SNAP Reimbursements for Lost Food During Storms

Published March 15, 2018 | Social Worker | Automatically Archived on 4/2/2018

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SNAP Replacement Benefits for Seniors and Other Households that Lost Power *

Are you working with a low-income family, older adult or other individual who lost power in the last few days or weeks and had to throw out food that was not safe to eat? If that individual or family received SNAP benefits, they may be eligible to request replacement SNAP benefits from the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA). Known as “misfortune” replacement benefits, SNAP households can request additional SNAP benefits to replace food that was destroyed (or had to be thrown out) due to a power outage, appliance malfunction, flooding, fire or other misfortune. For example, if you have a client who gets $100 per month in SNAP and lost all her food, she can request $100 in replacement SNAP benefits.  

DTA has posted information on SNAP replacement benefits HERE. Due to the number and severity of the recent winter storms, DTA has permission from the federal U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), to accept SNAP replacement requests from the early March storms until Monday, April 2, 2018

What you can do?

  1. You or your client can call the DTA Assistance Line at 1-877-382-2363 (or the DTA Senior Assistance Office at 1-833-712-8027) and verbally report the loss of food due to a power outage or flooding.
  2. Your client should fill out the DTA form which makes a formal request to DTA for replacement SNAP. (The maximum amount DTA will replace is the amount of the monthly SNAP benefit.) DTA has English and Spanish forms posted HERE.
  3. Also send DTA a signed consent form that lets you talk with DTA about the SNAP benefits (attached below is a sample consent form). 
  4. Follow up with a phone call in few days if the client does not get additional SNAP benefits placed on their EBT card. 
  5. Contact a local Legal Services advocate if your client runs into problems


*Article is directly quoted from an update provided by Massachusetts Councils on Aging