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What proofs does DTA need and when?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed March 2023

During the interview, the DTA worker should verbally tell you what proofs are required and ask if you need their help getting them. 106 C.M.R.§§ 361.550.

DTA should then send you a verification checklist (called a “VC-1”) with at least 10 days for you to get the mandatory proofs back to them.

How much time you have for proofs

You have a full 30 days from the day you apply before DTA can send a denial notice. If you had an interview but some proofs are still missing by Day 30, DTA will send you a “pending denial notice." 106 C.M.R. § 361.930. This means you have another 30 days to get them missing proofs and not have to reapply. See What if DTA does not give me SNAP back to the date I applied (“pro-rating")?

DTA cannot limit proofs to any single document. Any document that proves an eligibility factor should be accepted. 106 C.M.R. §§ 361.640(A), 361.650. If you have trouble getting DTA proofs, ask DTA for help!

If you got SNAP or cash benefits in the past and are re-applying, DTA should not ask for permanent verifications you already gave them in the past, such as prove of your age or identity.

Mandatory proofs

The SNAP rules require that you provide proof of certain mandatory eligibility factors. 106 C.M.R. §361.610. This includes proof of:

  • the identity of the head of household,
  • your Massachusetts residence,
  • the social Security Numbers for all household members who are applying (you do not need to show DTA the SSN cards), 
  • current earned income or self-employment(for proving business expenses), 
  • unearned income that DTA cannot verify through a database,
  • the last day of work, if you stopped work recently,
  • immigration status if you or a household member is applying for SNAP but is not a U.S. citizen, and
  • other proofs that DTA needs to be sure you are eligible.

Appendix C lists the mandatory verification factors and document options. Some information can be self-declared (see question 13) or is optional, meaning not required to approve your case, See What proofs are optional? 


Missing wages:

If you have trouble producing missing wage information or your last day of work, DTA can do a "collateral contact" and contact the employer directly for proof. If there is a missing pay stub, DTA should be able to figure out the missing week of income from other pay stubs.

Terminated income: 

DTA should not ask for proof that income has ended except in very limited situations. If you had are asked to prove that a job or other income ended, contact MLRI at [email protected].

A new baby:

Do not wait until you have an SSN for the baby. DTA should add the baby to your SNAP or cash case without needing an SSN until your next recertification or for 6 months after birth (whichever is later).

Immigrant status:

If DTA is waiting on a response from USCIS to confirm your immigration status or for proof of 40 quarters of work history, DTA should issue you SNAP for up to 6 months pending the results of their SAVE query or your confirmation of 40 quarters of eligible work. See Am I eligible if I am a legal immigrant?

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


Show DTA Policy Guidance

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