The Massachusetts SNAP Gap

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Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

Federal SNAP benefits continue to serve over 1 million Massachusetts residents in over 660,000 households - 1 in 6 people in the Commonwealth. The majority of SNAP recipients are older adults, persons with severe disabilities, children, and adults struggling with temporary unemployment or under employment.

The MassHealth (Medicaid) program currently serves approximately 2 million low- income Massachusetts residents. Roughly 600,000 MassHealth recipients have income below 150% FPL and are likely eligible for but not receiving SNAP. The Baker Administration took steps in July 2021 to “close the SNAP Gap” by allowing persons applying with a paper application for MassHealth and Medicare Savings Program (MSP) to apply for SNAP with a simplified “checkbox” on the form. The Administration then added the simplified checkbox to the online MassHealth Connector in July 2022. The SNAP/MassHealth application is shipped to DTA for follow up on missing information, with SNAP benefits retroactive to the date of the SNAP checkbox application. This continues to be a game changer!

In August of 2022, the SNAP Gap/Common Apps Coalition celebrated a huge legislative victory: Chapter 174 of the Acts of 2022 was signed into law on August 10, 2022, creating M.G.L Chapter 6A, Section 18AA. This law now requires the state to develop a simplified “common application” for more means-tested programs including SNAP, WIC, cash assistance, health care, fuel assistance, childcare and other critical benefits. MLRI expects the common application to be implemented under the Healey/Driscoll Administration.


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