If you are trying to see if you are eligible to apply for Food stamps in Massachusetts (SNAP) or need more information about Massachusetts EBT, you’ve come to the right place. The Massachusetts food stamps and EBT program, also called the Food Assistance Program, is a federal nutrition program that helps low-income individuals and families buy food.
Food Stamps benefits can be used to purchase food at grocery stores, convenience stores, and some farmers’ markets.
The program is run at the state level by the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA).
If you apply and are approved for benefits, your monthly food stamps allocation will be given to you each month on a plastic card called an EBT (electronic benefits transfer) card, which works like a debit card.
We have provided below everything you need to know to successfully apply for food stamps. We have also explained how EBT Card works and what you can expect with your card if you are approved for food stamps.
Table of Contents:
- Should I apply for Massachusetts Food Stamps?
- Who is Eligible for Massachusetts Food Stamps?
- Massachusetts Food Stamps Income Limit
- How Much Will I Receive in Massachusetts Food Stamps?
- How to Apply for Massachusetts Food Stamps
- How long to get Approved for Massachusetts Food Stamps?
- What is the Massachusetts EBT Card?
- What can I buy with EBT in Massachusetts?
- Which Massachusetts Grocery Stores Accept EBT Online?
- What time are Food Stamps EBT deposited in Massachusetts?
- How to Check Massachusetts EBT Card Balance?
- How Do I Get a Massachusetts EBT Card Replacement?
- Massachusetts EBT Card Discounts, Perks, and Freebies
Should I apply for Massachusetts Food Stamps?
If you’ve hit tough times and are struggling to afford food for yourself or your family, you should consider applying for food stamps.
The food stamps program is a federal entitlement program. This means anyone who is eligible will receive benefits. You will not be taking away benefits from someone else if you apply.
In addition, the food stamps program is a nutrition program and not a welfare cash assistance program (which is called TANF). You do not have to be receiving TANF to get food stamps.
Who is Eligible for Massachusetts Food Stamps?
To be eligible for food stamps in Massachusetts, you have to meet the Gross Income, Net Income, and Asset tests.
Additionally, if your household has an elderly (over 60) or disabled member, you may be exempt from the Gross Income, Net Income, and/or Asset tests.
In Massachusetts, eligibility for SNAP is limited to people with gross incomes up to 130% of the federal poverty line.
Also, your net income (Gross income minus allowable deductions) cannot exceed 100% of the poverty level.
Furthermore, able-bodied adults without dependents can only receive three months of benefits during any three-year period if they’re not working a minimum of 20 hours per week or participating in a training program.
Massachusetts Food Stamps Income Limit
Below is the food stamps income limit for Massachusetts. It is based on the number of people in your household.
For example, if you are a family of 4, you cannot make more than a gross income of $3,007 a month to qualify for food stamps.
|Massachusetts SNAP Income Eligibility Standards for Fiscal Year 2023|
|Effective October 1, 2022 – September 30, 2023|
|Household Size||Monthly Gross Income (130% of FPL)||Monthly Net Income (100% of FPL)|
|Each Additional Household Member: Add||$512||$394|
Massachusetts Food Stamps Asset Limit
The asset limit for Food Stamps eligibility in Massachusetts is $2,750.
Additionally, the asset limit is $4,250 for any household that includes at least one member who is at least age 60 or disabled.
How Much Will I Receive in Massachusetts Food Stamps?
The amount of food stamps benefits a household gets depends on how many people are in the household and how much monthly net income remains after taking allowable deductions.
A family of 4 can receive a maximum food stamps benefit of $939.
Because food stamps households are expected to spend about 30 percent of their own resources on food, the amount of food stamps you get is calculated by multiplying your household’s net monthly income by 0.3 and subtracting the result from the maximum monthly allotment for your household size.
|Maximum SNAP Benefit Amount by Household Size for Fiscal Year 2023|
|Effective October 1, 2022 – September 30, 2023|
|Household Size||Maximum SNAP Benefit Allotment|
|Each Additional Household Member: Add||$211|
Massachusetts Food Stamps Work Requirement
The state of Massachusetts has very strict work requirements when it comes to eligibility for food stamps.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the work requirements below before applying for benefits.
