What is Bay State CAP for SSI recipients?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed March 2023

In Massachusetts, many Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applicants and recipients can apply for SNAP directly through the Social Security Administration (SSA) when applying for or renewing SSI. This is called Bay State CAP or the SNAP "Combined Application Project." 106 C.M.R. §366.910. Bay State CAP recipients often receive the same benefit amount as regular SNAP benefits or even higher. In some cases you may get more through regular SNAP if you have high rent or homeownership costs or unreimbursed health care costs.

If you meet the criteria for Bay State CAP, you do not need to file a separate SNAP application at DTA. DTA uses your SSI eligibility information to establish your benefits and send you an EBT card. 106 C.M.R. §366.910 (C).

You may qualify for Bay State CAP SNAP benefits if:

  • You are approved for SSI,
  • You are 18 or older and not living with a spouse,
  • You live alone, or live with others but purchase and prepare your own food seperate from others,
  • You do not have regular earned income, and
  • a portion of your SSI benefits is federally-funded SSI.

When you apply for SSI and appear eligible to get your SSI claim approved within 30 days, the SSA Claims Representative should screen you for SNAP. (An SSI application is usually approved quickly for persons ages 65 and over with little or no income or assets, and persons with severe disabilities who were getting SSI before and the benefits were suspended due to hospitalization or other institutionalization.)

If you apply for SNAP through SSA, you do not need to send DTA any proofs. DTA will use the income and other information they get from SSA including the amount of your shelter costs.106 C.M.R. §366.910(C)  If approved, DTA will send you a Bay State CAP approval letter. DTA should also send you an EBT card and PIN. 106 C.M.R. §366.910(E)

Your Bay State CAP SNAP benefits are certified for 36 months. 106 C.M.R. §366.910(E)(3). When it is time to recertify your benefits, DTA should send you a short Bay State CAP Recertification form for you to fill out and send back to DTA.

If you are on Bay State CAP SNAP benefits, you are not required to report any changes to DTA. See When will I get my SNAP benefits?. However, it is best to report directly to DTA if you move or there is a change in your household composition because you do not want to miss any DTA notices, and your SNAP may go up. You have a right to switch from Bay State CAP to regular SNAP any time you would get higher SNAP benefits. 106 C.M.R. §366.910 (H)(2).


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

SSA Policy Operations Manual, Section SI BOS01801.302; accessed February 2022: https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0501801302BOS


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