An Advocate’s Guide to the SNAP/Food Stamps / Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Massachusetts
Patricia Baker, Deborah Harris, Laura Gallant, Rochelle Hahn, Helene Newberg, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
In 1964, the United States Congress created the food stamp program to reduce hunger in the United States. This section includes background information about the program and explains where to find the laws and rules about the food stamp program. The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) handles the food stamp program in Massachusetts.
Part 1 Application and Proofs
Answers questions about how to apply for food stamps and the types of information you will need to give to DTA.
Part 2 General Eligibility Rules
Answers questions about who can get food stamps, including special rules for elders, the disabled, non-citizens, college students and those who must meet work requirements.
Part 3 Financial Eligibility
You must meet certain financial guidelines to get food stamps. Your monthly income and the amount of savings that you have must be under certain limits. This section discusses the different income and savings tests, explains what types of income and savings count, explains how your housing and other expenses affect the amount of your food stamps, and explains how to calculate your monthly food stamp amount.
Part 4 Getting and Using Food Stamp/SNAP Benefits
This section discusses how to use your food stamp card (Bay State Access card or EBT card) and what happens if DTA makes a mistake and owes you benefits.
Part 5 Proving Continuing Eligibility
You will need to reapply for food stamps on a regular basis, usually every 6 months. This section explains how to do this, and discusses what to do if your financial or housing situation changes while you are receiving food stamps.
Part 6 Appeal Rights
You have many rights if DTA denies or cuts your food stamps. This section explains these rights and what happens at a hearing.
Part 7 Overissuances and Fraud
This section discusses what happens if you receive more food stamps than you should have.
Appendix C Important Advocacy Forms
Authorization to release information, DTA Collateral Contact form, Child care self-declaration form, Medical expense screening form, Alternate landlord verification form, DTA ADA Accommodation Request and Appeal forms