You need to reapply or “recertify” before the end of your certification period to continue to receive SNAP. Your SNAP will not continue without completing a recertification. 106 C.M.R. § 364.700. Most people also need to complete an Interim Report halfway through their certification period.
The approval notice you receive from DTA will tell you how long your SNAP benefits are certified. This could be:
- 6 months for “ABAWD” individuals (see What is the “ABAWD” 3-month time limit for childless adults age 18 to 50?)
- 12 months for most households with children or households getting DTA cash assistance
- 24 months for most elder or disabled households
- 36 months for Bay State CAP households (see What is Bay State CAP for SSI recipients?)
What happens at the end of my certification period?
When your certification period ends, your SNAP will stop unless you reapply or “recertify” for benefits. About 45 days before the end of your certification period, DTA will send you a notice and a recertification form to fill out. 106 C.M.R. § 366.310. You will need to tell DTA:
- Your new address if you have moved
- Your current income (last 4 pay stubs)
- Any new household members who share food or have left
- Changes in any shelter costs, dependent care or medical expenses. If no changes, you do not need to re-verify this information.
When it is time to recertify:
- Fill out, sign, and return the recertification form; and
- Send in copies of your most recent wage stubs if working and proof of anything that has changed; and
- Be available for a phone interview with a DTA worker. See What is earned income?
DTA should give you enough time to complete and return the recertification paperwork to continue getting SNAP benefits. 106 C.M.R. § 366.320(A). If you do not return the form, your benefits will end. There are no additional notices from DTA. If you get the form back after the DTA deadline, you may have an interruption in benefits.
Getting continued SNAP benefits:
If you complete the recertification process on time, DTA must make sure your benefits continue on the usual schedule without interruption. 106 C.M.R. § 366.330 (B). Remember that DTA should not ask for documents you have already given them.
If you sent DTA your recertification and any necessary proofs on time and you do not get your SNAP benefits on time, check your case status with DTA, see How do I learn about my case online or with my smartphone?; call the DTA Assistance Line to speak with a worker; and/or contact the DTA Ombudsman. See How can the DTA Ombuds Office help?
Getting a closed case reopened:
If you send DTA your recertification form and have your interview, but your SNAP ends because DTA is missing documents, you can ask DTA to reopen your case as long as:
- you sent in the recertification form before the deadline, and
- you get your missing proofs in within 30 days of the date your case closed.
If more than 30 days has passed since the end of your certification period, you should reapply.
DTA Policy Guidance:
- SNAP > Certification Types > Simplified Reporting > Simplified Reporting Recertification
Notice of Benefits Ending sent to household when SNAP automatically closes because recertification process started but not complete. OLG Transmittal 2015-26 (May 1, 2015).
Re-certification forms pre-filled with household member information, address, shelter costs, child care, medical expenses; no need for household to re-verify most eligibility factors or expenses that have not changed. Ops Memo 2012-55 (Dec 2012) and F.O. Memo 2010-03 (Jan. 19, 2010)