The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

SNAP updates: Oct 1 COLA, Maria updates, self dec of transportation costs, TAFDC Family Cap petition

We are writing with a few updates to start the week.

1. Oct 1 SNAP Cost of Living Adjustment - updated MLRI calculators and materials

As previously shared with the Coalition, as of October 1 most SNAP households will see a change in their SNAP benefits (starting with their October SNAP)

58% of households will see roughly a $2 decrease in their SNAP. 37% of households will see roughly a $7 increase in their SNAP.

MLRI has updated our online and excel SNAP calculators, along with our one page worksheet (attached). Also attached are updated flyers on sample SNAP benefit amounts for working families and elder/disabled households.

2. Updated DTA guidance for evacuees of Irma, Harvey and Maria

DTA has updated their guidance about aiding evacuees coming to MA to include Irma, Harvey and Maria. DTA has reminded case manager to "use every means possible" to help evacuees applying for benefits in Massachusetts with providing verifications. Please let us know if you are working with any families impacted by the disasters.

3. TAFDC Action: Lift the cap on kids!

MLRI and many other groups are working to end the punitive "family cap" on children denied critical TAFDC benefits. Please sign  this petition in support of Lifting the Cap on Kids.  It's quick and easy!  Signers can check a box to let us know if they're willing to contact their legislators when we have an action alert.

4. Medical expenses and dependent care costs: Clients can verbally self-declare transportation!

DTA recently updated its guidance to be clear about this. See the medical expense page and the dependent care page of the DTA Online Guide stating that unlike other expenses, clients may verbally declare the addresses and frequencies of eligible transportation costs. DTA will use this information to calculate the mileage costs for the household.

Remember: The standard medical expense deduction can have a huge impact on the SNAP math for some households. Check out MLRI's medical expense "sweet spot" chart for more information (updated with the 10/1 COLA changes). And here is MLRI's medical expense information page for even more on medical expenses and SNAP!

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