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Blog Archive for March 2017

Looking forward to seeing many of you tomorrow at the SNAP Coalition Meeting at St Francis House in Boston. The House and Senate Ways and Means Committees are in full throttle mode with multiple hearings on the FY18 State Budget. The PUBLIC hearing is this coming Friday. March 31st at the State House, Gardner Auditorium.  More details to follow. Ways and Means is also hosting an agency hearing today in Fall River and Wednesday at UMass Amherst.

Attached are THREE fact sheets:

  • SNAP Gap/Common App FY18 Budget Fact Sheet

Please see the MassHealth alert below written in High Bureaucratese.  Apparently there was a glitch from an unspecified date that was detected in early March and fixed on March 17 affecting an unspecified number of people being redetermined or under deadlines to return verification documents that resulted in cases being closed without notice. 

The alert says that starting this week, MassHealth will be reinstating benefits back to the date of the no-notice closing and issuing new 14-day advance notices of termination. 

DTA BEACON Systems Issues Persists today (3/24):

As of 2 PM today, DTA Central reports it is still working to fix the BEACON and their systems issues.

DTA has informed us that as of this morning BEACON (DTA's eligibility system) is down statewide. This means, for example, that workers cannot go in to look at case information or take other action on a case in the computer system.

DTA has added language to the Assistance Line that there is a statewide systems problem. They are also rescheduling all SNAP interviews that were scheduled today for Monday, and working on informing clients who had interviews scheduled today.

We will keep you all updated as we learn more.

We have a couple of important events coming up for your calendars and the release of the SNAP Advocacy Guide!

Immigrant/Benefits Training: Thursday, March 30th in Boston:

Attached is a flier on the annual Immigrant/Benefits Training, Thursday March 30th from 9:30 to 4 PM.  To register, go to MCLE's website: http://www.mcle.org/product/catalog/code/2170141P01

Attached please find a flyer about this year's Basic Benefit Training on Immigrants and Public Benefits coming up soon on March 30 in Boston.

This year we have added a new "Know Your Rights" session to address the increased fears in the immigrant community related to removal & deportation, and also a new session on language access.

Are your clients still in the dark? According to the Mass Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) website, 14,847 MA household are still without power as of 12:45 PM today.  http://mema.mapsonline.net/public.html 

Other news sources yesterday reported between 40-70K households lost power in Massachusetts:

 

1. Tomorrow's 3/14 SNAP 101 Training at MCLE is POSTPONED 

We will announce a new SNAP 101 training date as soon as it is scheduled.

2. DTA rescheduling SNAP application/recertification interviews scheduled for tomorrow:

Assuming that state offices including DTA will be closed tomorrow, DTA taking steps to call clients today who had a SNAP interview scheduled tomorrow. If the client does not pick up the call they will be mailed a notice with a new appointment date/time (DTA will not be mailing a "notice of missed interview."

The Repeal & Replace terrain is shifting but attached and linked below are some sources on last week's proposed House bill for your snow-bound reading on Tuesday.

We've posted on masslegalservices.org and attached MLRI's preliminary analysis of the initial House bill to repeal and replace the ACA and how it may affect MassHealth & the Connector. 

Some good information on the Medicaid Per Capita Allotment proposal and how it may affect Massachusetts prepared for the BCBS Foundation is posted here: