The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

62. What if DTA wants proof of past wages due to a computer match?

From March 2014 until March 2015, DTA was using a highly flawed automated process to match wage information from the MA Department of Revenue (DOR) with SNAP and cash case information. If DTA’s computer system found DOR wage information different or “discrepant” from the wage information in the client file, notices were automatically mailed to households. These notices – called a “DOR Employment Verification Notice” – asked the SNAP and cash households for current pay checks or a letter from the listed employer stating the last day of work. In many cases DTA already had the wage information on record, the earnings was non-countable (like work study, VISTA or earnings of a child), the income was for one-day of pay (election wardens) or the notices referred to wages from many years past.  The DTA notices were error filled and extremely confusing. Many SNAP and cash cases erroneously closed or had significant delays because of these notices.

In March 2015, the state suspended automatic mailing of wage match notices and is reviewing the manner in which it will conduct future data  matching. As this Advocacy Guide goes to print, DTA is evaluating the DOR wage match system.  If you think DTA erroneously closed or delayed your SNAP benefits in 2014 or 2015, contact a Legal Services advocate. Updates will be provided through the SNAP Coalition.

DTA Policy Guidance:

Additional Guidance: Suspension of automatic generation of Employment Verification Notice. PPER Email 2015-12 (March 24, 2015).