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26. What if I do not speak English?

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.

If English is not your primary language, DTA must provide you with a bilingual DTA worker or communicate through a translation service. When calling the DTA Assistance Line, DTA has a recording with the prompts you can push to get service in your language. 

As this Guide goes to print, the DTA Assistance Line has language capacity in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese, Vietnamese and a separate prompt to push for other languages. 

If you select a language other than English, then: 

  • You should be connected to a bilingual DTA worker, or 
  • The DTA worker should add a bilingual DTA interpreter to do a three way call with you, or 
  • The DTA worker should use their language line interpreter service.

SNAP applications in other languages

The DTAConnect.com online application is currently in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Cantonese, and Vietnamese.

DTA also currently has paper applications in 13 languages: Spanish, Portuguese, French, Haitian Creole, Chinese, Vietnamese, Khmer, Korean, Russian, Italian, Polish, Arabic and English. You can download and print these applications at Mass.gov/snap.

When you fill out the application, be sure to tell DTA what language you prefer. 

DTA currently only sends SNAP notices and forms in English and Spanish. DTA also sends a standard flier in other languages that recommends you get the information translated. 

Advocacy Reminders:

  • Under federal law, DTA must provide you with an interpreter if you need one. DTA should not tell you to bring your own interpreter. See Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d. DTA should not tell you to have a family member interpret for you. 
  • Federal SNAP law requires DTA to have certain written materials in other languages if there are at least 100 households in the area served by the DTA office that speak that language. 7 C.F.R. §272.4(b)(3). Issues related to an Interim Report or Recertification may not be valid if it was not sent in your primary language. 
  • For more information on the federal and state government’s duties to persons with limited English proficiency (LEP), see www.lep.gov and www.justice.gov/crt/executive-order-13166.

DTA Online Guide:  Cross Programs > Interpreter Services >  Interpreter Services Overview, Department Interpreter Services and Guidelines for providing Interpreter Services