How To Apply For Food Stamps In Massachusetts

June 19, 2012

Step 1 (optional): Click here to see if you are eligible to receive food stamps in Massachusetts.

Step 2: Apply in one of the following ways:

  • Fill out and print an application here.
  • Apply online here.
  • Go to your local Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) office to apply in person.

Step 3: Mail, fax, or deliver your completed application to your local Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) office.

Note: Click here to find your local DTA office.

For assistance, please call: 1-866-950-FOOD (3663)

Applying For Massachusetts Food Stamps

To support low income families having trouble paying for food items, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) was developed. SNAP is frequently called food stamps, because formerly, colored stamps were disbursed and used to get food items. In 2010 alone, SNAP aided more than 40 million men, women and children get enough to eat.

Any person in the United States can apply for food stamps, regardless of their background, ethnicity, sex, or religious beliefs. Exactly how much a person receives in assistance from SNAP depends on a few factors, but in the year 2008, the average person received $101 a month.

Requirements Applicants Should Be Aware Of

To get accepted into the food stamp program, you must meet some financial as well as situational requirements. During the application process, and interview, you will need to have specific documents available.

In the majority of cases, if you are under 60 years old, it is a requirement for you to not have any more than $2,000 in assets. If a person in your household, or you, are at least 60 years old, then the limit is brought up to $3,000. TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program) or SSI (Supplemental Security Income), are not considered assets when you are applying for food stamps. However, cash, what is in a bank account, and possibly your current vehicle, are counted as assets.

An additional requirement is an income limit, which is affected by the number of persons you’ve got dwelling in your house while you are applying for food stamps.

A person’s expenses are also taken into account when you request food stamps. Child care, elderly care, rent, mortgage, and utilities are expenses that are factored in. In addition, there are also certain medical expenses that can be counted towards your total expenses when you are applying for food stamps.

An EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card is provided to those who are found eligible and pass the application and interview process. An EBT card is very similar to a debit card and can be used at most grocery stores, as well as a number of qualifying convenience stores or farmers markets.

How Do I Check My EBT Benefits Balance?

There are two ways to check your Massachusetts food stamps balance. The first is to look online here or you can call the number on the back of your EBT card (1-800-997-2555).

With your Massachusetts EBT card you can buy any food items excluding the following items.

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tobacco products
  • Supplements and medications
  • Animal food
  • Household items
  • Hot foods (such as fried chicken from the deli)

If you are over the age of 60 or disabled you may qualify to receive meals on wheels using your EBT card.

How Do I Replace My EBT Card?

The EBT card in Massachusetts is not disposable. Because it is designed to be reused each month, it is important to keep your card safe if at all possible. If however, you do lose or damage your EBT card, you can have it replaced by visiting your local DTA office. You will need to bring photo identification with you to get your replacement EBT card. When you discover your card is gone or damaged, call the EBT customer service line at 1-800-997-2555. If your card is missing, make sure that you call the customer service line right away to discontinue the card. If someone else uses your card without your consent, there is no way to recover the missing benefits. The first card you lose will be replaced at no charge. However, any card replacements after that will cost $5.00 per card. With each new card, you will need to choose a new pin number.

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