2021 State Policy Priorities

Common Application to Close the Gaps


An Act to Streamline Access to Critical Public Health and Safety-net Programs through Common Applications

This bill is sponsored by Jay D. Livingstone and Sal N. DiDomenico


An Act to Streamline Access to Critical Public Health and Safety-Net Programs Through Common Applications would ease the process for Massachusetts families in need of healthcare, food assistance, cash assistance, and support for other basic needs. Many of these safety net programs require the duplication of information based on different needs which creates more work for both the state and those seeking services

The common application for federal nutrition benefits would lay the foundation for other needs-based programs including childcare and housing subsidies, fuel assistance, needs-based healthcare, nutrition and shelter benefits. It would also remove barriers for low-income households in meeting their basic needs and increase access to federal nutrition dollars. 

This legislation was passed!

Signed into law as part of the FY2023 budget, the administration will now be working to develop and implement a common application.

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About the bill

This bill will:

  1. Allow both MassHealth and Medicare Savings Program applicants with incomes under 200% federal poverty to apply for SNAP at the same time. 

  2. Requires the state to take steps toward creating a "common application" for other needs-based programs like child care, housing, fuel assistance. 

  3. Requires the Department of Transitional Assistance to apply for DTA cash assistance at the same time as SNAP.