We hope you are finding ways to stay cool during this wild heatwave (officially a heatwave at 3 days!) Here are some cooling locations around Boston if you need it.
SNAP Gap in the News – Please reach out to FY22 Conference Committee to close the deal!
Just flagging for Coalition members our Boston Globe LTE published yesterday (June 27th) from MLRI and NASW, calling for passage of the SNAP Gap/Common Application legislation filed by Senator DiDomenico and Rep Jay Livingstone, H. 1290 and S.761.
In the meantime, we are hoping the FY22 Budget Conference Committee will include the SNAP Gap language in the MassHealth line item 4000-0300. Please take a moment to make one more pitch to the FY22 Conference Committee members and your State Rep and Senator!
5 Reasons Why SNAP Can Help you during COVID-19 – YouTube videos in English and Spanish.
In follow up to the MassINC survey, the Shah Family Foundation has created two wonderful 1.5 minute videos that highlight why SNAP is so important, easy to apply for and provides significant benefits. Check these out and distribute widely. Here’s a link to the videos in English and Spanish.
Note that in addition to applying by phone, on DTAConnect.com, or by fax/mail, households have a right to apply in person for SNAP - even with limited in person services, DTA staff should help people apply online, by offering a DTA phone, or with a paper application the same day someone goes to a DTA office!
SNAP Application “Checkbox” on MassHealth and MassHealth Senior Applications!
Effective tomorrow - July 1st - all MassHealth paper applications will have a simple SNAP application checkbox on the front page of the MassHealth applications -which allows MassHealth applicants to have that application treated as a SNAP application! YES! If the SNAP checkbox is checked off and the MassHealth application is signed, the MassHealth Electronic Document Management Center (EDMC) will ship this to DTA for SNAP processing, along with the relevant verifications provided. The Medicare Savings Program (MassHealth Buy-In) will have the same simple checkbox. This is HUGE!
Here’s links to the updated forms and MassHealth guidance:
· Revised MassHealth application (ACA-3) with the SNAP checkbox on the first page (after the two introductory pages).
· Revised MassHealth Senior Application (SACA 2) with the SNAP checkbox (right above “Step 1” on first page).
· MassHealth’s Eligibility Operations Memo 21-10 announcing the new SNAP checkbox.
· Attached is a sample PDF of 2 pages (pgs 3 and 28) of the MassHealth ACA-3 application with the SNAP checkbox and the SNAP app info on the signature page.
Huge thanks to both EOHHS and DTA for taking the big step toward closing the SNAP Gap!
Does this solve the “SNAP Gap” in MassHealth? NO! More than half of all MassHealth applications (for persons under age 65) are taking through the HIX/Connector portal. We will need to push for a common application in the HIX system. This is an excellent first step.
DTA Guidance on SNAP/College Students – DTA Forms NOT NEEDED!
Thanks to the vigilance of the community and state colleges flagging individual cases for MLRI and the DTA Ombuds Office, DTA reissued guidance to remind SNAP workers to NOT ask students for the CCE-1 (Community College Enrollment) form, nor the Educational Income and Expense (EDUC-1) form - and instead simply confirm their major, proof of financial aid and other options. Attached is the DTA Online Guide Transmittal 21-48 exhorting workers to stop asking for these forms! Thank you again DTA!
Please let us know if you are seeing any cases of students denied SNAP who are asked for these forms and/or denied SNAP due to missing verifications..
Save the Date: SNAP Myth-busting Webinar/Coalition Meeting on July 13th
As noted in earlier emails, the SNAP Coalition is moving back to monthly SNAP Coalition meetings, the fourth Tuesday of each month (the next one will be July 27th). The second Tuesday of each month, as needed, we are planning special presentations. Toward that end, we are delighted to host a special webinar/chat on Tuesday, July 13th from 10 to 11 AM, followed by a brief check in with Coalition members on other SNAP issues from 11 to 11:30 including how DTA “reopening” is going.
Here’s the ZOOM link for our next call: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/
The July 13th meeting/webinar will include the Shah Family Foundation presenting on the results of the MassINC survey (Shah engaged MassINC in the survey) as well as insights from rockstar SNAP outreach partners, Project Bread, Greater Boston Food Bank and Western MA Food Bank who will share their experiences in myth-busting around SNAP and effective strategies to reach key communities.