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When do I need to recertify for SNAP and what do I do?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed June 2023

When your certification period ends, your SNAP will stop unless you timely reapply or “recertify” for benefits106 C.M.R. §364.700 SNAP is certified for 12 or 36 months. See What changes do I need to report to DTA?. Within 45 days before the end of your certification period, DTA will send you a Recertification form to fill out. 106 C.M.R. § 366.310

Currently, most SNAP households are still sent a “COVID-19 Recertification form.” If you are sent a COVID-19 Recertification form, you do not need to have an interview with a DTA worker.

When completing the form, you need to tell DTA about:

  • Changes to your address or phone number,
  • If someone joined or left your household, 
  • Any changes to noncitizen status,
  • If anyone is a student, and
  • Income for all household members.

You also have the option of telling DTA about:

  • Dependent care costs,
  • Housing and utility costs,
  • Medical costs,
  • Child support payments you make.

 You can return your signed Recertification form to DTA one of 4 ways:

Recertification interview

Most households are interviewed by phone. 106 C.M.R. §§ 366.320(B), 366.330(A). This is similar to the application interview. See Does DTA have to interview me?

If you are an elder (60+) or disabled household, there is no recertification interview if you have no earned income and you sent your Recertification and any verifications DTA needed on time. DTA will still schedule a recertification interview for you if you ask for one, the information you provided is questionable, or your SNAP case is going to close.

Keeping Your SNAP without Interruption

DTA should give you enough time to complete and return the recertification paperwork to continue your SNAP benefits without interruption – as long as you get the form back on time and are still eligible. 106 C.M.R. § 366.320(A) and (B). DTA should send you a notice if you return the form and for some reason your SNAP will be delayed.

If you get the form back after the DTA deadline, you may have an interruption in benefits. If you do not return the form, your benefits will stop. You will not get any additional notice from DTA.

If you sent DTA your recertification and any necessary proofs on time but didn’t get your SNAP benefits on time, check your case status on DTA Connect or call the DTA Assistance Line to speak with a worker.

Getting a closed case reopened

DTA should reopen your case if 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.  You do not have to start a new application.  106C.M.R. § 366.340106 C.M.R. § 361.700(B)(2). Your benefits may be pro-rated if the delay was your fault. 

If your SNAP closed at the point of Recertification and less than 30 days have passed, you can send DTA your Recertification instead of doing a new application. If more than 30 days since your case closed, file a new SNAP application.

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

Show DTA Policy Guidance

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