BOSTON, Mass. (NEWS10) — After years of federal pandemic funds helping families afford food in Massachusetts, those emergency assistance programs are coming to an end. Due to the omnibus bill recently passed by Congress, the state must stop the additional SNAP emergency allotment in February.
This means that households will receive their last payment on March 2. SNAP emergency allotments have allowed households to receive the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size, with a minimum benefit amount of $95 a month.
The federal funds currently bring over $95 million to the state each month, supporting more than 630,000 households to buy food.
The state has launched a new website to help residents plan for the end of these temporary benefits. Over the next several months, individuals and families should explore any optional expenses that may increase their regular SNAP benefits.
Optional expenses may include:
- Medical costs over $35 a month for anyone in a SNAP household who is 60 or older or has a disability
- Increasing housing costs
- If one is working, looking for work, or in school, tell the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) about any child or disabled adult care costs.
Households can tell DTA about these changes by uploading information via the agency’s free mobile app and online portal DTA Connect, calling the DA Assistance Line at (877) 382-2363, visiting a local DTA office, or working with one of the department’s over 100 SNAP outreach partners. SNAP outreach partners are local community organizations who work with DTA to help people apply for and maintain their SNAP benefits.
Also, Massachusetts households who get SNAP benefits automatically can participate in the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP). HIP puts money back on an EBT card when SNAP is used to buy local fruits and vegetables from HIP farm vendors, up to $40, $60, or $80 a month depending on household size. Find a HIP vendor at DTAFinder.com.