What proofs does DTA need and when?

We are in the process of updating the SNAP Advocacy Guide, so some of the information is no longer current.  In the meantime, you can read or download a pdf of the 2022 guide from www.masslegalservices.org/FoodStampSNAPAdvocacyGuide

Produced by Patricia Baker and Victoria Negus, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed January 2020

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

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? if your proofs get in late.

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

  • Identity of the head of household,
  • Your Massachusetts residence,
  • Social Security Numbers for all household members who are applying
  • Current earned income or self-employment,
  • Unearned income that DTA cannot verify through a database,
  • Last day of work, if you stopped work recently, and
  • Immigration status if you or a household member is applying for SNAP but is not a U.S. citizen.
  • Other proofs that DTA needs to be sure you are eligible.

Appendix C includes a full list of the mandatory verification factors, document options, and what you need to know. Mandatory verification means DTA may deny your SNAP benefits unless they have the information or verifications requested. Some information can be self-declared (written down on the application or other piece of paper that you sign). See What information can I self-declare?

Other information DTA needs to calculate the amount of your SNAP is optional. Optional verification means that if you do not provide information or proofs, your SNAP benefits may be lower than if you provide DTA with information or proof of expenses. See What proofs are optional?

Advocacy Reminders

  • DTA should not ask for permanent verifications you already gave them in the past, such as prove of age or identity.
  • If you have trouble producing missing wage information or your last day of work, DTA can help. DTA may ask you to sign a Request for Employment Information form, see Appendix C. If there is a missing pay stub, but your pay stubs show year-to-date gross income, DTA should be able to figure out the missing week of income from other pay stubs.
  • You also have a right to go to a local DTA office to meet with a worker and submit your verifications in person. DTA cannot turn you away or tell you to submit your proofs by mail or fax.
  • If you had a baby and the newborn does not have an SSN yet, tell DTA the baby was born. DTA should add the baby without requiring an SSN until your next recertification or for 6 months after the baby’s birth (whichever is later).

DTA Online Guide Sections:

Show DTA Policy Guidance

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