The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

76. How soon should DTA increase my benefits if my income drops, expenses go up, or a person joins my household?

DTA must increase your benefits by the next month after the date you report and verify the change to the Department. 106 C.M.R. § 366.120(B).

You will need to give DTA proofs of your new income, higher medical expenses or child support paid out, information on the new member (a spouse, new baby, etc).  You may be eligible for supplemental SNAP benefits in addition to increasing your ongoing benefit amount in the future. If your net countable income after deductions drops to zero, you are eligible for supplemental SNAP in the same month you report the change. 106 C.M.R. § 366.120(A)(1).

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 must authorize supplemental SNAP so that you get the increase by the tenth day of the following month or on your normal issuance date, whichever is later. 106 C.M.R. § 366.120(A)(2).

If you receive TAFDC and are on monthly reporting and your income from any source other than TAFDC stops, the income from the terminated source should not be counted in figuring your SNAP. If you report the change fewer than ten days before you are supposed to get your next benefit payment, DTA may count the income in figuring your regular payment that month, but must issue you extra SNAP for that month. 106 C.M.R. § 366.120(D).

Advocacy Reminder:

  • Even if you are on semi-annual reporting or the Transitional Benefits Alternative (TBA) and do not have to report, you should report changes that might increase your benefits.