Massachusetts households have been receiving temporary extra COVID SNAP benefits during the COVID-19 public health emergency. However, recent action by Congress ends the extra COVID SNAP benefits as of February 2023. This means that households will receive their last increased payment on March 2, 2023.
The extra COVID SNAP benefits, also known as SNAP Emergency Allotments, are the difference between a SNAP recipient’s normal benefit amount and the maximum amount for their household size. SNAP recipients are no longer getting the maximum benefit amount. Starting in April, households will get only one SNAP payment, their normal monthly benefit. As a result, many households will see a sharp decrease in their monthly funds for food.
Governor Healey has proposed a supplemental budget that would support families by providing partial extra SNAP benefits after the federal extra SNAP COVID benefits end for an additional 3 months. The partial benefits would be 40% of the current extra COVID SNAP payments. As we await further state action, we will continue to support families as they navigate these changes.
If you are an organization or partner that supports individuals and families receiving SNAP benefits, here's how you can help them navigate these changes.
Clients who have questions about their specific case information, such as how much their new benefits will be monthly, need to contact DTA.
They can connect with DTA through their DTA Assistance Line at (877) 382-2363 or by visiting DTAConnect.com.
Clients can get their case information and make certain updates 24/7 via automated prompts on the Assistance Line and speak with a DTA worker Monday through Friday from 8:15am to 4:45pm.
Project Bread can help SNAP clients by re-screening them for SNAP, to try to maximize the amount of SNAP benefits they qualify for. There may be additional deductions that can be applied to boost their benefit level they may not have considered when their current benefit level was determined.
Our counselors can also talk through additional benefits of SNAP clients receive (beyond monthly funds for food) that can help them save money, and connect people with local food resources and programs for SNAP clients who may be struggling to purchase food on their new monthly benefit amount.
Project Bread provids free support to anyone living in Massachusetts. Call or Text* Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at 1.800.645.8333 to speak to a counselor over the phone or use the Live Chat* feature online at GettingSnap.org.
*Only support in English and Spanish is available via Text or LiveChat. Support can be provided in any language over the phone.
You can help make sure that SNAP clients know about these changes–and what to do about them! If you are working with SNAP recipients, it’s important to know that families will be facing big changes in their food budgets and their household budgets as a result of these changes.
There is still the chance for Massachusetts to take action for families through the budget.