The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

DTA updates, unemployment info, Tuesday Zoom link

n addition to the items below, Pat and I want to say welcome to those who have recently joined this email list. THANK YOU for all you are doing. You can view past eblasts on the SNAP blog here. As always, let us know if you have issues or questions - and for the most up to date information we have on DTA and COVID-19 see here. 
 
We will have a SNAP Coalition zoom call next Tuesday 6/9 from 10-11:30 AM (we are now having bi-weekly meetings).
 
 
Unemployment & DTA Benefits
 
We are getting many questions about unemployment so wanted to share some general information:
 
  • There are a few different types of Unemployment during COVID-19 including regular unemployment (UI), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and the $600 boost in weekly unemployment benefits (FPUC) - along with different extension programs. You can learn more at MassLegalHelp here
  •  All types of unemployment benefits count for SNAP. For workers who are on SNAP and start to get unemployment, DTA may get information directly from the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA)- for example, if a worker gets regular UI. DTA does not currently get information directly from DUA about PUA. Regardless of what information DTA gets from DUA, households should follow the reporting rules. Click here for an overview in the google, doc, and click here for reporting rules and for more information compiled by MLRI
 
 
Advocacy tips:
  • If workers lose SNAP due to unemployment benefits, please advise them that they may be eligible for SNAP again in August once the $600/week payments (FPUC) end July 31, 2020 (depending on their circumstances in August). For sample SNAP math put together by MLRI based on unemployment amounts, click here. 
  • Spread the word about PUA! Many low-wage workers who are not eligible for regular UI may be eligible and should apply - including high school students who lost part time work due to COVID-19. 
Helping out-of-work Clients Navigate the Unemployment System Including COVID-19 UI Eligibility and Benefits 
 
Online training through MCLE: Thursday, June 18, 2020, 1:00 - 4:30 pm
 
See attached for information about what will be covered in the training. To register, click here. Note that this training is hosted by MCLE and the fee for legal services/community advocates is $35 - you need to hit "update" on the registration page in order for the correct fee to be applied. 
 
Fliers in English, Spanish, and Portuguese from Project Bread on how to PIN P-EBT card
 
More to come tomorrow on P-EBT - but we wanted to flag that Project Bread has posted short fliers on how to PIN the P-EBT card in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Click here to view - please share widely.  
 
Urge the Legislature to act now to provide short-term relief for families and individuals in deep poverty.  
 
H. 4622 would provide a one-time immediate payment to Massachusetts’ 33,000 families with children who receive Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) benefits and 21,000 elders and persons with disabilities who receive Emergency Aid to Elders, Disabled and Children (EAEDC) benefits. Payments would equal the maximum grant for the household size (e.g., $593 for a family or 3 or $303 for an elder or disabled individual). We know that COVID-19 has been especially hard on these families and individuals. As part of the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we must help the very lowest-income families and individuals meet their basic needs. There is an opportunity to include the short-term relief provision in the FY 2020 supplemental budget that the Legislature is expected to enact in the next few weeks.

Please click here to urge the Legislature to act now to provide short-term relief for families and individuals in deep poverty. Share this alert widely! You can also share and follow the campaign on Twitter @LiftOurKidsMA
 
May SNAP supplement issued on June 3

DTA shared that about 283,000 households received about $42 million in the May SNAP supplement. Reminder that only households not getting the maximum SNAP grant for their household size are eligible to get a supplement. For more information including fliers in multiple languages, click here. 
File Attachment: 

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