This holiday season and ALWAYS: No hungry children! In Worcester! In America! In the world!

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pics: J.C.

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What is SNAP?

SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is the program formerly known as food stamps. It is a federal nutrition program that helps you stretch your food budget and buy healthy food.

SNAP benefits can be used to purchase food at grocery stores, convenience stores, and some farmers’ markets and co-op food programs.

SNAP benefits are given to you each month on a plastic card called an EBT (electronic benefits transfer) card, which works like a debit card.

SNAP is a nutrition program. It is not a cash welfare program.

How do I apply for SNAP in Massachusetts?

First, find out if you are eligible.

For most Families and Individuals your assets will not count toward your eligibility.

· Households may have $2,250 in countable resources, such as a bank account, or $3,500 in countable resources if at least one person is age 60 or older, or is disabled.

· Certain assets are NOT counted, such as a home and lot, personal belongings and cars

Income Limits for Families:

Gross Monthly Categorical Eligibility Income Standards (effective 2/1/2017)

Assistance Unit Size 200% of Federal Poverty Level

1 $ 2010

2 2707

3 3403

4 4100

5 4797

6 5493

7 6190

8 6887

For each additional member Add 697

Gross income means a household’s total, non-excluded income, before any deductions have been made. Net income means gross income minus allowable deductions.

If you are eligible:

1. Apply for SNAP

Over the phone: call Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333 to start an application over the phone, or have an application sent to you through the mail.
By mail or fax: find links
to fill-able PDFs and Word documents to download and complete on the DTA website.

Completed applications can be mailed to: DTA, PO BOX 4406, Taunton, MA, 02780-9975 or faxed to 617-887-8765.

Apply online: use the Mass.gov Virtual Gateway to apply online.
In person: visit your local DTA office.

2. Participate in an interview

Once your application has been received, a DTA caseworker will call you to conduct an interview over the phone. Your caseworker is the person you will work with and send updates to until your application is complete.

3. Submit verifications

You can submit verifications with your application or separately. You have 30 days to submit these documents to your DTA. (see list below)

You can mail copies (do not send originals) of the verifications, fax them, or bring them to your local DTA office. If you mail or fax the verifications be sure to include your name and the last four number of your social security number on each of the documents. Verifications should be sent to:

PO Box 4406
Taunton, MA 02760-9975
FAX NUMBER: 617-887-8765.

**There is also now a new way to send verifications via the DTA Connect Apps: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/learn-about-the-dta-connect-app

DTA

To be eligible for expedited benefits, you must meet one of these three criteria:

Income and money in the bank add up to less than the monthly housing expenses

Monthly income is less than $150, and money in the bank is less than $100

The applicant is a migrant worker, and money in the bank is less than $100

Documents you will need to provide

1. Proof of Identity: Driver’s license, birth certificate or other proof of your identity.

2. Proof of Massachusetts Residence: Current rent receipt, lease, mortgage statement, tax document, homeowner’s insurance or utility bills. If you are homeless, a motor vehicle registration, statement from a shelter, from the person you are staying with temporarily, or a verbal or written confirmation from someone we can contact who knows your situation.

3. Earned Income: Pay stubs or written statement from employer on letterhead showing income before taxes for the past four weeks.

4. Other Income: Most recent copy of Social Security check or copy of award letter, proof of unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation, pension, child support or alimony.

5. Self-Employment: Most recent federal tax return (Schedule C Form) or last three months of business records.

6. Rental Income: If you get paid by someone who rents a room or apartment from you, a copy of the lease agreement or statement from your tenant showing the amount of rent paid.

7. Noncitizen Status: For all non-US citizens applying for SNAP benefits, alien registration card or other immigration document.

8. Child Support Payments: If you make child support payments to someone not living with you, show proof of the legal obligation to make the payment, such as a court order, tax returns showing legally obligated support payments, verification of withholding from unemployment compensation, and the amount paid.

Things you may provide, if they apply to you, to receive higher SNAP benefits. SNAP rules allow you to deduct certain expenses from your countable income.

1. Housing Costs: rent receipt or mortgage statement, real estate taxes or homeowners’ insurance bill.

2. Utilities: home heating oil, gas, electricity, telephone (including cell phones), or other utility expenses such as garbage disposal, wood or coal

3. Child Care or Adult Dependent Care Expenses in-home or out-of-home care

4. Medical Expenses: If you or anyone in your household is age 60 or older or has a certified disability, out-of-pocket medical expenses must be verified with receipts for co-payments or premiums on health insurance, or receipts for dentures, eyeglasses, hearing aids, hearing aid batteries, prescription medications, doctor-prescribed pain relievers or over-the-counter drugs, and transportation to get to and from medical services.

To obtain more information about the program and to apply go to:

https://www.mass.gov/snap-benefits-food-stamps

http://www.gettingsnap.org/homepage.html

Thanks to the Worcester Department of Transitional Assistance Area Office for their help in compiling this information