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Blog Archive for August 2017

Free School Meal Direct Certification Problems:

School has started, and so have the problems ! MLRI received calls from a grandparent and then an aunt with children NOT automatically "directly certified" for free school meals. Each child receives MassHealth, and one gets SSI and the other two get federal Adoption Assistance. Medicaid is provided along with these federal benefits. These children are entitled to free school meals and the income of their caregivers should not be counted!

You are likely following the devastating news out of Texas and Louisiana.  The Huffington Post has a very good article on ways folks around the country can help.

We are thrilled to let you know that DTA released policy guidance in order to qualify more low-income college students for SNAP benefits!  MLRI has been working closely with DTA over the past six months to figure out policy options to address food insecurity of college students who do not qualify for SNAP because they do not receive Work Study, work 20 hours a week, care for a child or meet the other narrow student rules.  The Urban Institute recently issued a report, Accessing Food Insecur

We wanted to take this opportunity to remind you how the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) "Direct Certification" process works for students to automatically get free school meals, give you an updated list of the schools that can give universal free school meals to all, AND ask you to keep track of families who may be confronted with unpaid school meal debt.

Direct Certification for Free School Meals:

Students should automatically qualify for free school meals - without having to file a paper application for meals if - any of the following apply:

MLRI filed its comments today.  They are posted on the masslegalservices website here:


If your organization also filed comments, we would be interested in reading them.

Press Release here:

The following is the full list of approved MassHealth ACOs:

  • Atrius Health with Tufts Health Public Plans

  • Baystate Health Care Alliance with Health New England

The Governor & EOHHS remain intent on restricting eligibility and benefits in MassHealth despite the legislature's refusal to add the necessary authorizing legislation to the FY 2018 budget. We expect more legislative activity in September. Meanwhile, EOHHS has released for public comment proposed amendments to the current 1115 demonstration waiver.