Can DTA decrease my SNAP during my certification period?

We are in the process of updating the SNAP Advocacy Guide, so some of the information is no longer current.  In the meantime, you can read or download a pdf of the 2022 guide from www.masslegalservices.org/FoodStampSNAPAdvocacyGuide

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

When you are on Simplified Reporting or EDSAP, there are certain situations where DTA can decrease your SNAP benefits. This happens if DTA gets certain information from you or certain third parties.

Otherwise, DTA can only make changes during your Interim Reporting and Recertification reviews.

DTA can make changes to your SNAP if they get information that is “verified upon receipt” – meaning the information is from the primary source. For example, DTA can make a change when DTA gets confirmed information about:

  • the death of a family member through the Dept. of Public Health (DPH) Vital Records,
  • the removal of a child by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), or
  • an increase in SSI or Social Security benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

See How does DTA double-check income and other information? for more information.

 

If you send DTA proof of a change in-between reporting periods

DTA’s policy is that information you verify at any point – even if you are not required to verify it – can also be treated as “verified upon receipt” and they can act on it. 106 C.M.R.§ 366.110(C)(5)(2).

For that reason, it is best to only report and verify changes to DTA that will result in an increase in SNAP – unless you are required to report the change (for example, your income exceeds 200% of the federal poverty level). If DTA decreases your SNAP and you are worried the decrease is not correct, contact MLRI.

DTA must give send you a notice at least 10 days in advance of the effective date of the change if they take action to reduce your SNAP (unrelated to the Interim Report or Recertification). 106 C.M.R. § 366.200.

 

Advocacy Reminder:

  • Sometimes there are errors with DTA’s data matches. If your SNAP benefits decrease and nothing in your household has changed, contact a DTA Supervisor, the DTA Ombuds Office or file an appeal. If DTA decreases or stops your SNAP based on information they got from another source, and you think the information is not correct, contact MLRI.

DTA Online Guide Sections: SNAP > Certification Types > Simplified Reporting > Simplified Reporting Case Maintenance and Cross Programs > External Agency Matches >

Show DTA Policy Guidance

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