The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Massachusetts responds to Hurricane Harvey - DTA Guidance on helping TX and LA Harvey Evacuees with SNAP and Cash

We wanted to alert you to the stellar actions of DTA to prepare for residents from Texas and Louisiana fleeing to Massachusetts due to the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

DTA released guidance to the field advising DTA staff how to handle applications from individuals and families seeking refuge in Massachusetts. A copy of the Online Guide Transmittal 2017-82 is attached. DTA has already been receiving calls from residents of TX and LA. If the individuals or families are physically present in MA, DTA has instructed workers how to handle SNAP and/or cash applications. The guidance reminds DTA workers that:

  • there is "no durational residency requirement for Massachusetts residencey nor is a client required to intend to live her permanently." and,

  • applicants may have "few if any verifications with them" and thus DTA workers must do everything possible to help these applicants verify their situation, including accepting self-declarations.

DTA has taken a leadership role again. MLRI extends its deep thanks to Commissioner McCue, Sarah Stuart and Paul Sutliff and the DTA team for their timely and compassionate guidance to the field. Let's hope other states will follow suit.

We also want to recognize and give thanks to the City of Boston for their huge donation drive. City Hall Plaza was full of trucks getting loaded with non-perishable donations that are heading to Texas and Louisiana. And the Greater Boston Food Bank has also put blog posting on ways you can help organizations in TX and LA: https://www.gbfb.org/2017/08/30/can-help-texas/   All these acts of kindness and compassion make us proud to live in the great state of Massachusetts.


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