In Massachusetts, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is administered the Office of Health and Humans Services’ Division of Transitional Assistance. The program is designed to provide food assistance to citizens with limited income or those who are temporarily unemployed. Because participation has grown significantly over the past five years, the DTA continues to develop new initiatives to increase awareness and decrease barriers to participation. Per federal law, there are eligibility requirements to receive food stamp benefits in the state of Massachusetts. You must be a U.S. citizen and a resident of the state and meet certain income limits.
Once you’ve determined you’re eligible, you should proceed with applying for food stamp benefits. You can do so in a number of ways. The easiest way is to go online and visit this link. Here, you can access the screening tool to see if you’re eligible for food stamp benefits before proceeding with the actual application. You can download a copy of the application and apply by mail or fax. You can also fill out the application at your local DTA office.
If you are approved for SNAP benefits, you will receive an EBT card. The DTA will deposit benefits each month into your EBT account. Benefits are distributed according to the last digit of your Social Security Number. A full breakdown of distribution dates is available here. To use your EBT card, simply swipe at the register and enter your four-digit PIN.
1. How can I check my EBT account balance?
To check your account balance or to report a lost or stolen card, call Customer Service at 1-800-997-2555.
2. Is there a limit to the benefits I can receive?
Yes. The USDA has a full breakdown of maximum monthly allotments by household size online.
3. What is Bay State CAP?
Bay State CAP is a special food stamp application process for people who receive Supplemental Security Income. Often, Bay State CAP provides more benefits.
4. What is H-EAT (Heat and Eat)?
H-EAT is a special fuel assistance program for food stamp recipients who do not pay a separate heating or cooling bill. These people are often eligible for discount rates from their utility companies.
5. Are there items that I cannot buy with SNAP benefits?
Yes. Federal law prohibits you from buying alcohol, tobacco, household items, vitamins and medicines, pet food and hot foods with food stamp benefits.
Contact: Massachusetts Food Stamps.