P-EBT is a program to help you purchase food for children under age six in SNAP households and for school-age children who were eligible for free or reduced price school meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), but whose schools closed or operated with reduced attendance or hours for five consecutive days due to COVID-19 for the 2020-2021 school year.
Summer P-EBT extends benefits during the summer months following a school year during which there was a COVID-19 public health emergency.
Children Under Six in SNAP Households
Summer P-EBT for children under the age of six in SNAP households will be added to your Families First card by September 17.
School-Age Children (K-12)
Summer P-EBT for school-age children will be added to existing Families First or P-EBT cards starting on September 9 and will continue to be processed as information is received from schools. P-EBT benefits from the 2020-2021 school year also continue to be processed as they are received from schools.
If you are not a SNAP recipient, a new P-EBT card will be mailed to the address provided by your school. Cards may take a few weeks to reach your address. Please keep your card for future benefits.
For the most up-to-date information about P-EBT and Summer P-EBT, visit the P-EBT page.
22. How do I get information about my SNAP by phone?
Call the DTA Assistance Line at 1-877-382-2363 to hear automated information about your case or speak with a live worker.
Through the Assistance Line’s Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, you can hear information about your case and report certain changes, 24 hours/7 days a week including:
- The status of your case
- Date that DTA last received a document from you.
- Amount of your benefits and next date you will have benefits deposited on your EBT card.
- The address of your local DTA office.
- Information about DTA’s SNAP and cash programs.
You can also use the IVR to make changes or request information, including:
- Update your address
- Update your phone number
- Request a new EBT card
- Request a DTA “Income Verification Letter” that shows the amount of your DTA benefits.
Your case information
To get personal information on your case, you need to enter your identifying information such as SSN and year of birth. If you are worried about unauthorized callers trying to get your personal information, talk to DTA about a "block" on this service. See Question 32.
To speak to a DTA SNAP worker
Call Monday through Friday from 8:15AM to 4:45PM and follow the prompts to reach a case manager. The worker will ask for your name, your DTA Agency ID (if you know it) or your SSN. This helps the worker confirm who you are and look up your case. Be sure to ask the worker for their name and write it down. If you are not satisfied with the call, you can ask for the worker’s Supervisor or local office Manager.
If you are calling because you need to do an interview for an application or recertification, the DTA worker should do an interview on the spot and not tell you to call back later.
If there are long waits on the phone, sometimes DTA allows a “call back” option, meaning a DTA worker will call you back. Be sure to leave a phone number where DTA can reach you in the next 24-48 hours.
If you have an urgent issue and do not have a call back option, you can go in person to a DTA office or call the DTA Ombuds, See Question 31.
- If you are a helping agency or advocate calling on behalf of a client, first let the DTA worker know that a signed client consent authorizing you to speak with DTA was sent to DTA. The worker should look up that information in BEACON. See Appendix C for sample consent form.
- Individuals and families getting TAFDC or EAEDC cash assistance (and SNAP), have an assigned DTA worker at their local DTA office and will be referred to that worker if they call the Assistance Line.
- Certain “free” cell phones – such as Lifeline, SafeLink and Assurance – use up limited cell phone minutes for toll free phone calls, including DTA’s Assistance Line. If possible, try to use a landline or the phone of a social service agency line if you have limited cell phone minutes.
DTA Online Guide: Business Process (BP) > BP - Overview > SNAP First Available Worker Model
What proofs does DTA need and when?
During the interview, the DTA worker should verbally tell you what proofs are required and ask if you need their help getting them. 106 C.M.R.§§ 361.550. DTA should then send a verification checklist (called a “VC-1”) with at least 10 days for you to get the mandatory proofs back to them.
You have a full 30 days from the day you apply before DTA can send a denial notice. If you had an interview but some proofs are still missing by Day 30, DTA will send you a “pending denial notice.” 106 C.M.R. §361.930. This means you have another 30 days to get them missing proofs and not have to reapply. See What if DTA does not give me SNAP back to the date I applied? if your proofs get in late.
DTA cannot limit proofs to any single document. Any document that proves an eligibility factor should be accepted.106 C.M.R. §§361.640(A), 361.650. If you have trouble getting DTA proofs, ask DTA for help!
The SNAP rules require that you provide proof of certain mandatoryeligibility factors. 106 C.M.R. §361.610. This includes proof of:
- Identity of the head of household,
- Your Massachusetts residence,
- Social Security Numbers for all household members who are applying
- Current earned income or self-employment,
- Unearned income that DTA cannot verify through a database,
- Last day of work, if you stopped work recently, and
- Immigration status if you or a household member is applying for SNAP but is not a U.S. citizen.
- Other proofs that DTA needs to be sure you are eligible.
Appendix C includes a full list of the mandatory verification factors, document options, and what you need to know. Mandatory verification means DTA may deny your SNAP benefits unless they have the information or verifications requested. Some information can be self-declared (written down on the application or other piece of paper that you sign). See What information can I self-declare?
Other information DTA needs to calculate the amount of your SNAP is optional. Optional verification means that if you do not provide information or proofs, your SNAP benefits may be lower than if you provide DTA with information or proof of expenses. See What proofs are optional?
- DTA should not ask for permanent verifications you already gave them in the past, such as prove of age or identity.
- If you have trouble producing missing wage information or your last day of work, DTA can help. DTA may ask you to sign a Request for Employment Information form, see Appendix C. If there is a missing pay stub, but your pay stubs show year-to-date gross income, DTA should be able to figure out the missing week of income from other pay stubs.
- You also have a right to go to a local DTA office to meet with a worker and submit your verifications in person. DTA cannot turn you away or tell you to submit your proofs by mail or fax.
- If you had a baby and the newborn does not have an SSN yet, tell DTA the baby was born. DTA should add the baby without requiring an SSN until your next recertification or for 6 months after the baby’s birth (whichever is later).
DTA Online Guide Sections:
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