DTA can deny your SNAP application if you are not exempt from the "voluntary quit" rules (see Are there work rules for SNAP?) and you voluntarily quit a job without a good reason. 106 C.M.R. § 362.310(B)
The voluntary quit rule may apply to you if:
- you are not exempt from the voluntary quit rules (see Are there work rules for SNAP? ),
- you quit a job where you were working 30 or more hours a week,
- you did not have a good reason for quitting or reducing work hours, (see What is considered a “good cause” reason if I quit my job?) and
- you are applying for SNAP within 60 days of quitting,
DTA must inform you about your rights and responsibilities when you apply for benefits, 106 C.M.R. §361.550, including telling you which household members are subject to the work requirements as well as the penalties for voluntarily quitting a job after you apply for benefits and/or refusing to comply with the work requirements.
Quitting a job before applying for SNAP
If you are the head of household and you voluntarily quit a job within the 60 days before you applied for SNAP with no good reason, DTA’s SNAP rules say that your entire household cannot get SNAP benefits for three months. 106 C.M.R. § 367.800
The disqualification penalties increase the second and third times the applicant quits a job without good cause.
This sanction or punishment on the entire household is more severe than is allowed under the federal SNAP rules. Contact MLRI at [email protected] if your SNAP is denied due to voluntary quit.
Frank worked for McDonalds until September 30th when he quit over a personal dispute with a co-worker. He applied for SNAP for his family on October 15th. He is subject to the voluntary quit rules. Because he quit his job within 60 days of his SNAP application, DTA says the whole family is ineligible for three months. If he can show he had a good cause reason for quitting his job the family is eligible as of the date he applied (October 15th).
Proof of termination from a job
Currently, DTA workers should not ask for proof of a job that has ended(terminated) nor count income that has ended. DTA should accept verbal or written statements about income that has ended.
The only exception to this COVID policy is when DTA gets conflicting earnings data from a database called Equifax or "The Work Number" that some employers (usually large companies or chains) use to report earnings.
Current COVID DTA policies require that workers not ask for proof of a job that has ended (terminated) or count income that has ended. DTA should accept your verbal or written statement about income that has ended. Check MassLegalServices.org/DTA-COVID-19 for updates.
The only exception to this COVID policy is when DTA gets conflicting earnings data from a database called Equifax or “The Work Number” that some employers (usually large companies or chains) use to report earnings.
If you need help getting information from a past employer, you can give DTA permission to make a “collateral contact” with the employer directly. See Should DTA help me if I am having trouble getting proofs and Appendix C. 106 C.M.R. § 361.640(B)( Contact MLRI at [email protected] if you are asked to verify that a job ended.