SNAP & older adults, tax work off info, college students etc

We hope you all are safe and warm during today’s storm! As Pat shared last night, DTA local offices are closed today. And, if SNAP households lose power for 4+ hours and have to toss food bought with SNAP, share information about replacement SNAP benefits. 


A number of updates below:

  1. SNAP and older adults update 

  2. Senior and Veterans Tax Work Off = Non-countable 

  3. Reminder on college students & DTA policies 

  4. Information on videos to DTA for staff 

  1. SNAP and Older Adults Update


We wanted to share a number of resources and updates on older adults and SNAP. 


From a national perspective, check out this new report from FRAC, commissioned by AARP, titled “The Case for Making SNAP Benefits Adequate: Reflections from Interviews with Older Adults.” Key findings from interviews with older adults included:

  • Before the pandemic, nearly all interviewees did not have enough SNAP or other financial resources each month to pay for all their food needs and other household bills.

  • During the pandemic, nearly all interviewees reported that increased SNAP benefits improved their food-purchasing power, including their ability to buy more food, a wider variety of food, and/or more fruits and vegetables.


In Massachusetts, since the pandemic began, the number of older adults 60+ getting SNAP has increased by 21% - 35,000 more older adults are now on SNAP than pre-COVID. Older adults make up 21% of all individuals on the caseload. 


While the end date of the Emergency Allotments is currently unclear, we know that there will be a steep loss of SNAP for all SNAP households in the months ahead. This will be significant for older adults already struggling with the prices of food, utilities, and medicine. See this Feb. 14th Boston Globe article, “‘Everything’s going up’: Seniors struggle with the prices of food, fuel, and medicine.”

With all of this in mind, 2 key areas to focus on:

  1. DTA Guidance Clarifies Senior and Veterans Tax Work Off is Non-Countable Income


If you work with older adults or veterans who are also homeowners, we have important information to share. Under a special state law, cities and towns can let seniors (age 60+) and veterans (of any age) to do volunteer work to "work off" a portion of their local property taxes, typically at or close to the minimum wage. Individuals can receive up to $1,500 in property tax credit minus the required withholdings. This amount will be applied to the participant’s real estate tax bill in the following fiscal year. Individuals may be volunteering at the city hall, library or with other municipal services, and getting credit for their volunteer hours through lower taxes. We are grateful that DTA has issued guidance clarifying that the tax work off is NOT countable income, even if the municipality issues a Q-2 or 1099 for the value of the volunteer hours worked.  Here's a link to the updated DTA Online Guide information on the tax work off. Note, Fuel Assistance does not count the Senior or Veterans Tax Work Off either.  Big thanks to DTA’s SNAP team, especially to Deonne Robinson, for issuing this guidance!  

  1. DTA staff should not ask college students to complete school forms 

MLRI has been seeing a large number of college students who were told they needed to complete the CCE-1 (Community College Eligibility form) and/or the EDUC-1 (Educational expenses form) in order to be approved for SNAP. This is not correct. (for the specific policy guidance, see this page of DTA’s Online Guide). DTA has been very clear with workers - and recently reiterated this message- that due to COVID policies these forms should NOT be asked for. No student’s SNAP should be delayed or denied due to these forms! Please let us know what you are seeing. 


Shoutout to our AmeriCorps, Lily, for tackling a ton of these cases and for raising this issue with DTA. 

  1. By March 1 - opportunity to send appreciation video to DTA 


As DTA shared at Coalition on Tuesday, they are soon having a ceremony to recognize the hard work of staff. If community partners wish to contribute a video sharing appreciation with DTA, you can send to Alana Davidson, DTA Director of Communications, by Tuesday, March 1, 2022 -


The videos shouldn't be longer than 40 seconds, filmed horizontally if using a phone to film, and include your organization.