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DTA Issues ARRA guidance and sample SNAP reduction notices; Conference Call with DTA Commissioner 10/23: SNAP Coalition Meeting AGENDA 10/22

As we get closer to November 1st, it is critical we try to alert SNAP recipients about the loss in benefits, ways to maximize deductions and other food resources.  It is also important SNAP are encouraged to voice their concerns about the SNAP cuts and any additional cuts with Congress!  To send an email directly to Congress, encourage your clients to go to:
DTA Operations Memo on SNAP ARRA Cuts and Mass Mailing:
DTA released instructions to the field yesterday which include a SNAP DTA Hotline phone number - effective October 30th - and sample notices that SNAP recipients will start receiving end of October. Here's a link to Operations Memo 2013-54 and attached to this eblast are sample SNAP reduction notices with MLRI annotations. We want to publically thank DTA for including information in the SNAP notice about the important income deductions SNAP recipients may not know about or have difficulty claiming, such as dependent care (for working families) and medical expenses (for elder or disabled persons). At the urging of the SNAP Coalition, DTA recently translated and posted on its website posters in seven languages (Chinese, Russian, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Spanish and English.) 
For lots of detailed information on the ARRA cut, sample fliers in English and Spanish and resources to maximize deductions, go to our special Massachusetts ARRA webpage for advocates and recipients.This webpage will be regularly updated.  Below is a chart showing the new SNAP Maximum Benefit levels for November 1st. 
DTA Conference Call on ARRA cuts with Community Partners: Wed, October 23rd 10 - 11AM
DTA Commissioner Monahan and/or her Central Office staff will be hosting another conference call with community partners on Wednesday, October 23rd from 10 to 11 AM. The purpose of the call is to give community partners updated information on the November ARRA reduction and implementation plans, and to answer questions or concerns you may have. Please save the date and time. Additional information including the call in number will be shipped out early next week. 
October SNAP Coalition Meeting AGENDA: Tuesday, October 22nd - 10AM to Noon
The next monthly SNAP Coalition meeting is Tuesday, October 22nd from 10 to Noon at St Francis House in Boston. The AGENDA will include:
  • Federal shutdown - conversation with FNS NERO staff on how the fed shutdown and startup has affected FNS operations
  • Farm Bill status and discussion of pending actions in Congress
  • ARRA cuts implementation and discussion on how Coaltion member can help SNAP recipients deal with the SNAP reduction, confusion, need for food resources
  • Xerox EBT malfunction on October 12th and what you should know about manual issuance of EBT benefits
  • Status of EBT photo ID implementation (and reminder on who is exempt from photo and EBT retailer obligations)
  • Boston Web Unit update - improvements in notices, new Boston Web Hotline number, tracking verifications 
  • Other SNAP policy changes implemented or in the queue  
  • Report from local advocates on what you are seeing in your SNAP application and advocacy work 
If you want to add something to the agenda, please let me know. 
SNAP Maximum Benefit Levels after ARRA reduction - effective for November 1st:
Household Size Maximum Monthly Benefit
1 $189
2 $247
3 $497
4 $632
5 $750
6 $900
7 $995
8 $1,137
Each additional person $142
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