99. What is Simplified Reporting and when must I report changes to DTA?
The majority of SNAP households are on “Simplified Reporting”. This means you do not have to report to DTA any changes most of the time, except when DTA sends you an Interim Report or a Recertification.
When do I need to tell DTA about a change?
1. If you are an ABAWD, a familly with children, or other non-elder/non-disabled adult:
Tell DTA about a change when your household’s gross income goes over the monthly gross income limit for your household size. 106 C.M.R. § 366.110(C)(3). The gross income limit for your household should be listed on your approval notice. See Gross Income Chart in Appendix B.
You may need to report if the household income goes above the limit because you or someone in your family started making more money, or someone moved into your household who has income. See Question 34 about household composition rules.
Be sure to tell DTA within the first 10 days of the month following the month your income went over the gross income limit.
Example: Selina is a single mom with one child, on simplified reporting. She was approved in January so her Intrim Report is in June. Selina starts a second part time job in March earning $200/week. Her total monthly gross income from both jobs is $1,700 per month, below 200% FPL ($2,743) for her family size. Selina does not need to report the second job until her Interim Report. Then, in April Selina finishes training at her new job and works more shifts each week. Her gross income for April goes over $2,743. She needs to tell DTA by May 10th about this increase in income.
If you are an ABAWD and you have been working 20 hours per week, you also need to tell DTA if your hours drop below 20 hours per week.
Example: Carla is an ABAWD and works 20 hours per week at a restaurant. Before her recertification her boss takes away one of her shifts and her hours go down to 13 per week. She must tell DTA within 10 days of the decrease in her hours.
2. If you are senior or a person with a disability, or have a senior or person with a disability in your SNAP household
If your household includes at least one person over 60 or who receives a disability-based benefit, you only need to report changes when you fill out your Interim Report and Recertification. This means you don’t need to tell DTA anything about changes in between. See Question 101 about a new policy for elder and disabled households called "EDSAP."
Are there other changes I should report?
You are not required to report other changes. But you may want to report some changes if it will help boost your SNAP. Examples of changes you can report include when:
- Your income goes down
- Your rent or housing costs go up
- Someone without income moves into your home, or you have a baby
- Your dependent care costs or medical expenses go up
- You start paying child support
If your income goes down or expenses go up, DTA is required to act on the information you report and increase your SNAP benefits. 106 C.M.R. § 366.110(C)(5)(a)(2). If the change results in $0 of net income in your SNAP calculation, DTA should issue you a supplement for the month of the reported change. See Question 106.
Example: Suzyn and her 3 kids are on Simplified Reporting. She is not required to report any changes on her SNAP case for the first five months after her application. The first month of her certification period, she was working 30 hours a week. The second month, her employer reduced her time to 20 hours a week. If Suzyn reports the drop in earnings, DTA will recalculate her SNAP benefits using her lower wages. Suzyn will get more benefits because she reported the drop in income. Her benefits will stay at the higher level and, unless her income goes over the Gross Income level for her household, she is not required to report anything else until her Interim Report.
If you move, you should tell DTA your new address so you keep getting DTA mail. You do not need to tell DTA if your rent or housing costs go down- just tell them your new address. See Question 19.
If you send DTA pay stubs or other information that shows your income has gone up or your housing costs or other costs have gone down, DTA may treat that information as verified and reduce your SNAP. See Question 103. 106 C.M.R. § 366.110(C)(5)(a)(1). Contact Legal Services if this happens.
- Further expansion of “simplified reporting” for households previously on “change reporting”, ABAWDs put in into 6-month interim reporting. OLG Transmittal #2016-5 (Jan. 4, 2016).
- Expansion of simplified reporting to include elder/disabled households – these households in general moved into 24 month reporting with an Interim Report at 12 months. OLG Transmittal #2015-57 (Nov. 20, 2015).