The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Thurs 1/17 SNAP & Shutdown UPDATE - DTA robocalls, EBT retailer outages fixed, message about WIC

Today's updates:
 

1. DTA making robocalls to households getting their February SNAP early 

 
DTA is making robocalls in English and Spanish to households who are being issued their February SNAP from today (1/17) through 1/20 to let them know they are getting SNAP early and will not get SNAP again in February (the majority of the caseload). These calls will be staggered over the next few days. 
 
2. Temporary issues with EBT transactions & retailers not being able to accept SNAP
 
Yesterday, 1/16, there was a brief period of time where EBT transactions were not going through (due to a Conduent issue - Conduent in the third party EBT vendor in MA). There was another brief period today where transactions were not going through. DTA has reported to us that this issue has been fixed. DTA Connect has also been down at times. 
 
The early issuance of February SNAP due to the shutdown does not affect the ability of retailers to accept SNAP.  As we understand it, these were isolated issues. 
 
If you talk to retailers who say they cannot accept SNAP or to households whose EBT cards are not working in the check out line, please email DTA's Ombudsman Sara Craven -sara.craven@state.ma.us
 
This website is a handy tool for tracking EBT outages (reported by consumers): downdetector.com/status/snap-ebt
 
3. Call Governor Baker to weigh in with the Trump Administration! 
 
The Boston Globe and the Boston Herald  covered the joint press statement from MLRI, the 4 MA Food Banks, and Project Bread.
 
Project Bread has posted a great action alert on calling the Governor's office - please call!
 
4. Below is a message from WIC Health and Human Service Coordinator Alicia High regarding WIC & the shutdown. 
 
For more information on the shutdown and its impact on core assistance programs, go to Masslegalservices.org/2019shutdowninfo 
 
Thank you very much for all of your work during this unprecedented and incredibly concerning and frustrating time. 
 
_______________________
 

Good afternoon,

Please share this information regarding the status of the WIC Program during the federal government shutdown.  We’ve been working really hard to get the message out that the WIC programs are open for business as usual.  Here are the 3 points we’re trying to stress:

  • Massachusetts WIC is open for all eligible families to receive program benefits and services.
  • WIC food/formula benefits should continue to be redeemed at all authorized retailers.
  • WIC participants should keep their appointments to continue their participation in the program.

Thanks for an assistance on this.  Hopefully, this situation will be resolved soon.

Alicia High, MPH

WIC/Health and Human Service Coordinator

250 Washington Street, 6th floor

Boston, MA 02108

617-624-6144 (p)

617-624-6179 (f)

alicia.high@state.ma.us

 

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