MA power outages - reminder on SNAP replacement benefits
Replacement SNAP benefits
In light of last night's storms, we want to remind the SNAP Coalition about SNAP replacement benefits.
If a SNAP household loses food purchased with SNAP due to a power outage (of 4 hours or more) they can request replacement SNAP.
About 280,000 households in the state are still without power according to MEMA. The Boston Globe reports it is not yet clear when power will be fully restored across the state. We worry that thousands of SNAP households will be struggling with lost electricity and spoiled food.
Steps to take:
- The SNAP household must report the loss of food verbally or within writing within 10 days of the food loss. If they get cash benefits, the client should call their DTA case worker. If they only get SNAP, call DTA at 877-382-2363. The client can also mail, fax, or send through DTA Connect a written statement of food loss to DTA.
- The household must then complete the DTA Request for Replacement SNAP form and submit it to DTA within 10 days of reporting the loss. If SNAP households submit the attached form within 10 days of the food loss, they do not need to make a separate report first.
- DTA will confirm what happened by contacting a third party, using news reports or, in unusual cases, visiting the client's home.
- DTA should issue replacement SNAP quickly - either within 10 days of getting the report of the food loss, or within 2 days of getting the completed form whichever is later.
We encourage use of DTA Connect to send in requests for replacement SNAP DTA Connect even has a special category for uploading documents called a "request for replacement due to household misfortune."
For more information on replacement SNAP Benefits, visit our Mass Legal Services page here.
Please let us know what you are seeing! Thank you for helping low income families who are struggling with food loss due to power outages.