Please see this message below from the Mass. Law Reform Institute:
Massachusetts has taken steps to protect the chronically homeless from loss of SNAP food benefits. DTA Central – with input from the ABAWD (Able-bodied without dependents) Working Group and key homeless and health care providers – developed both field worker guidance and a special one-page ABAWD homeless exemption form for individuals who lack a stable nighttime residence. DTA drafted this guidance in late December after getting clarification from USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) granting status authority to further define as exempt individuals who are “obviously” unfit for work but may have difficulty securing medial or other documentation, including chronically homeless individuals.
Click below for two documents:
* DTA Guidance from the DTA Online Guide (the pdf includes MLRI highlighting). Clients can call DTA to be screened and do not need to send in a written statement.
* A new DTA ABAWD Homeless Exemption Supplement Form, distributed at a recent DTA training for food banks. (Note – DTA is in the process of translating and uploading this form to their website). This form can be filled out and mailed or faxed to DTA, or the client can also call the DTA Assistance Line to be screened.
Please try to identify and screen homeless clients ages 18-49 to protect their SNAP benefits (this is NOT necessary for homeless who receive SSI, RSDI, Veterans or EAEDC benefits, nor individuals with children).