CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance says victims of stolen Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will begin to receive compensation as early as this week.
Beginning Thursday, eligible Massachusetts individuals and families that had SNAP benefits stolen from them through skimming, phishing or other fraudulently electronically based methods between October 1, 2022 and September 20, 2024 will receive compensation.
“This is a significant step towards protecting SNAP clients from fraudulent activities and ensuring that they receive the benefits for which they are eligible,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Kate Walsh. “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.”
Earlier this year, the Bureau of Special Investigations found evidence that more than $2.7 million in public assistance was fraudulently obtained in just the second quarter of fiscal year 2023, including more than $770,000 in SNAP benefits. In May, the state began refunding victims of SNAP thefts between April 1, 2022 and September 30, 2022.
To receive replacement benefits, theft victims must submit a claim to the Department of Transitional Assistance. Once verified by the state, the total amount of benefits stolen will be placed into the victim’s account.
“I am proud of the efforts of our staff to alert and protect clients from scams targeting their benefits,” said Department of Transitional Assistance Commissioner Jeff McCue. “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.”
Beginning on October 1, SNAP has raised its income limits, meaning more families may now be eligible to receive assistance.
How to request replacement benefits:
To request replacement benefits, SNAP clients can contact DTA through the following methods
- Online: Fill out our online form
- Mail: Send printed form to:
- DTA Program Integrity
- Fraud Investigation Unit
- P.O. Box 4411
- Taunton, MA 02780-0435
- By Phone: DTA Stolen Benefits Line 833-602-9247, or DTA Assistance Line 877-382-2363
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