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Should DTA help me if I am having a hard time getting proofs?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed March 2023

Yes! DTA workers are required to help you get proofs if you tell DTA you are having difficulty. 106 C.M.R. § 361.650.  This includes making a “collateral contact” - a call to a third party - to confirm information in your case. 106 C.M.R. § 361.640(B)

For example, a DTA worker can:

  • Contact an employer for missing wage information
  • Contact another state to confirm the date your out-of-state SNAP case closed.

If you need DTA to contact a third party for information, DTA will need the third party's contact information and your permission for DTA to contact them. If you need DTA to do a collateral contact and a worker tells you they can't do one, ask to speak with a supervisor.

In general, DTA cannot require you to agree to a third party contact if you can verify the information they need some other way. Your privacy is important and must be respected. 106 C.M.R. § 360.400

If you have trouble getting proofs

If you and DTA cannot get the proofs they need, DTA must accept the best available evidence for verification of income, which may end up being your self-declaration. See 106 C.M.R. §363.210(G)(3). For example:

  • Your former employer refuses to give you proof about your pay and will not talk with DTA. DTA should accept your self-declaration.
  • You are self-employed but you do not have detailed business records and make so little you do not file taxes.
  • You have no other records of your income. DTA should accept your self-declaration.  

If you have a disability that makes it hard for you to get proofs or comply with other DTA rules, see What if a disability makes it hard for me to apply or comply with DTA rules?

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

 

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