HCN News & Notes

Massachusetts Announces Federally Funded SNAP Benefit Replacements

BOSTON — More individuals and families in Massachusetts are now eligible to receive replacement payments for stolen Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. These new, federally funded replacements will cover benefits stolen through skimming, phishing, or other fraudulent, electronically based methods occurring between Oct. 1, 2022 and Sept. 30, 2024.

Massachusetts first acted in May 2023 to replace benefits using state dollars for theft that occurred on or before Sept. 30, 2022. These additional federal funds allow benefit replacement for a new, extended time period.

Anyone who submitted a claim to replace benefits stolen between April 1, 2022 and Sept. 30, 2022, and had additional benefits stolen after Sept. 30, 2022, needs to submit an additional claim for benefits stolen starting on Oct. 1, 2022.

“This is a significant step towards protecting SNAP clients from fraudulent activities and ensuring that they receive the benefits for which they are eligible,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Kate Walsh said. “These efforts make people experiencing food insecurity whole and give them back the funds taken by bad actors. SNAP is a critical tool for us to combat hunger and support local grocery stores, farmers, and food security for vulnerable families and individuals in the Commonwealth.”

Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) Commissioner Jeff McCue added that “I am proud of the efforts of our staff to alert and protect clients from scams targeting their benefits. Unfortunately, scammers continue to target benefit recipients, so it’s important that clients monitor their accounts and take action if they notice something is not right. Reach out to us at DTA; our staff is ready to help and will support you in taking steps to protect your account and safeguard your benefits.”

To receive replacement benefits, clients must contact DTA and submit a claim. After the claim is verified by DTA staff, the total amount of benefits that were stolen or double the household’s monthly allotment, whichever is the lesser amount, will be placed into the client’s account.