What proofs are optional?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Created March 2023

DTA needs certain information beyond your income to calculate the amount of your SNAP. These are considered optional verifications or proofs.

This means that, DTA cannot deny your application for benefits – but the SNAP amount will be calculated without these deductions if DTA does not get the information or proofs they need. 106 C.M.R. § 364.450(B)

​Optional information includes your:

  • shelter (rent, home ownership) and utility costs,
  • childcare or adult dependent care costs,
  • health care costs (if eligible to claim them),
  • child support you pay to a child outside the household
  • business expenses for self-employment income. 


If you are self-employed or pay child support for a non-household member, double check the SNAP math.

DTA can deny you SNAP case if your gross income exceeds 200% FPL because you failed to verify either the child support you pay or your self-employment business expenses. However, if your gross income (without those proofs) is under 200% FPL, DTA cannot deny your SNAP case. But you might get lower regular SNAP if you do not verify child support you pay or your costs of doing business if self-employed.

​See Is there a gross income test for SNAP? and How does DTA count the income of someone not eligible in my SNAP household?  and  What is the shelter deduction and is it calculated?.


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