Apply for SNAP benefits (food stamps)

Do you need help buying fresh, nutritious food? You may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
After you apply, DTA will send you a decision within 30 days. Some people get SNAP faster – within 7 days.

Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA)

The Details   of Apply for SNAP benefits (food stamps)

SNAP Overview   for Apply for SNAP benefits (food stamps)

SNAP is a federal nutrition program administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) for Massachusetts residents.

SNAP benefits include:

  • Monthly funds on a debit-like EBT card to buy food
  • An additional $40, $60 or $80 a month put back on your EBT card when you use SNAP to buy local produce via the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP)
  • SNAP Path to Work free education and training opportunities – families who participate may be able to get free child care
  • Free nutrition education classes and resources
  • Connections to other kinds of help, such as:
    • utility discounts,
    • free school meals,
    • direct eligibility for Head Start child care,
    • discounted internet through the Affordable Connectivity Program, and
    • discounted admissions to many Commonwealth museums and cultural institutions via EBT Card to Culture
Image of video on how to apply for SNAP in Massachusetts

SNAP Eligibility   for Apply for SNAP benefits (food stamps)

SNAP eligibility is based on who is in the household, income and certain expenses. “Eligibility” means who can and can’t get the benefit. Check your eligibility in 30 seconds using our confidential screener or see the chart below. If you aren’t sure if you are eligible, apply! Our staff will talk to you and make a decision based on the rules. If you are approved, SNAP will go back to the date you applied.

SNAP is not part of a public charge test. If you are not a U.S. citizen or eligible immigrant, it is safe for you to apply and get SNAP for an eligible family member (like a U.S. citizen child).   

  • What counts as income? DTA counts income from most sources, such as wages, cash assistance, Social Security, unemployment insurance, and child support. When you apply, tell DTA about any money you earn or is given to you.
  • Who is in a SNAP Household? A household includes anyone you buy and cook most of your meals with. If your spouse or child(ren) under 22 live with you, they must be included in your household (even if you do not buy and make meals with them). 
SNAP Eligibility Chart
Household SizeMaximum Monthly Income (before taxes)Maximum Monthly SNAP Amount*
Each additional person+ $897+ $219

* Your household may receive a different monthly amount, depending on income and expenses. 

Need help because of a disability?

Tell us if you need help to understand or do something we ask because of a health problem or disability. This could be a mental, physical, sensory, learning, intellectual, cognitive or developmental problem. We may be able to give you extra help or adjust a rule. This is called an accommodation. Call a Client Assistance Coordinator at 877-382-2363 for help.

Language Help

The SNAP application is available in many languages. DTA also has interpreters in over 100 languages to help you in-person or over the phone.

Can someone help me apply for SNAP benefits?

Yes. You can ask a friend, family member, or community partner to help you apply for SNAP.

Name an Authorized Representative

You can ask someone you trust to apply for you and/or go food shopping for you. That person is your authorized representative. This role is usually given to someone who can help you complete applications and renewals and use your SNAP benefits on an ongoing basis. You can decide how much help you need. You may change your authorized representative at any time.

Tell us who your authorized representative is in your application. You and your authorized representative will need to fill out the Request to Choose Someone to Be My Authorized Representative form. You can upload these forms to DTA Connect.

What if I have safety concerns or other issues because of domestic violence?

If you are dealing with the impacts of domestic violence, DTA can help. The Domestic Violence (DV) Unit can help address safety concerns and other impacts of domestic violence. Find your local DV specialist. If it is an emergency or after hours, call SAFELINK at 877-785‐2020.

When Applying

  • You can apply with just your name, address, and signature. But, the more information you tell us in the application, the easier it is for us to process your application quickly.
  • We will tell you what information or documentation you need to give us once we get your application.
  • Do not wait to apply – benefits go back to the date of application if you are approved.

How to apply   Apply for SNAP benefits (food stamps)

Apply for SNAP benefits online at

DTA Assistance Line: 877-382-2363 (press 7 to apply for SNAP)

The DTA Assistance Line is open from 8:15 A.M. to 4:45 P.M. Monday - Friday.

Interpreters available in over 100 languages.

Download the SNAP benefits application in your primary language. For individuals and couples age 60 or older, you can use the SNAP application for seniors

Download the SNAP benefits application in your primary language. For individuals and couples age 60 or older, you can use the SNAP application for seniors

At a local DTA office, with a SNAP outreach partner or at a community kiosk. Interpreters available in over 100 languages.

Next Steps   for Apply for SNAP benefits (food stamps)

  1. Overview

    The SNAP application process: submit an application. conduct interview. Send in verifications. EBT card. Get SNAP benefits
  2. Verify your income and other information.

    Here is a list of documents we may need to process your SNAP application. If you send these documents in with your application, DTA can make a decision faster. DTA will let you know if we need more information. 

    Many expenses can be verified by providing the information on your application, such as your share of the rent, utilities, and child care expenses. If you do not know the exact amount at the time of completing the application, these can be submitted at a later time.

  3. Get text and email updates.

    If you give us a cell phone number that can get text messages and/or an email address, you will get messages from DTA about your application and case status. You can also check your case status on DTA Connect.

    Note: Access to DTA Connect will start about one business day after you apply.

  4. Get a decision.

    Some people can get expedited “emergency” SNAP within 7 days while we process your application. DTA will send a decision within 30 days. 

    You will get a letter in the mail telling you if you qualify. If we approve your application, we will tell you your benefit amount and when you will get your benefits. If we deny your application, we will tell you why. You can appeal the decision. Your letter tells you how you can file an appeal.

    You can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) if you believe we discriminated against you.

Using Your Benefits   for Apply for SNAP benefits (food stamps)

How do I access my benefits?

DTA will mail you an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. You can use the funds on your EBT card to shop for food. It looks and works like a debit card.

You may get the EBT card before we decide if you are eligible for benefits. This is so you can use your benefits as soon as they are available. Most applicants get a card within 3-5 days of their application.

If you need an EBT card faster than the mail, you can get one at a DTA office.

What can I buy?

You can buy most foods, as well as seeds or plants for growing food, using your EBT card

Need food sooner?
Call Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at 800-645-8333. You can also find your local food bank.

Downloads   for Apply for SNAP benefits (food stamps)

Contact   for Apply for SNAP benefits (food stamps)


The DTA Assistance Line is open from 8:15 A.M. to 4:45 P.M.

DTA Document Processing Center (617) 887-8765

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