We have important updates on both SNAP replacement benefits and denied SNAP applications due to DTA erroneously counting $600/week federal pandemic unemployment (FPUC). Also below, the SNAP Coalition Agenda and Zoom call in information.
Replacement SNAP benefits. More time to report loss of food SNAP due to Storm Isaias
DTA received USDA approval to EXTEND the 10 day timeline to report the food loss to DTA. SNAP households now have until September 3rd to report to DTA that they lost food they bought with SNAP due to loss of power. Note, this does not apply to food that was purchased with P-EBT benefits.
Because call volume to DTA is so high right now, we recommend households report the food loss to DTA in writing. To kill 2 birds with one stone, they can send in either the DTA Request for Replacement form OR send DTA a handwritten/typed self-declaration with the following information (this meets the report and the documentation that needs to be submitted within 10 days of the report):
- name and identifying information (eg. the client’s DTA Agency ID)
- value of the food lost that was bought with SNAP
- reason for the replacement request (power outage), and the date the loss occurred
- signature with a note that the client signed "under the penalty of perjury"
Households can submit the note quickly to DTA through DTA Connect (DTA guidance explains this here). For more information on how to request replacement SNAP and a copy of the DTA form, click here. Please share this information with local food pantries, which may be helping families with lost food.
Households who lost $600 boost in federal unemployment (FPUC) and what to do to get back on SNAP:
Thousands of MA households loss of FPUC ($600/week) the end of July. All households have a right to reapply for SNAP, especially important for households whose remaining gross income is under 200% FPL. Many households have been incorrectly denied SNAP because DTA was still counting the $600/week FPUC in the month of application, and other households's SNAP benefits were incorrectly terminated for this reasons.
DTA is fully aware of this problem but has not yet fully automated changes to exclude this $600/week FPUC income. If you have SNAP households who are unable to reach a DTA worker through the DTA Assistance Line to get their SNAP turned back on, we recommend reaching out to the DTA Ombuds Office to ask for a case correction ASAP. Call the DTA Ombuds at 617-348-5354 and leave a VM with details. More information on how to trouble shoot is in our Google Doc HERE.
SNAP Coalition AGENDA and Zoom call info for Tues 8/18
The SNAP Coalition meeting is from 10 to 11:30. We welcome input from all Coalition members. Please let us know if there are additional agenda items or announcements you would like to make. The AGENDA includes:
- Federal updates: Food Research and Action Center
- DTA’s updates: replacement SNAP benefits from power outages, SNAP and end of Federal unemployment (PUC), recent spike in SNAP applications/call volume and DTA overtime, status of P-EBT activation and usage, and more.
- SNAP updates from the field, please what are you seeing from the ground up?
- Online EBT purchasing – how is it going for clients, what problems are surfacing?
- Child nutrition updates - including more school districts electing CEP (community eligibility) and Project Bread update/advocacy around federal child nutrition waivers