Applying for SNAP

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Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

Everyone has the right to apply for SNAP. DTA cannot discourage you from applying for benefits.

DTA  must encourage you to apply the same day you contact the local office in person or by phone. DTA cannot send you away or screen you out.

If you ask for an application at the local DTA office, DTA must give it to you or mail it right away. They must let you file it the same day you first ask to apply.

DTA has to accept an application that includes just your name, an address, and a signature. ​You can give the rest of the information later, but getting SNAP may be faster if you put as much information as you can on the application.

After you apply, you must have an interview over the phone with a DTA SNAP worker or in person at a DTA office. If you cannot reach DTA to have the interview and your application is denied, email MLRI at [email protected]

Where can I apply for SNAP?

There are 4 main ways to apply for SNAP.

If everyone in your household is applying for or gets SSI, you can also apply for SNAP through your local Social Security (SSA) office. You can apply for SNAP at the same time you apply for SSI or when your SSI case is being reviewed.

Learn more about applying for SNAP on DTA's website.

If I apply for cash benefits, do I need to apply separately for SNAP?

No. You automatically apply for SNAP when you apply for TAFDC or EAEDC cash assistance. If you apply for TAFDC or EAEDC, you do not have to file a separate SNAP application or have a separate interview. Also, DTA must process your SNAP application if they have the proofs they need, even if it turns out that you cannot get TAFDC or EAEDC. You can apply for cash benefits online, in person at a local DTA office, or by calling your local DTA Office.

When do my SNAP benefits go back to?

If DTA gets all the information they need from you within 30 days of your application date, you will get SNAP back to the date DTA receives your application.

How soon will I get my SNAP benefits?

People who meet certain rules who have very low or no income can get SNAP within 7 days from the date of the application.

DTA has to decide on your application and make sure you get your SNAP benefits or a notice of denial within 30 days of the day you apply.

If they approve your application, you should get a DTA approval notice and your benefits by Day 30.

Can DTA help me to register to vote?

When you apply for SNAP or other DTA benefits, DTA must also:

  • tell you about your option to register to vote,
  • help you fill out a voter registration form, and
  • send the form to the local city or town registrar. 

To learn more, see the SNAP Advocacy Guide.

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