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 received the required proofs, not the date you applied for SNAP. This is called “pro-rating” your SNAP benefits. This means you may end up with less SNAP benefits for the first month.

If the delay is your fault:

DTA will start your benefits the date they got the proofs – not the day you applied - if they decide the delay was your fault

Example: Louise applied for SNAP on June 1 st but was distracted with a new job and changes with her child’s daycare. She did not send in her pay stubs. DTA sends her a “pending denial” notice on June 30th. Louise sends DTA her paystubs on July 10th. DTA approves her case, but only gave her SNAP starting July 10th. She missed $300 in retroactive SNAP as a result.

If the delay is DTA’s fault:

Your SNAP benefits should not be “prorated” 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 did not have copies of her paystubs and she told DTA that her employer refused to give her a copy and that she needs help. You also learn that when Louise told DTA this, the worker did not offer to contact the employer or otherwise help Louise. Louise had to schedule a meeting with HR at a location an hour from her home and drive there to pick up a copy of her paystubs. She gets the proofs to DTA on July 10th. In this situation, the delay in getting DTA the earnings proof was not her fault. DTA should not pro-rate her SNAP benefits. She gets $300 in SNAP to cover June 1 to July 9. 

A delay is not your fault if: 

  • DTA did not tell you which proofs they needed or what alternate proofs they can accept,  
  • You sent DTA proofs but they did not look at them, , 
  • DTA did not tell 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. 


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. This “automated” decision may not be correct, especially if the DTA worker failed to offer help.

  • If you think DTA was wrong in pro-rating your benefits, ask DTA how they determined “fault.” If you disagree with the worker’s explanation, you can talk to a Supervisor, the DTA Ombuds Office or file an appeal.
  • To figure out if your SNAP was “pro-rated,” check the EBT amount DTA deposited on your card after your application was approved. You can also see this information on DTAConnect.com
  • If you send DTA the missing proofs within 30 days from when you received a pending denial notice, call the DTA Assistance Line. Ask them to review the documents you sent.
  • If you were denied or terminated from SNAP within the last 90 days for missing proofs, you have a right to appeal. In general, 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 fault for not doing its job. See Question 105. 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.