If you get SNAP benefits and are between the ages of 16 and 59 you must meet the general SNAP work rules or the ABAWD work rules unless you are exempt.
General SNAP work rules
To meet the general SNAP work rules, you must:
Register for work when you apply for SNAP benefits and every 12 months after initial registration, which is when you “recertify” for SNAP.
You register when you sign the SNAP application or recertification form.
- Give DTA information about your employment status when requested
- Report to an employer if referred by DTA
- Accept a legitimate offer of employment
- Not quit a job of more than 30 hours a week or reduce work hours to less than 30 hours a week without good cause
If you must meet the general SNAP work rules, then you might also have to meet the ABAWD work program rules.
ABAWD SNAP work rules
There are three ways you can meet the ABAWD work program rules:
- Work 20 hours per week, averaged monthly (paid or unpaid work)
- Take part in an approved employment and training (E&T) program for 20 hours per week
- Volunteer at an approved public or non-profit organization for the specified number of hours required by your household.
How to Apply for Massachusetts Food Stamps
There are 3 ways you can apply for food stamps in Massachusetts.
Option 1 – Apply online
You can apply online through the Massachusetts DTA Connect Portal – as shown in the image below.
If you have an account, you can log in or create your Massachusetts DTA Connect Account. Click here to be taken to the website.
Option 2 – Apply at DTA Office Near You
You can apply in person at the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) office near you. Click here to locate a DTA office.
Option 3 – Download the Massachusetts Food Stamps Application
You can download an application, complete it, and mail it to your county DTA office or submit it in person.
How long to get Approved for Massachusetts Food Stamps?
Generally, a decision will be made on your Massachusetts food stamps application within 30 days of the day you submitted a COMPLETE application.
Once you submit a complete application, your caseworker will schedule an interview with you to review your application information and ask any questions they may have about the information you submitted.
What is the Massachusetts EBT Card?
The Massachusetts EBT Card, also known as the Bay State Access Card is used to administer your monthly food stamps and cash benefits.
If you are approved for food stamps, your monthly food stamps allocation will be given to you each month on a Massachusetts EBT Card, which works like a debit card.
You can access your SNAP and/or Cash benefits using your Massachusetts Bay State Access Card and your 4-digit PIN.
What can I buy with EBT in Massachusetts?
You are allowed to use your food stamps benefits card to buy foods that your household will prepare to eat at home, including the following
- breads and cereals
- fruits and vegetables
- meats, fish and poultry; and
- dairy products
- Seeds and plants to produce food for the household to eat
- Soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream
- Seafood, steak, and bakery cakes
- Energy drinks that have a nutrition facts label
- Energy drinks that have a supplement facts label are classified by the FDA as supplements and are therefore not eligible
What you CANNOT buy with EBT in Massachusetts
Now that you know what you can buy with your SNAP card, here is the list of things you CANNOT buy with the card:
- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco
- Any nonfood items, such as pet foods, soaps, paper products, diapers, and household supplies
- Vitamins and medicines
- Food that will be eaten in the store
- Hot foods
- Live animals
NOTE: In some areas, restaurants can be authorized to accept SNAP benefits from qualified homeless, elderly, or disabled people in exchange for low-cost meals.
Which Massachusetts Grocery Stores Accept EBT Online?
The following grocery stores accept Massachusetts SNAP EBT cards online for pickup and/or delivery.
BJs Wholesale Club
Price Chopper Supermarkets
Stop & Shop
What time are Food Stamps EBT deposited in Massachusetts?
SNAP benefits in Massachusetts are sent out from the 1st to the 14th of the month. The day your benefits are available on your Massachusetts EBT Bay State Access Card is based on the last digit of your Social Security Number.
