17. What if DTA does not accept the proofs I sent them?

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Notas finales

Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

DTA should accept any documents that reasonably prove your eligibility, unless the information is questionable1. DTA must review the individual circumstances of each household before determining whether information is questionable. And remember, DTA must offer to help you get proof by directly contacting a third party. See DTA helping you if you are having a hard time getting proofs.

“Questionable” means the information you gave DTA is inconsistent with information you already shared with them or information they know about (e.g. through database checks) 2.


Sandy applied for SNAP. DTA does a Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) check that shows that her ex-husband still registers his car at her address. During her interview she explained that she divorced her husband six months ago and he does not live with her. This information is not questionable and does not contradict what she said during her interview. Sandy has no control over her husband and does not own the car. Sandy should not be required to prove where her ex lives.


Cooperation from third parties

If income verification depends on the cooperation of a third party – such as getting wage information from an employer – DTA should accept your self-declaration if the employer will not cooperate. This is the “best evidence available” rule under3. DTA should also offer assistance if you are having trouble getting a document from any other third party. See DTA helping you if you are having a hard time getting proofs.

DTA rejects proofs

If DTA does not accept the proofs you give them, the DTA worker must record the reason for rejecting your proofs in your SNAP case - in what are called “case narrative” notes4. You have the right to ask for a copy of the notes in your case, to challenge the worker’s decision, including going to a supervisor or the Ombuds, or to file an appeal.

Proofs you cannot get

If DTA asks you to prove something that you cannot provide or DTA fails to offer you help, you can speak with a Supervisor, call the Ombuds Office or file an appeal.

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