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What if DTA questions the proofs I sent them or asks for more proofs?

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

DTA should accept any documents that reasonably prove your eligibility, unless the information is questionable. 106 C.M.R.§ 361.640. DTA must review the individual circumstances of each household before determining whether information is questionable.

“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). 106 C.M.R.§361.620.

Example

Sandy applied for SNAP. An RMV check 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.

Advocacy Reminders

  • DTA must offer assistance if you are having trouble getting a document. See Should DTA help me if I am having a hard time getting proofs?. If verification depends on the cooperation of a third party – such as getting wage information from an employer – DTA cannot deny your SNAP if the third party does not cooperate.
  • If DTA does not accept the proofs you give them, the DTA worker must record in your SNAP case the reasons for rejecting that proof. 106 C.M.R.§361.660.
  • If DTA asks you to prove something that you cannot, that seems unreasonable, or DTA fails to offer you help, you can ask to speak with a Supervisor, call the Ombuds Office or file an appeal.

Show DTA Policy Guidance

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