SNAP Benefits

Posted on August 30, 2011


Due to Hurricane Irene, many Massachusetts communities have experienced flooding and/or sustained power outages. Over 500,000 Massachusetts residential consumers were reported still without power early this afternoon – see  We understand that Governor Patrick and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) are working hard to assess the scope of damage from the Hurricane. Depending on this determination, it is possible that additional SNAP benefits (also known as Food Stamps) (Supplemental SNAP and Disaster SNAP) may become available.


DID YOU KNOW? Federal and state SNAP rules provide for replacement of food lost by individual SNAP recipients due to “household misfortune.”  Household misfortune includes a fire, flood, loss of electricity or other disaster. The Mayor’s Health Line blog staff would like to remind all families that may be receiving “food stamps” / EBT card that there is an existing process for current SNAP households, who have experienced food spoilage due to a “household misfortune” (see list below which includes flooding and power outages), to request replacement SNAP benefits.


SNAP households have lost food due to flooding or power outages may be eligible for Replacement SNAP Benefits if the household experienced: 


• An extended power outage (4 hours or more of power outage)
• A flood
• An equipment failure (refrigerator/freezer).
To qualify for Replacement SNAP Benefits under the “household misfortune” rules, the household must:
• Report the loss of food within 10 days of losing power either orally (by phone or in person) or in writing and,

• Return a signed and completed form “Statement of Loss/Request for Replacement of Food Due to Household Disaster/Misfortunewithin 10 days of the date of the reported loss to the local DTA office – either by mail or in person.


If you need to obtain the needed forms or need assistance getting replacement SNAP benefits, you may call the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050. You may be asked to obtain a statement from your power company about the power loss- but do not worry if you have difficulty getting this.


Families must act quickly though – the process has very specific deadlines. Call 617-534-5050 for more information or e-mail Angelo Sanca at


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