Here’s the complete SNAP EBT Schedule for Massachusetts.
|If your Social Security Number ends in||Benefits are deposited on the|
|0||1st of the month|
|1||2nd of the month|
|2||4th of the month|
|3||5th of the month|
|4||7th of the month|
|5||8th of the month|
|6||10th of the month|
|7||11th of the month|
|8||13th of the month|
|9||14th of the month|
How to Check Massachusetts EBT Card Balance?
There are three ways to check your Massachusetts EBT Card balance.
Call (800) 997- 2555 to check the balance on your Massachusetts EBT Card.
- You can also check the balance by locating your Last Receipt.
How Do I Get a Massachusetts EBT Card Replacement?
To report your card lost, stolen, damaged, or not received in the mail call the Massachusetts EBT Customer Service number at – (800) 997- 2555.
If your EBT card is stolen and benefits are used these benefits cannot be replaced.
You can also call the number above for the following:
- To report your card lost, stolen, damaged, or not received in the mail.
- To know the date your benefits will be available in your account each month.
- To know if your benefits have been deposited into your account and get your account balance.
- To hear about your last 10 transactions.
- To file a claim if you question a transaction in your account.
- If you want to select or change your PIN.
- If your card does not work.
- To find the nearest location where you can use your card.
- If you have other questions about or problems with your card.
Massachusetts EBT Card Discounts
Your Massachusetts EBT Card comes with some perks, discounts, and freebies. This includes:
- 50% Discount on Amazon Prime Membership
- Discounts on Home or Cell Phone Service
- Up to $30 credit toward home internet service
- A one-time discount of up to $100 towards the purchase of a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer
For details on the SNAP EBT discounts and perks described above, continue reading below.
Sign up for Amazon Prime Discount for EBT Holders
Amazon.com has announced that beneficiaries enrolled in some government assistance programs can now get Amazon Prime subscriptions for $6.99 a month. EBT Cardholders are included in this offer.
This means that if you are currently receiving benefits on an EBT card, like Food Stamps, you can sign up for an Amazon Prime discount for EBT holders.
To sign up, click here to be taken to their sign-up page.
The regular Amazon Prime membership is $14.99 a month. However, if you have an EBT Card, you can get Prime Membership for $6.99. That’s over 50% off the regular price.
Discounts on Home and Cell Phone Services
If you are currently on Food Stamps, and your income is below a certain level, you may qualify for FREE or low-cost cell phone or home phone service for you or a member of your family through the Federal Lifeline Program, which serves nearly 13 million Americans.
The Lifeline Program program provides discounts on cell phone service or home phone service for qualifying low-income consumers, including those on Food Stamps.
Here are the companies that participate in the program in the state of Massachusetts.
There are different companies providing cell phone (Mobile Service) and home phone service (Home Service). Be sure to view the “Type of Service” column to make sure you are selecting the right company.
- Home Service means that the provider offers Lifeline home phone or Internet service.
- Mobile Service means the provider offers Lifeline mobile phone or Internet service.
|Company Name||Phone||Type of Service|
|The Granby Telephone||413-467-9911||Home Phone|
|Consolidated Communications||844-968-7224||Home Phone|
|Company Name||Phone||Type of Service|
|Global Connection of America||877-511-3009||Mobile|
An asterisk (*) after the company name means that this service provider offers both ACP and Lifeline.
Discounts on Internet Service and Laptop/Tablet
If you are currently on Food Stamps, and your income is below a certain level, you may qualify for FREE or low-cost internet service and a one-time credit towards the purchase of a laptop or tablet. for you or a member of your family through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
How much of a discount will I receive on my Internet Service?
If your household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program, you can receive:
- Up to a $30/month discount on your internet service
- Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands
- A one-time discount of up to $100 towards the purchase of an eligible laptop, tablet, or desktop computer
For the companies that participate in the program in the state of Massachusetts, see the Massachusetts Low Income Free Internet Program guide.
Massachusetts Food Stamps and EBT Summary
We hope this post on Massachusetts Food Stamps and EBT was helpful.
If you have further questions about SNAP Benefits & EBT, or Personal Finance topics affecting low-income households, please let us know in the comments section below.
Be sure to check out our other articles on low-income personal finance.