OLGT 2017-82A: Cross Programs – Applications as a Result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria


On Sept 1st, DTA released guidance to the field (OLGT 82)advising DTA staff how to handle applications from individuals and families seeking refuge with family and friends in Massachusetts. As DTA notes, they have already been receiving calls from residents of Texas and Louisiana. If the individuals or families are physically present in Massachusetts, DTA has instructed workers how to handle applications for SNAP and cash assistance. 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.

Guidance was updated on 9/15-17 and again on 9/29/17 (OLGT 82A) to include Hurricaine Irma and evacuees from Puerto Rico. See page 2 of this document for information on how DTA is handling applications for SNAP and cash for evacuees from PR. With respect to PR evacuees who may have been receiving the block granted Nutrition Assistance Program in PR (different from SNAP), DTA guidance also states:  

Request for termination of cash assistance in Puerto Rico can be directed to: 787- 289-7600, Ext. 2377. Staff are reminded that for SNAP, duplicate participation is not a concern as Puerto Rico operates a separate Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP). It is considered to be inaccessible for the SNAP eligibility process. Therefore, verification of NAP benefits or case closure for customers who were previously participating in Puerto Rico must not be requested.