The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

SNAP info from DTA! Unearned income verification, non-countable income, self employment, case narratives

DTA recently updated a number of materials in the DTA Online Guide (policy manual for DTA staff). These updates were sent to DTA staff and case managers on Friday, 3/31, and are important for community partners to know!  For example, it can be helpful to point directly to DTA policy if you are talking with a DTA worker about a case issue. 

This page tells DTA workers about different types of unearned income. It also tells workers which databases can be used to electronically verify different types of unearned income- and reminds workers that, when they can, they MUST verify unearned income with the electronic databases. Workers cannot ask clients for verification unless what the database says and what the client is reporting are discrepant (different). 

This page explains what types of income do not count for SNAP and are excluded when determining a househol's eligibility and SNAP amount.

MLRI Note: The DTA information on this page implies that students receiving federal work study need to submit an EDUC-1 and proof of work study pay stubs. Massachusetts does not have state work study, and the EDUC-1 form for college students already has a place for the school to check if the student is receiving work study. In general, students do not need to submit work study pay stubs in addition to the EDUC-1 in order to show that work study is not countable. If you work with college students having a hard time accessing SNAP please contact us.

This page describes how DTA workers should handle self employment income. This is important as clients applying for SNAP with self employment income should only have self employment earnings counted after having business expenses deducted. This page also describes how DTA should calculate net rental income.

A case narrative is how a DTA worker documents what action they took on a case. This page gives workers information about what they need to include in a narrative when they work on a case. Clear case narratives are very important and can be a useful thing for advocates to ask about when trying to learn more information about a case. 

Please let us know what issues you are seeing. If you have questions about SNAP rules, MLRI's 2017 SNAP Advocacy Guide is also posted online here 

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