What if I was getting SNAP in another state or DTA says I am part of another SNAP household?

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

SNAP in other states

You cannot get SNAP in two states at the same time. This is called “duplicate participation,” which is a serious offense. 7 C.F.R. §273.3(a). If you learn you are listed as a member of a SNAP case in another state, and you are not living with that household report it to DTA.

If you were getting SNAP in a different state and you move to Massachusetts, make sure you tell the state you left to close your case. If you have proof your SNAP was closed in the other state (such as a notice), give that proof to DTA. When you tell DTA you left another state, they may ask you for a notice or other proof of termination of your SNAP benefits in that state. This proof can be very difficult or impossible to get. If you need help, DTA should do a “collateral contact” with the other state to verify that your benefits are closed.

DTA should approve your SNAP for a date that does not overlap with when you last got SNAP in the other state.

Example

Maria moves to Massachusetts from Maine in August. She asks Maine to close her SNAP. Maine closes her SNAP effective September 1. She applies for SNAP in Massachusetts on August 15. DTA calls Maine to confirm that her case was closed, and approves her SNAP going back to September 1. DTA cannot approve her case going back to August 15 because of the duplicate issuance rules.

Your SNAP in Massachusetts should not be delayed because you cannot get proof from the other state and the other state is not responsive to DTA. DTA should make the request to the other state and then approve your case.

DTA routinely gets information from other states to check that SNAP households are not getting SNAP in multiple states. It is important to tell DTA if you were getting SNAP in another state, especially if you need help closing your case in the other state. If DTA does not help you and/or your SNAP in Massachusetts is delayed because of issues with your SNAP case in another state, contact MLRI.

If you move out of a household and need your own SNAP

In general, DTA cannot issue duplicate benefits. That means DTA needs to remove you from the SNAP case you were on if when you apply for your own SNAP. If you were living in a household where someone was getting SNAP for you, and you leave the household, ask the household to report to DTA that you have left. If that is not an option (for example, because you left a dangerous situation or are not on good terms with the family you left) DTA should accept your proof of where you are living now, remove you from the SNAP household you are no longer a part of, and approve your own SNAP benefits.

If you moved because of a domestic violence situation, DTA should never ask you to get proof from the state or household you fled. Contact a DTA Domestic Violence specialist for help. See What if I have concerns about security or access to my case including domestic violence or identity theft?

As of the writing of this Guide, DTA does not have clear guidance on how SNAP workers should handle many types of duplicate issuance cases. Contact an MLRI if DTA refuses to give you SNAP or delays your SNAP because of a “duplicate issuance” issue.

DTA Online Guide: SNAP > Benefit Eff. Dates from Other States > Benefit Eff Dates from Other States

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