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Update on Haitian entrants, connect families to internet benefit, Basic benefits trainings

A few announcements below. Unless there is breaking news, we likely won't send another eblast until the New Year. The last year has been one of many challenges - but we have also seen time and time again that this Coalition is a powerful force in making change!! We look forward to our continued work together in 2022. 
Update on eligibility for Haitian children born outside of Haiti & resources 
In addition to our last eblast, yesterday DTA clarified that children born outside of Haiti to Haitian parents are eligible for SNAP under the same rules as their parents (and if they are born in the US, they are US Citizens!). Many kudos to Naomi Meyer at Greater Boston Legal Services for her stellar advocacy on this issue.
Many Haitians who have come to the US are eligible for SNAP and/or Refugee Cash Assistance or DTA cash assistance (TAFDC/EAEDC). Please see the attached 1 page overview of this policy update, to see information about Refugee Cash Assistance for certain Haitians, and to learn more about healthcare benefits for Haitian entrants. 
Our bottom line message if you work with any Haitian families:
  • apply for SNAP if the family is low-income!
  • If the application is denied or delayed, contact the DTA Ombuds or 617-348-5354. DTA has told case managers to contact their policy team before denying any applications from Haitian families.
  • refer families denied SNAP to local legal services, and let MLRI know what you are seeing
Basic Benefits Trainings in January - SNAP and utility rights 
Utilities Advocacy for Low-income Households in Massachusetts
Wednesday, January 12, 2022. 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Register and learn more here. 

SNAP 101 Advocacy 
Thursday, January 27, 2022. 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Register and learn more here
Benefit for internet/computer made permanent - resources to connect families 
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB) provides short-term assistance to households to help pay for internet service and devices. The EBB is now  permanent, which is fantastic news! It will be renamed the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). For most people, the monthly benefit will drop from $50 to $30, and there will be some changes to who qualifies. BUT if families connect via EBB before 12/31, they will get the $50 benefit for the first 3 months of 2022! All households who get SNAP are eligible - along with a wide range of other groups! 
For more information about what to tell families and how to connect them to this program, see this overview, and fliers here (soon to be posted in Spanish in addition to English).