Since the 1930s, food stamps benefits in Massachusetts and other states have been administered in the United States. Today, the benefits for food stamps program is called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and is available in all states. MA SNAP food benefits help families and individuals in need get affordable access to food. SNAP benefits aid in preventing the medical issues that can occur from being undernourished. Therefore, only approved food items can be purchased with food assistance.
After completing the SNAP application process, enrollees will receive word of enrollment by mail. Every person who is approved for benefits for food stamps receives a preset amount each month. Once he or she receives the benefits card food stamps benefits can be used to buy food at most grocery stores. Read the information below to find out more about MassachusettsSNAP food benefits and how to use a benefits card.
Learn About Food Items You Can Purchase With SNAP in Massachusetts
Several types of food items can be purchased with SNAP food benefits in Massachusetts at most grocery stores across the state. Items that can be bought with benefits from food stamps include the following:
Massachusetts food stamps can also be used to buy seeds or plants that will be grown for food. Living seafood can be bought with food assistance benefits but living animals, like chickens, cannot. Hot meals or items eaten while shopping will not be covered by SNAP benefits as the program is mainly for food that will be prepared at home. Items often considered to be ‘junk food’ like cookies, candies or ice cream can be bought with food stamps. To learn more about what foods are considered
Items You Cannot Buy With Massachusetts SNAP Benefits
MA SNAP benefits will not cover items that are not considered food or that could be damaging to one’s health. Food stamp benefits cards cannot be used for the following items:
- Beer, wine and liquor
- All tobacco products
- Pet food
- Cleaning products
- Household items
- Paper supplies
Food stamps benefits cannot be used to buy alcohol but can still be used to purchase energy drinks or soda pop. Medicines and vitamins may help the beneficiary’s health but cannot be bought with food benefits as the SNAP program only covers items that are considered food. Massachusetts food stamp enrollees cannot use cash withdrawn from their EBT benefits card to buy unapproved items without facing disenrollment or criminal charges.
How long does it take to receive Massachusetts SNAP benefits after enrollment?
There is a simple and straightforward SNAP benefits enrollment process in Massachusetts. Food stamps applicants must submit the required form online, by mail or in-person. Then, they will have an interview with the Department of Transitional Assistance. Most MA SNAP applicants will receive word of enrollment in 30 days and in some cases, as little as seven days. If the applicant is denied food stamps benefits, he or she can appeal this decision. If the applicant is enrolled, he or she will receive a benefits card called an EBT card.
Massachusetts SNAP food benefit seekers will have to provide many pieces of personal information during the application process such as their income levels and living situation. Purposely giving false information during this process could result in criminal charges and jail time.
Massachusetts EBT Card Overview
Benefits from MA food stamps are accessed through the Electronic Benefits Transfer card. Each month, a preset amount of SNAP food benefits is deposited in the beneficiary’s account. He or she uses the Massachusetts benefits card like a debit card at an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or at the checkout counter. However, using cash withdrawn from the EBT card inside an adult entertainment facility, gambling establishment, medical marijuana dispensary or liquor store is prohibited. Selling or trading a food stamps card is a criminal offense and can come with prison time.
All food stamps recipients must keep their card in a safe location as any benefits used while their card is missing will not be replaced. Since the Massachusetts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is not meant to be the only source of food, beneficiaries will not receive enough benefits to cover their entire monthly food needs. If a beneficiary uses up their food benefits for the month, he or she will have to wait until the next deposit to receive funds.
Learn About Massachusetts SNAP Benefit Amounts
Each MA SNAP recipient will receive a different amount of food stamps benefits each month. This food benefits amount is determined by many factors with the main factor being income level. Lower earning enrollees will receive more food stamps assistance than those who earn more money. Also, the number of people living in the household of the recipient is another important factor. Larger families will receive more Massachusetts food assistance than smaller families or single individuals. Most non-exempt adults who do not have children will have to work to maintain enrollment in the program. Important life changes can increase the amount of food stamps benefits received by an enrollee such as the reduction in income or the addition of a new family member to the household. Elderly or disabled enrollees will have different criteria for food stamps enrollment and benefits amounts than other types of enrolled recipients.