The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Wed 1/23 SNAP & Shutdown UPDATE - DTA robocalls + shutdown storybank!

A few updates on SNAP & the shutdown...
 
1. DTA robocalls to about 420,000 households who got February SNAP early
 
From the end of last week through today DTA has been making robocalls to the 93% of the caseload issued February SNAP between January 17th and 20th. 
 
The robocall says: This is the Department of Transitional Assistance. You will receive your February SNAP benefit early, within the next few days. You will not get another SNAP benefit issuance in February. Please spend carefully to ensure that your benefits last throughout February. For updates, please visit www.mass.gov/dta. 
  • Households may be confused because they had already gotten the early issuance when they got this message - they will NOT be getting another issuance in the "next few days." 
  • We are worried about Limited English Proficient clients because the robocalls went out only in English and Spanish. 
  • We know it is exceedingly difficult or impossible for low income families to stretch their SNAP for a month and a half or more - SNAP is often not enough to meet a family's food needs in the first place. 
Please let us know what you are hearing. 
 
2. Business as normal at DTA!
 
DTA is accepting and acting on applications, Interim Reports, Recertifications, and reported changes. DTA is following all the normal SNAP rules and procedures, and they are issuing benefits in February for folks who didn't get the early issuance. 
 
3. Federal Shutdown Storybank from Children's HealthWatch and MLRI


Please collect stories from those affected by the shutdown for use in advocacy and media! Click here for the storybank form to share a story from an impacted person, family, or organization. 

 
 
4. Duplicate charges at grocery stores?  
 
After the brief EBT outages last Thursday and Friday, we have heard some examples of duplicate EBT charges (double charges for the same food)- Please let us know what you are seeing. In general, the shutdown does NOT impact the ability of retailers to accept SNAP. 
 
4. Shutdown Resources 

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