"Change reporting" means you are required to report any changes within ten (10) days of when you learn of the change. 106 C.M.R. § 366.110(A). Most households with elders or persons with disabilities are certified for 24 months of SNAP benefits and put on "change reporting" because they tend to not have a lot of changes in terms of moving around, household members or income.
Change reporting requires you to report changes in income (of earned income of more than $100 per month, or unearned income of more than $50 per month); changes in source of income (e.g., you switch jobs); and changes in shelter costs, household composition, and child support payments. You must report these changes that might affect your eligibility for, or the amount of, your benefits (if you are not sure, it is safer to report).
If you are on change reporting, you can report changes by mailing or faxing a change report form or letter to DTA, by telephoning your DTA worker, or going to DTA in person. Be sure to keep a copy of what you send and make a note about any telephone call or meeting. If you fail to report a change that would result in a decrease in benefits, you may face over-issuance and a fraud sanction. See Part VII: Overissuances and Fraud.
In some cases, DTA receives information about a change in your household due to returned mail, information from the Department of Revenue regarding income or a new job, unreported unearned interest income through the Internal Revenue Service, a Registry of Motor Vehicle check, or through other sources. As a condition of receiving benefits, DTA checks your information with other government sources available to them. Your case may also be subject to random quality control reviews by USDA. 106 C.M.R. § 360.600. If DTA receives information that you did not already report, you should be contacted before DTA makes a change to your benefits.
Additional Policy Guidance on Reporting Changes
- Instructions on IRA matches for unearned interest income done through the IRS data match and handling of discrepancies centrally. DTA must contact the household for discrepancies, request verifications and reopen a closed case if verification is received after date of closing. DTA Field Operations Memo 2008-21 (July 18, 2008); F.O. Memo 2007-37 (Aug. 1, 2008).
Produced by Patricia Baker, Laura Gallant, Deborah Harris, Rochelle Hahn and Victoria Negus, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute Last updated January 2013