How quickly will DTA increase my SNAP if my income decreases or my expenses increase?

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

DTA has to take action on certain changes that you report to them. After you report the change, DTA may ask for proof of the change. You may be eligible for supplemental SNAP benefits for the month you report the change in addition to DTA increasing your SNAP in the future.

If your net countable income drops to zero $0 dollars – meaning your SNAP increases to the maximum SNAP benefit for your household size --, DTA should issue you a supplemental payment of SNAP for the month you report the change. 106 C.M.R. § 366.120(A)(1).

Example

Kristina and her 2 kids get $50 on the 2nd of each month in SNAP because she is working. Kristina’s company lays her off and on June 15th she reports to DTA that she has lost her income. DTA should increase Kristina’s SNAP to $509 on July 2nd, and should also issue a supplemental SNAP payment of $459 for June.

If you report a new household member or a change in income of $50 or more, DTA must adjust your SNAP benefits effective with the first payment you are due ten days after you reported the change. If you report the change after the 20th of the month and it is too late in that month to increase the next month’s payment, DTA should give you a supplemental SNAP payment so that you get the increase by the 10th day of the following month or on your normal issuance date, whichever is later. 106 C.M.R. § 366.120(A)(2).

Example

Marian and her husband have earnings from his job and get SNAP on the 5th of each month. She is pregnant and has a baby. Marian calls DTA on May 29th and reports the baby was born. DTA should increase Marian’s SNAP beginning in July because there is less than 10 days from May 29th to June 5th - but should also issue a supplement so that her SNAP amount is higher on June 5.

If you have an overpayment, DTA should not intercept supplemental SNAP payments to offset an overpayment. See What is DTA required to do to show I committed fraud?
For all other changes, DTA must make the change effective no later than the first SNAP allotment issued 10 days or more after the change was reported to DTA. 106 C.M.R. § 366.120(B).

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