4. What is Bay State CAP for SSI recipients?

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Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

There are two groups of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients who get SNAP benefits through Bay State CAP or the SNAP “Combined Application Project.”1. One group are SSI recipients who connect to Bay State CAP through an SSI application or renewal. The second are SSI recipients who were getting SNAP before their SSI began, or who apply for SNAP through DTA.

You may qualify for qualify for Bay State CAP SNAP benefits if:

  1. you are approved for SSI,
  2. you are 18 or older and not living with a spouse,
  3. you live alone, or live with others but purchase and prepare your own food separate from the others,
  4. you do not have regular earned income, and
  5. a portion of your SSI benefits is federally-funded SSI.
Bay State CAP – applying for SNAP through SSA

In Massachusetts, many SSI applicants and recipients can apply for SNAP directly through the Social Security Administration (SSA) when applying for or renewing SSI.

In this situation, you do not need to file a separate SNAP application at DTA. DTA uses your SSI eligibility information to establish your benefits and send you an EBT card1.

When you apply for SSI and appear eligible to get your SSI claim approved within 30 days, the SSA Claims Representative should screen you for SNAP. An SSI application is usually approved quickly for persons ages 65 and over with little or no income or assets, and persons with severe disabilities who were getting SSI before and the benefits stopped for some reason. However, if your SSI benefits were suspended for less than 12 months due to hospitalization or other institutionalization, SSA may not ask about Bay State CAP in a suspension case. It’s best to contact DTA to reapply for SNAP.

If you apply for SNAP through SSA, you do not need to send DTA any proofs. DTA will use the income and other information they get from SSA, including the amount of your shelter costs1. If approved, DTA will send you a Bay State CAP approval letter. DTA should also send you an EBT card and PIN1.

If you are approved for Bay State CAP through SSA, you may qualify for more in regular SNAP if you have high shelter or medical costs. Tell DTA if you have high rent, homeownership, or health care costs.

Some SNAP cases assigned to Bay State CAP

DTA also moves some SSI recipients from regular SNAP to Bay State CAP when they would qualify for more SNAP benefits under the Bay State CAP rules. This usually happens because the SSI recipient was getting SNAP already before their SSI started, or they applied for SNAP directly through DTA.

If you would qualify for a higher SNAP benefits under Bay State CAP, DTA will automatically moved your case over to Bay State CAP. DTA automatically moves cases over once per month. You also have a right to switch from Bay State CAP to regular SNAP any time you would get higher SNAP benefits1.

The benefits of Bay State CAP

Bay State Cap SNAP benefits are certified for 36 months1. During that 36 month period, you are not required to report any changes to DTA. See reporting changes to the DTA. However, it is best to tell DTA if you move so you do not miss DTA notices.

When it is time to recertify your benefits, DTA should send you a short Bay State CAP Recertification form for you to fill out and send back to DTA.

DTA Online Guide

See Appendix G for links to the DTA’s BEACON 5 Online Guide for this section.

SSA Policy Operations Manual

Section SI BOS01801.302; accessed February 2022: https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0501801302BOS

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