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Blog Archive for November 2014

Unemployment insurance (UI) is a critical safety net during periods of joblessness, and it is especially important now to help workers and their families during this recession. This seminar will provide you with the expertise you need in order to help your clients get the UI benefits to which they are legally entitled. Unemployed workers often cannot afford to retain the services of the private bar, and therefore you will provide an invaluable service to your client as a pro bono or legal services representative.

See information and flier from Roxanne Reddington-Wilde, Action for Boston Community Development, Inc.  Please RSVP to her at, by November 26 if possible.

I'm sure everyone on this list is well aware of open enrollment and the current effort to get 400,000 people now covered through Commonwealth Care and temporary MassHealth or Health Safety Net coverage to reapply and get enrolled for new coverage before their old coverage expires in early 2015.

We have written an open enrollment "primer" for nonspecialists who may not be aware of what's going on explaining the background of the situation and what they can do to make sure their clients understand any applicable deadlines and know where to get help reapplying.

Flyer on upcoming BBT Health Training, December 10, 2014

This is an unusual post on Veterans Day, but you need to know about it.

In the past few weeks we have learned of erroneous SNAP cases where DTA has been counting the wrong amount of VA Pension in calculating SNAP benefits. The VA Pension program is the needs-based federal program for non-service connected disabled and/or elderly veterans. It appears that many of these veterans many be getting lower SNAP benefits that they are entitled to receive and/or hit with SNAP overpayments as a result of DTA retroactively counting the wrong amount of the VA Pension.

We are hearing ongoing rumblings of problems getting through to DTA. One example from today from a community advocate:  
"Every time I have tried to call DTA'€™s new main number or the recipient services line, I get the same message: âDue to an extremely high volume of calls, we are unable to connect you to a case manager. Please call back again. Then the message directs people to MAP and then… The end –i t hangs up on you!"
We are most worried about unassisted clients.  
See information below re upcoming training on SSI and SSDI.  Attached also is a flier to share with your colleagues.   For non-profits and community organizations to qualify for the $25 registration fee, click on "Non-lawyer advocate" in the registration form.  This is the appropriate code for ommunity Based Organizations.