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Public charge fact sheets & April 1st webinar; P-EBT updates; 3 month SNAP time limit updates!

We are writing with important updates on “public charge,” a training tomorrow and efforts to repeal the SNAP 3-month time limit/work rules.

Public Charge updates, client materials and Virtual Q&A tomorrow  

Our national partners, Protecting Immigrant Families, have just posted excellent materials as well including community education materials to make sure that immigrants and their families are equipped with the most up-to-date and helpful information to help them make the best decisions for themselves. These resources have also been translated into Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Haitian Creole, and Vietnamese. 

 

 

For advocates and community orgs:

·         Here is more detailed PIF Q and A of “commonly asked questions.”  

·         A 2 page flier for advocates called “The ABCS of Public Charge” – also attached as PDF.  

·         And MLRI has posted updated Public Charge information in Q and A format here: MassLegalServices.org/publiccharge   

 

Public charge virtual presentation tomorrow!  

Please join MLRI and the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts tomorrow -  Thursday, April 1, 2021 from 2:00 to 3:15 at a virtual Question and Answer session for community advocates and social services providers about immigration topics.

Topics will include: 

  • The current status of the public charge rule
  • The latest news about DACA, TPS, federal legislative proposals and enforcement updates
  • How your clients can get legal help with immigration law cases

 

The event is FREE! You can submit questions through registration ahead of time!  Please register at Masslegalservices.org/content/immigration-q-and  And, if you register but cannot attend, you will receive a recording of the training!  This event is sponsored by the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission.

April 8th MCLE Immigrant/Benefits Training - status

The Mass Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) website is having significant IT issues. As a result, folks are currently unable to register for the April 8th Benefits/Immigrant Training. MCLE is working hard to get this fixed.  

 

MCLE and MLRI are still planning on hosting the April 8th Basic Benefits Training. This day long training will cover how immigrants qualify for legal status, what documents they are issued, which benefits they are eligible for (health, cash, food, housing, shelter and more). We will keep you posted as soon as the MCLE website is open for registration. 

P-EBT Updates and retro benefits:

Check out the updated resources on MAp-EBT.org for the 0-5 kids here!  Note, this P-EBT is for infants and children ages 0-5 who live in a household that receives SNAP benefits. These materials are in 11 languages!

 Around April 12th  DTA will be issuing retroactive P-EBT as follows:

  • All children ages 0-5 who were issued P-EBT on 3/25 will get retroactive P-EBT going back to October 1 - this is very significant for low-income families. This retro will be hundreds of food dollars - over $1,000 for a family with 2 eligible kids. 
  • All students K-12 who have been issued P-EBT will get retro going back to the start of the 2020-2021 school year, to the tune of approximately $1 for each day they got P-EBT. 

Please remind families that these P-EBT dollars do not expire (as long as the P-EBT card or EBT card has been used in the last year). Families can use these retro funds as they see fit for purchasing food. 

Efforts underway to eliminate the ABAWD SNAP time limit:

First, our MA AGO Healy recently issued this press release in light of the positive ABAWD rule change halt last week. Huge thanks to the MA AGO for being part of 17 states and New York City pushing for a full elimination of the 3 month time limit!!! pat - want to plug the legislation here? 

Second, check out USDA Secretary Tom Vilsak’s statement of March 24th applauding the DC Circuit Court’s decision to allow USDA to withdraw the Trump Admin SNAP time limit rules

"We are pleased to finally put to rest a policy that would have restricted the ability of states to provide nutrition assistance to able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) during times of high unemployment. The rule would have penalized individuals who were unable to find consistent income, when many low wage jobs have variable hours, and limited to no sick leave. Groups with typically higher unemployment, including rural Americans, Black, Indigenous, Hispanic and People of Color, and those with less than a high school education would have been disproportionally harmed by this cruel policy."

Third, please urge your MOC to be an early co-signer of a broad sweeping bill to be filed by US Reps Alma Adams, Rep Barbara Lee, Johanna Hayes and Nydia Velazquez. 

The Closing the Meal Gap Act will:

  • Increase SNAP benefits by about 30 percent by incorporating the Low-Cost Food Plan,
  • Eliminate eligibility limits & unrealistic barriers by:
    • Permanently authorizing the standard medical deduction in every state for seniors and disabled individuals applying for SNAP benefits.
    • Eliminating the cap on the Excess Shelter Deduction in the SNAP formula to take into account the cost of living for SNAP recipients in areas with high rent and utilities.
    • Eliminating Time-Limits on Benefits for Americans struggling to find work.
  • Support college students struggling to earn an education by allowing students who qualify for SNAP to be exempt from work requirements.
  • Expand benefits for territories, ending discrimination against those who live and work in U.S. territories by transitioning them to SNAP and treating them as if they were states.

Next SNAP Coalition, April 10th:

The next SNAP Coalition meeting is Tuesday, April 9th and will include important updates from our colleagues at the Dept of Public Health about the WIC program, including boosted benefits due to the American Relief Plan. Stay tuned for information and useful WIC data for that meeting. 

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