10. Does DTA have to interview me?

DTA must interview all applicants for SNAP benefits. 106 C.M.R. § 361.500. The interview must be done by a DTA SNAP worker. Conversations you have with a SNAP Outreach partner are not the official SNAP interview.

What to know about the SNAP interview

The DTA interview is usually done over the phone. DTA should call you as soon as they get your SNAP application and screen you for emergency (expedited) benefits.

  • DTA should send you a letter with the date and time a DTA worker will call to do the interview. Between the time DTA looks at your application and the date of the scheduled interview, DTA should also try to call you.
  • The caller ID should say "COMM of MASS" or 877-382-2363.
  • These calls come through DTA's computerized phone system. If you pick up the call, you will hear an automated message asking you if you want to talk to a DTA worker. You may need to wait for a few minutes for the worker to come on the line.
  • You can change the date and time of your scheduled interview on DTA Connect. You can also call the DTA Assistance Line any time after you apply to have your interview: 1-877-382-2363.
  • If you do not get any calls from DTA, check that DTA has your correct phone number. You can check your phone number on DTA Connect. ​

In-person and in-office interviews

You also have the right to an in-person interview at a local DTA office if you wish, and in a private space. 106 C.M.R.§§361.550 and 360.300.

  •  DTA should schedule you for an in-person interview if you do not list a phone number on your SNAP application, (Note, you can always call the DTA Assistance line anytime and ask for a phone interview if you have access to  a phone).
  • You can also ask for an in-person interview if you cannot get through the DTA Assistance Line, or you are more comfortable talking with a SNAP worker in person.
  • If you apply for benefits in person, you also have the right to have your interview the same day at the office. 
  • When you do an in-person interview, DTA should offer you a private room where you can speak to a worker either using a DTA phone or if the worker is with you in person. DTA should never do the interview in the waiting area where others can hear you.

If DTA denies you an in-person interview, tell MLRI at info@masslegalservices.org. If you do not want to wait to have the interview, the DTA office should still screen you for expedited SNAP and issue you an EBT card if you need one.

If you miss the interview call

If you do not pick up when DTA calls, DTA should leave a voicemail and call back a couple of minutes later. Be sure to check for any messages. If you miss the phone call, you can still call the DTA Assistance Line anytime during business hours.

If you miss the scheduled interview and any follow up calls, DTA is required to send you a written notice called a “Notice of Missed Interview” (a “NOMI”). The DTA notice must say that you have the right to another interview. 106 C.M.R.§§361.500 , 361.700(B)(1).

If you do not have an interview within 30 days of when you applied, your SNAP application will be denied. 106 C.M.R.§361.700(B)(1). You have the right to reapply for benefits. The denied application will not be held against you, but the start date of your benefits will be the date you reapply.

DTA cannot deny your SNAP application or make you reapply if DTA failed to contact you, or send you a notice about an initial interview, or failed to send a notice of missed interview (called a "NOMI"). You have a right to call the DTA Assistance Line and ask to speak with a Supervisor, or you call the DTA Ombudsman office. You can also file an appeal to seek retroactive benefits. 

DTA Online Guide

See Appendix G for inks to the DTA's BEACON 5 Online Guide for this section.