The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

UI reporting rules, $0 SNAP households, WIC & schools closed rest of year

Thanks to the more than 135 of you who called in to this morning's Zoom. We will do another weekly call next Tuesday, 4/28, from 10-11:30. Below are updates and information to follow up to today's call. 
 
MLRI information: Reporting rules for workers on SNAP who start to get Unemployment Insurance (UI)
 
Many have asked us about when workers need to report receipt of UI to DTA.
 
To start, DTA can reduce or terminate SNAP benefits automatically if they get information from the Department of Unemployment Assistance. We do not currently have information about how DTA's data exchange works with DUA. However, separately from whether or not DTA gets information directly from DUA, certain households are required to report to DTA if they get UI.
 
More to come on the intersection of UI and SNAP - for now, we put together this FAQ on the reporting rules and answers to commonly asked questions. This document is intended to advise households what their obligations are - it does NOT cover what DTA will do in terms of information they get directly from DUA. 
 
Let us know if you have questions this resource does not address. 
 
SNAP Supplement and $0 SNAP Benefit Households
 
SNAP households of 3 or more persons may be "approved" for SNAP at $0 benefit. That's because their gross income is under 200% FPL, but their net income after deductions does not result in any SNAP benefit (1 and 2 person households get the $16 minimum benefit). If you are working with households that applied before and were approved for $0 SNAP, be sure they report any loss of income as soon as possible, in order to get back on SNAP and qualify for the April (and possibly May) emergency SNAP supplement. DTA shared on the SNAP Coalition call this AM that households that are $0 benefit SNAP households will not get the SNAP supplement due to a recent directive from USDA. 
 
Update from WIC:
 
The MA Department of Public Health's Women, Infants, & Children (WIC) Nutrition Program is informing our health and community partners that WIC services are available by phone.  ALL WIC Programs are able to provide all services by phone to align with social distancing efforts. The WIC website will be kept up-to-date as well.  Contact local WIC programs with any questions about breastfeeding, nutrition or shopping.  Even if local program offices are not open, they are responding to phone calls and providing services from remote locations. WIC is committed to providing families with continued support now and in the days ahead. 
 
WIC welcomes families at any time. Check out WIC's eligibility page to see how to families can apply online for WIC services. Parents, grandparents and foster parents may apply for children under the age of five years who are in their care. 
 
Call WIC at 1-800-942-1007 or 617-721-6601 weekdays Monday through Friday 9am – 5pm.  If you hear a recording, please leave a message with your name and telephone number, and staff will respond the same business day or email a Local WIC Program directly with any questions.  Download the list: WIC Local Program Email Addresses .
 

Thank you for supporting WIC families!

Schools closed by Governor Baker for rest of school year - will expand P-EBT benefits 
 
DTA presented this morning about Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) and the upcoming roll out, including communications to families in partnership with the Shah Family Foundation and Project Bread. Around noon Governor Baker made the announcement that schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year.  
 
As DTA shared this morning, P-EBT will cover days after May 1 where school is closed. We do not yet know if DTA will do that in separate payments or add it onto the March 16-May 1 payment (about $200/child).  
 
For the most up to date information we have on P-EBT, see the google doc. 

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