16. Should DTA help me if I am having trouble getting proofs?
Yes. DTA workers are required to help you get proofs if you tell DTA you are having difficulty. 106 C.M.R. § 361.650. This includes making a “collateral contact” - a call to a third party - to confirm information in your case. 106 C.M.R. § 361.640(B).
For example, a DTA worker can:
- Contact an employer for missing wage information.
- Contact another state to confirm the date your SNAP case in that state closed
If you need DTA to contact a third party for information, DTA will need the third party's contact information and your permission for DTA to contact them. If you need DTA to do a collateral contact and a worker tells you they can't do one, ask to speak with a supervisor.
In general, DTA cannot require you to agree to a third party contact if you can verify the information they need some other way. Your privacy is important and must be respected 106 C.M.R. § 360.400.
If you and DTA cannot get the proofs they need, DTA must accept the best available evidence for verifying income. This may end up being your self-declaration. See 106 C.M.R. §363.210(G)(3). For example:
- Your former employer refuses to give you proof about your pay and will not talk with DTA. DTA should accept your self-declaration.
- You are self-employed but you do not have detailed business records and make so little you do not file taxes.
- You have no other records of your income. DTA should accept your self-declaration.
If you have a disability that makes it hard for you to get proofs or comply with other DTA rules, see Question 28.
DTA Online Guide:
See Appendix G for links to the DTA’s BEACON 5 Online Guide for this section.