The federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps) remains the first line of defense against hunger for thousands of Massachusetts residents. Families and individuals often struggle with getting their SNAP applications and recertifications approved. Collecting all the required proofs, and having the required phone interview, can be overwhelming for an unrepresented household. Some of the most challenging cases involve the rules for immigrant-headed households as well as the rules impacting certain childless individuals. Special rules also apply to households headed by elders and persons with disability. This SNAP 101 training is designed for participants who need the basic rules and advocacy tips including new legal services and community advocates, lawyers in private practice, and social and health services workers. It begins with an overview of the federal Food Stamp/SNAP program, an update of any changes to SNAP made at the federal and state levels during 2018, and an in-depth look at the nuts and bolts of SNAP eligibility, benefits calculation, on-line tools, trouble shooting, and appeal rights.
Training materials include the 2019 Food Stamp/SNAP Advocacy Guide: An Advocate’s Guide to the Food Stamp/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Massachusetts.