07. What is an Authorized Representative?
An Authorized Representative is someone you choose to act on your behalf and manage your SNAP benefits. 106 C.M.R.§§361.300-361.330. This is similar to a “representative payee” for SSI or Social Security benefits.
The Authorized Representative does not need to have legal guardianship or a court appointment, but you do have to give your voluntary written consent.
DTA will ask you to sign a DTA form appointing this person, Request to Choose Someone to Be My Authorized Representative. See Appendix C.
You can decide how much control the Authorized Representative has. You can decide if the person you designate as an Authorized Representative can:
- sign the SNAP application on your behalf, receive DTA notices, report changes and talk about your case with DTA, and/or
- get a second EBT card to shop for you with your SNAP benefits. DTA can issue two EBT cards – one for you and one for the Authorized Representative.
A trusted person:
Be sure to choose someone you trust. If this person gives DTA incorrect information and you get too much SNAP, you might have to pay back an overpayment. 106 C.M.R.§§361.310 (B).
Changing/ending authorized rep status:
DTA cannot require you to have an authorized rep if you do not want one. The only exception to this rule is for residents of substance abuse disorder treatment programs and some group home residents. 7 CFR 273.11(e) and (f), and 106 C.M.R.§§361.350
You can also ask DTA to remove the person who is your Authorized Rep from your SNAP case any time. For example, you may find a family member or friend is not spending your SNAP benefits appropriately.
More info: To learn about the difference between a helping agency and an Authorized Representative, see MLRI FAQ: Masslegalservices.org/content/helping-agency-vs-authorizedrepresentative.
DTA Online Guide
See Appendix G for links to the DTA's BEACON 5 Online Guide for this section.