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

We are in the process of updating the SNAP Advocacy Guide, so some of the information is no longer current.  In the meantime, you can read or download a pdf of the 2023 guide from www.masslegalservices.org/FoodStampSNAPAdvocacyGuide

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

When your certification period ends, your SNAP will stop unless you timely reapply or “recertify” for benefits. 106 C.M.R. §364.700. SNAP is certified for 12 or 36 months. See What changes do I need to report to DTA?  Most households also need to complete an Interim Report after 6 months. See What is the Interim Report and when do I need to do one?

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.

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.
    • The Recertification form does not ask about income. Write down any income on the “additional information” section of the form and send DTA proof of income for you and/or other household members.

You also have the option of telling DTA about:

  • Dependent care costs,
  • Housing costs,
  • Utility costs,
  • Medical costs, and
    • You only need to verify medical costs at Recertification if your costs have changed by $25 or more.
  • Child support payments you make.

Follow the directions in the form about what proofs to send DTA. Fill out, sign, and return the Recertification form along with copies of your proofs.


You can return your Recertification form to DTA one of three 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:

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.
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. 106 C.M.R. § 366.340. 106 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 Sections: SNAP > Certification Types > Simplified Reporting > Simplified Reporting Recertification

Show DTA Policy Guidance

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