You are here

DTA resources on Assistance Line, critical PEBT info, Fairness for Farmworkers Coalition

Thanks to all who tuned in to yesterday's Coalition meeting! We have included follow up resources in this eblast. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, June 8 from 10-11:30. 
 
DTA overview of Assistance Line changes 

On Tuesday, DTA announced major revisions to the DTA Assistance line - as we shared in our eblast on Monday, these changes should significantly improve customer service for households who have applied for or already getting DTA benefits. Click here to view the slides DTA presented at Tuesday's meeting, highlighting the most significant changes to the statewide Assistance Line. And, click here for  DTA's "roadmap" of the revised phone system and the options / information that will be shared with callers. 
 
Please let MLRI / DTA know what your experience is with this updated phone system - while we are glad these changes are in place, we know there will be issues and areas for further improvement! 
 
Flag cases where family was not able to PIN P-EBT card since Spring 2020 
 
In May 2020, DTA issued the first PEBT payment on PEBT cards - $199.50 (the first half of the spring 2020 PEBT payments). P-EBT benefits remain on the card for 365 days, as long as the benefits are used at least once in a 365 day period. If the P-EBT is not used at all, after one year, the P-EBT benefits that are a year old are "expunged" (taken off the card). 
 
Some families who were issued this first payment have not been able to successfully access PEBT for the past year. We are largely concerned about this for homeless families and children who move often and who have not been able to connect to PEBT. Families who did not use their P-EBT card until late May (or have not yet used their card) had the $199.50 removed from their account - but there is a critical option for families to get these food dollars back. 
 
Please tell DTA about any families who were not able to PIN/access PEBT until May 2021, or who newly PIN a P-EBT card in the future. Contact Sara Craven with these cases - sara.craven@state.ma.us. DTA can restore (put back on the PEBT card) the funds that were expunged. Please let MLRI know if you have questions. 
 
Fairness for Farmworkers Coalition - 6/16 Coalition meeting
 
On Wednesday, June 16 at 2 PM the Fairness for Farmworkers Coalition invites all stakeholders and interested parties to a statewide coalition meeting to learn how you can help support the Fairness for Farmworkers Act - which would allow farmworkers to earn the minimum wage ($13.50 as of 2021), overtime pay after 55 hours of work if employed as a seasonal farmworker, and to choose to take a day of rest each week. For more information including who to contact with questions and the zoom link, see attached flier.
File Attachment: 
AttachmentSize
PDF icon Farmworkers06162021MtngFlyer.pdf175.33 KB