information about recent changes. There will also be sessions on applying for TAFDC benefits, keeping TAFDC benefits, and child care. Click here to learn more and register. 

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