What are the rules if I am on strike?

We are in the process of updating the SNAP Advocacy Guide, so some of the information is no longer current.  In the meantime, you can read or download a pdf of the 2023 guide from www.masslegalservices.org/FoodStampSNAPAdvocacyGuide

Produced by Patricia Baker and Victoria Negus, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed January 2020

If the reason you need SNAP benefits is because you are on a work strike, you cannot get SNAP unless you were income-eligible for SNAP before you went on strike. In other words, your union job paid low enough that your family would qualify for SNAP.

If you would have been SNAP-eligible before the strike, DTA will count either the value of your current income or your income before you went on strike to calculate the SNAP benefits for your household, whichever income amount is higher. 106 C.M.R §361.240(E)(2).

You are not considered on strike (being on strike is not relevant for your SNAP eligibility) if:

  • your former boss locked you out or permanently replaced you, or
  • you cannot work because other workers are on strike or because you are afraid to cross a picket line, or
  • even though you are on strike, you were exempt from the SNAP work registration rules on the day before the strike. For example, you:
  • are age 60 or older
  • care for a child under 6 or a person with a disability (this person does not need to live with the striker)
  • are pregnant (third trimester)
  • are a student enrolled at least half-time

See Are there work rules for SNAP? for more on work registration rule exemptions.

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