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replacement SNAP + Nor'easter, 11/15 child tax credit deadline, SNAP outreach info

Important updates below! Pat and I will be in touch soon regarding our next Coalition meeting (we typically combine meetings in November and December to one meeting in early December due to the holidays - stay tuned!).  
 
Replacement SNAP - power outages from Nor'easter

In light of the Nor'easter, about 300,000 MA households may still be without power - and more than 500,000 had no power through yesterday. Governor Baker stated they expect full power restoration tobe a "multi-day" process. Households who lose food bought with SNAP, due to a power outage of 4 hours or more, should request replacement SNAP benefits (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. Let us know if anyone has issues/questions about this process. 
 
Updated FindYourFunds.org outreach - get the word out! 11/15 Child Tax Credit deadline!
 
HELP GET FAMILIES SIGNED UP FOR UP TO $1800 PER CHILD - 3 weeks to go! 
 
There are less than 3 weeks 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!).  Families can go to findyourfunds.org for more information, FAQs and find out how to apply (in 6 languages). Powerpoint from Tuesday's Coalition meeting attached.  
 
How to apply:  Sign up with a simple online tool OR limited in-person help is available in Lawrence, New Bedford and the Greater Boston area.  Learn more here.  
 
Spread the word:  outreach materials are available in 11 languages, including flyers, template texts / emails / robo calls and social media.  Email Sarah McKitterick at sarah@shahfoundation.org with questions or to discuss outreach ideas.  
 
Need help for immigrant families and/or those who want an ITIN?  Contact Angela Divaris at Greater Boston Legal Services's Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.  She is available to host clinics, Facebook Lives or to provide in-person or phone help.  Call 617-603-1629 or email adivaris@gbls.org.  
 
Overview of MLRI resources: DTA benefits during the pandemic
 
There are many new members of the Coalition, so we wanted to reiterate that we have all of our COVID related resources on DTA policies posted in this google doc. You can view headings on the left hand side of the document to click directly to different sections. The SNAP Advocacy Guide is also a good resource to learn more about household composition rules, immigrant eligiblity rules, and more - but note that much of the information in the Guide is not up to date due to COVID.  Please continue to let us know what you are seeing and if you have questions! 
 
SNAP Outreach Reimbursement Project

A message from DTA/Umass Medical:
 
The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), in conjunction with the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School (UMMS), is currently recruiting new interested organizations to receive reimbursement for activities related to SNAP outreach and application assistance. Some of the benefits to joining the project are:
  • Access to DTA Connect (with training provided by DTA) to track client’s SNAP case status;
  • Real time updates on DTA initiatives;
  • Direct access to a DTA Community Liaison;
  • 50% reimbursement back into your organization; and
  • SNAP 101 and other topic focused trainings by DTA.
Information sessions are the fourth Friday of every month. If you’re interested in learning more, please email SNAP.UMMS@umassmed.edu to attend an upcoming information session. The project is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)/Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).
 
Attached are two fliers on the outreach information sessions and to learn more.