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17. What if DTA does not accept the proofs I sent them?

ALERT:  Many of the rules in the SNAPAdvocacy Guide do NOT apply during the pandemic. Please go to the following COVID-19 & DTA benefits page: https://www.masslegalservices.org/DTA-COVID-19 until further notice for more information about changes.

DTA must accept any documents that reasonably prove your eligibility unless the information is questionable. 106 C.M.R.§ 361.640

“Questionable” means the information you gave DTA is inconsistent with information you already shared with them or information they know about (e.g. through database checks). 106 C.M.R.§361.620.  

The DTA worker must review the individual circumstances of each household before determining whether information is questionable.  

Example: Sandy applied for SNAP. During her interview she explained that she divorced her husband six months ago and he does not live with her. A Registry of Motor Vehicle check shows that her ex-husband still registers his car at her address. This is not questionable - it does not contradict what she said during her interview. Sandy has no control over her husband and does not own the car. Sandy should not be required to prove where her ex lives.

If DTA needs more proofs, DTA cannot demand a specific document such as a birth certificate for identity when the SNAP rules allow for other options. And DTA must offer assistance if you are having trouble getting a document.  See Question 16. If verification depends on the cooperation of a third party – such as getting wage information from an employer – DTA cannot deny your SNAP if the third party does not cooperate.  If you are asked to prove something that you cannot, or that seems unreasonable, contact a legal advocate. See Appendix E.

If DTA does not accept the proofs you give them, the DTA worker must record in your SNAP case the reasons for rejecting that proof. 106 C.M.R.§361.660. If you think you gave DTA enough proof, you can ask to speak to a Supervisor to review, or contact Legal Services.