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Food Stamp/SNAP Advocacy Guide

An Advocate's Guide to the Food Stamps / Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Massachusetts.

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Produced by Patricia Baker and Victoria Negus
Last Updated February 2016
In 1964, the United States Congress created the food stamp program to reduce hunger in the United States. This section includes background information about the program and explains where to find the laws and rules about the food stamp program. The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) handles the food stamp program in Massachusetts.
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Answers questions about how to apply for food stamps and the types of information you will need to give to DTA.
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Answers questions about who can get food stamps, including special rules for elders, the disabled, non-citizens, college students and those who must meet work requirements.
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You must meet certain financial guidelines to get food stamps. Your monthly income and the amount of savings that you have must be under certain limits. This section discusses the different income and savings tests, explains what types of income and savings count, explains how your housing and other expenses affect the amount of your food stamps, and explains how to calculate your monthly food stamp amount.
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This section discusses how to use your food stamp card (Bay State Access card or EBT card) and what happens if DTA makes a mistake and owes you benefits.
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You will need to reapply for food stamps on a regular basis, usually every 6 months. This section explains how to do this, and discusses what to do if your financial or housing situation changes while you are receiving food stamps.
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You have many rights if DTA denies or cuts your food stamps. This section explains these rights and what happens at a hearing.
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This section discusses what happens if you receive more food stamps than you should have.
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