7. What is an Authorized Representative?

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Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

An Authorized Representative is someone you choose to act on your behalf and manage your SNAP benefits1. This is similar to a “representative payee” for SSI or Social Security benefits.

The Authorized Representative does not need to have legal guardianship or a court appointment, but you do have to give your voluntary written consent.

DTA will ask you to sign a DTA form appointing this person, Request to Choose Someone to Be My Authorized Representative. See Appendix C.

You can decide how much control the Authorized Representative has. You can decide if the person you designate as an Authorized Representative can:

  • sign the SNAP application on your behalf, receive DTA notices, report changes and talk about your case with DTA, and/or
  • get a second EBT card to shop for you with your SNAP benefits. DTA can issue two EBT cards – one for you and one for the Authorized Representative.

A trusted person

Be sure to choose someone you trust. If this person gives DTA incorrect information and you get too much SNAP, you might have to pay back an overpayment2.

Changing/ending authorized rep status

DTA cannot require you to have an authorized rep if you do not want one. The only exception to this rule is for residents of substance abuse disorder treatment programs and some group home residents3,4.

You can also ask DTA to remove the person who is your Authorized Rep from your SNAP case any time. For example, you may find a family member or friend is not spending your SNAP benefits appropriately.

More info

To learn about the difference between a helping agency and an Authorized Representative, see MLRI FAQ: Masslegalservices.org/content/helping-agency-vs-authorized- representative.

DTA Online Guide

See Appendix G for links to the DTA’s BEACON 5 Online Guide for this section.


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