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DTA SNAP and Cash Benefits during COVID-19

Date: 
05/25/2022
Author: 
MLRI
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For most up-to-date information posted by MLRI on DTA & COVID-19, go to this google doc

Below are resources for community organizations and individuals.

Video on SNAP during COVID-19

Click here to view a 1 minutes and 25 second long video on DTA benefits during COVID-19 - including information about how to apply! Click here to view the same video in Spanish. 

Produced by MLRI and the Massachusetts Websites Project, with the support of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission.

Extra Emergency SNAP Benefits - "Emergency Allotments"

These extra SNAP benefits started in March 2020 and are issued the second business day of the following month. From March 2020 to March 2021, these supplements were only issued to households not already getting the maximum grant. The Biden Administration recognized that this policy did not help the lowest income households who struggle to put food on the table for a full month with a SNAP benefit amount that is insufficient to meet food costs. As a result, starting April 2021 (the May 4 supplemental payment), all households are issued at least $95 in extra emergency SNAP benefits. These extra emergency SNAP benefits will continue each month as long as there is both a federal and state public health emergency. 

To learn more, see this flier for community partners. 

DTA Local Offices: Status

DTA local offices are open for limited in person services. See Mass.gov/DTA/covid-19 for more information. Please contact MLRI - vnegus@mlri.org - if you or a client need help from DTA that was not provided in person (for example, if you needed an EBT card and DTA said you could only get a card by mail).  

To apply for SNAP:  

All applications for SNAP must be done online, by phone, in person, or by faxing or mailing in paper application:

  • To apply online, including from your smartphone, go to DTAConnect.com
  • To apply by phone, call DTA at 877-382-2363. Press "7" after the introductory message to reach a worker directly. State you want to apply by phone. 
  • To get information about paper applications or local office locations, visit Mass.gov/SNAP

To apply in person at a local DTA office, tell the staff you want to apply with a paper application in person, or ask for help applying by phone or on DTAConnect.com. Do not leave the office without applying - the date you apply is the date benefits go back to in most cases. 

EBT cards

To get a card:

  • Go to a DTA office 

  • Use DTA Connect or DTAConnect.com

  • Follow the prompts for reporting a lost/stolen EBT card on the DTA Assistance Line at 1 877 382 2363 (once entered SSN and year of birth), 

  • Speak with a DTA worker to request one by calling the DTA Assistance Line, or cash case manager if getting TAFDC/EAEDC, or 

  • Call EBT Customer Service at (800) 997-2555

EBT cards mailed out take about ~3-10 days to arrive. DTA can overnight mail EBT cards in "dire need" circumstances, and in very limited circumstances hand deliver a card in the community. If a client does not have a mailing address or for an urgent reason needs access to their benefits, contact a local office manager or the DTA Ombuds Office. Clients can track the EBT card in the mail via DTA Connect.

Contact MLRI - vnegus@mlri.org - if you ask for an EBT card in person and are not given one. Click here for fliers on English and Spanish on how to get an EBT card. 

To apply for cash assistance (TAFDC or EAEDC): 

Cash assistance applications can be filed online at DTAConnect.com (click the blue "apply" banner). A case manager will need to speak with the client after the application is filed.

TAFDC or EAEDC applicants can also call their local DTA office by phone to start an application by phone for cash assistance, or go in person to a local DTA office.  Here is a link to DTA office phone numbers and addresses. 

FAQ: SNAP for households who lost unemployment benefits in September 2021 

Please see this link to download fliers with more information in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Portuguese, and Chinese. 

FAQ: Harsh SNAP time limit & work rules suspended starting April 2020

Please see this flier for more information, also posted in Spanish

Pandemic EBT benefits for families with children

In the 2021-2022 school year, students at Community Eligibility Provision schools or who qualify for free/reduced price meals will get P-EBT on May 25th if they missed school due to COVID-related reasons. Visit MAP-EBT.org to learn more. To view a list of CEP schools and districts for school year 2021-2022,  please click here. If you have questions about P-EBT that are not addressed by MAp-EBT.org, you can fill out this MLRI form. 

Other DTA Information:

For clients with disabilities who need access to additional supports, please contact the appropriate local office client assistance coordinator

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

For recent updates sent to the SNAP Coalition (some information may be out of date), please see: Masslegalservices.org/blog/snap

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