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in-person EBT cards, replacement SNAP report extended, CTC 11/15, DTA SNAP videos

 
A number of updates below on EBT cards, replacement SNAP, the Child Tax Credit deadline next week, and new DTA SNAP videos! 
 
Our next Coalition meeting will be Tuesday, December 7 from 10-11:30 - we combine our November and December meetings into one because of the holidays. Note that the Zoom links will be different moving forward, and we will share the Zoom link/agenda prior to 12/7. As always, please let us know if you have questions!
 
EBT cards - now issued as standard practice at local DTA offices
 
Thanks to extensive advocacy from many Coalition members, DTA informed staff last week that EBT cards are to be issued to all clients visiting a local DTA office for a card (unless there is a fraud concern). This is a significant improvement over DTA's prior in-person EBT card guidance (which limited in-person issuance). We are very glad this access issue has been fixed. Please let us know if you hear about any issues or delays in getting an EBT card! 
 
Households can request an EBT card:
  • in person
  • via DTAConnect.com or the DTA Connect mobile app
  • by talking to a worker (call 877-382-2363 and provide case identifying info, or press #7 right away. For TAFDC/EAEDC cases, call the cash case manager)
  • via the Assistance Line automated options (call 877-382-2363 and follow the prompts for EBT cards)
Deadline extended to 11/16 to report loss of food due to power outage
 
Thanks to DTA for requesting an extended deadline from USDA's Food and Nutrition Service! Households now have until November 16 to report a loss of food to DTA.
 
Households who lose food bought with SNAP - due to a power outage during the Nor'easter of 4 hours or more - should request replacement SNAP benefits by November 16 (up to the value of one month of SNAP - including the Emergency Allotment!). Households can make the report to DTA via the Assistance Line (follow the prompts for reporting household misfortune) or by sending in a note or talking with a worker. In terms of follow up after the report is made, they can write a self-declaration, they do not have to fill out the DTA household misfortune form! Learn more about this process on MLRI's webpage on household misfortune SNAP here. 
 
We have heard that some clients have faced issues with their replacement requests. Under the SNAP regulations, DTA workers should pursue verification of the outage on their own - they should not require clients to provide proof of the outage. DTA's own form is clear about this, stating: "DTA will confirm what happened by contacting a third party or visiting your home" If you hear of any issues, please let us know!
 
Final push! One week left - 11/15 deadline to get Child Tax Credit money in 2021!
 
There is 1 week left for families to sign up for the Advance Child Tax Credit. They could get up to $1800 per child for this year - and any missed stimulus payments ($600-3200 per person!). This is critical for those who haven't filed taxes recently, including immigrant families who may not know they are eligible! 
 
Families can go to findyourfunds.org for more information, FAQs and find out how to apply (in 6 languages). 
 
Here are more resources:
  • Live Chat or call a Navigator on GetCTC.org/fyf
  • Call the national VITA hotline at 877-907-0937 for help in English and Spanish. 
  • Greater Boston:
    • Call the Boston Tax Help Coalition at 617-365-8229
    • Call Greater Boston Legal Services at 617-603-1629 
    • Contact Street Cred here
    • Call Allston Brighton APAC at 617-838-8089
  • Greater Lawrence area: 
    • Contact the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council at 978-620-4752
  • New Bedford area:
    • Call the Community Economic Development Center at 508-979-4684
For those with questions about immigraiton or who may need an ITIN, call Angela Divaris from Greater Boston Legal Services at 617-603-1629.
 
DTA posts great videos about SNAP in 7 languages! 
 
DTA has posted fantastic and very short videos about SNAP on their YouTube channel here - in English and Spanish + 5 videos with captions in Vietnamese, Khmer, Haitian Creole, Chinese, and Arabic. One of the core messages in the videos is that it is safe for immigrant families to apply for/get SNAP if they are eligible. We think that is critical messaging from DTA to immigrant communities. THANK YOU, DTA, and the Shah Family Foundation for partnering on these videos!