The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Sworn Statement for Declaring Shelter Expenses for SNAP

Date: 
01/18/2017
Author: 
MLRI

Households applying for SNAP/ Food Stamp benefits are not required to submit a lease, landlord verification or rent receipt in order to verify their shelter expenses.  Instead, households can self-attest to their shelter expenses by providing a written sworn statement of shelter costs.  DTA must accept this self-attestation as sufficient verification of shelter expenses unless the information provided by the household is "questionable."

  • Field Operations Memo 2010-29 (DTA) -- specifically authorizes self-declaration of shelter expenses, gives examples of when information is considered "questionable"
  • Sample form to use to declare shelter expenses (MLRI) -- a form for SNAP applicants to use to make a sworn statement about shelter expenses, especially for households that file on-line applications. Clients in home ownership situations may also find it useful in identifying all home ownership costs such as insurance and real estate tax. While this form may be handy, any written statement of shelter costs signed by the client should be accepted.

NOTE: While the SNAP regulations do not mandate verification of shelter costs, see 106 CMR 361.610(K), proof of residence in Massachusetts is a mandatory verification. 106 CMR 361.610(H). Residency is where you live, not what you pay for rent or home ownership. Proof of residency includes a wide range of possible documents such as a work, school or drivers ID, employer or health insurance information with a current address, a utility bill, a government benefits notice, a statement from a social services agency or collateral contact.

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