What is an Authorized Representative?

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

An Authorized Representative is someone you choose to act on your behalf and manage your SNAP benefits. 106 C.M.R.§§361.300-361.330. 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 written consent.

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

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.

It is up to you how much authority you give to an Authorized Representative. 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 overpayment. 106 C.M.R.§361.310 (B).

Advocacy Reminder

  • DTA cannot require you to have an authorized representative if you do not want one. The only exception is with residents of substance abuse disorder treatment programs and some group home residents. 106 C.M.R.§361.350
  • You can tell DTA at any time if you want to remove an Authorized Representative from your SNAP case.
  • For more information about the difference between a helping agency and an authorized representative, see: MassLegalServices' Helping agency vs. an Authorized Representative

DTA Online Guide: Cross Programs > Assisting Person > Assisting Person Overview

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