21. What if DTA does not give me SNAP back to the date I applied (“pro-rating”)?
If DTA denies your SNAP benefits for missing proofs, you still have options. If you send DTA the missing proofs within 30 days of the denial, DTA should reopen your SNAP application. You do not need to reapply.
But DTA may only give you benefits starting with the date DTA recieved the required proofs, not the date you applied for SNAP. This is called ''pro-rating." DTA will start your benefits the date they go the proofs-- not the day you applied -- if they decide the delay was your fault.
Example: Louise applied for SNAP on June 1st but had trouble proving her earnings. She got a “pending denial” notice on June 30th. Louise finally sent DTA the missing pay information on July 10th. DTA approved her case, but only gave her SNAP starting July 10th.
Your SNAP benefits should not be “pro-rated” if the reason for the delay was not your fault. 106 C.M.R. §§361.910-361.920
Example: In the above case, you learn that Louise told DTA that her employer initially refused to give her a statement about the missing wage information. You also learn that DTA office did not offer to contact the employer or otherwise help Louise. In this situation, the delay in getting the earnings proof was not her fault. DTA should not have prorated her SNAP benefits.
A delay in sending DTA proofs is not your fault if:
- DTA did not tell you which proofs they needed or what alternate proofs they can accept, or
- You sent DTA proofs but they did not look at them, or DTA did not inform you that the proofs you sent them were not adequate,
- DTA did not give you enough time to get in proofs, or
- DTA did not offer help if you had trouble getting the proofs.
Trouble shooting tips
It is important to know that DTA’s eligibility computer system (BEACON) is automatically programmed to decide whether the delay was DTA or the applicant's fault without diving into all the facts. And this “automated” decision may not be correct, especially if the DTA worker failed to offer help.
- If you think your SNAP was pro-rated to a date later than your date of application, you can ask DTA how they determined “fault.” If you disagree with DTA’s decision to prorate your benefits, you can talk to a Supervisor, the DTA Ombuds Office or file an appeal.
- You can figure out if your SNAP was "pro-rated" by checking the EBT amount DTA deposited on your card when your application was approved. You can see this information on DTAConnect.com
- If you send DTA proofs within 30 days after you got a pending denial notice, call the DTA Assistance Line and ask them to review the documents you submitted.
- If you were denied or terminated from SNAP within the last 90 days for missing proofs, you still have a right to appeal. The hearing officer should accept any proofs you provide at the hearing under special “de novo” appeal rules and should also look at whether DTA was at fualt for not doing its job. See Question 104. You should also reapply for benefits (to get back on quickly) even if you file an appeal for retroactive benefits.
DTA Online Guide
See Appendix G for links to the DTA's BEACON 5 Online Guide for this section.