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What are my rights?

The SNAP program is a nationwide entitlement program. This means that as long as you meet the rules for SNAP/food stamps, you have a legal right to receive them.

You also have the right to:

  • Have your application accepted by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) right away. Only your name, address, and signature need to be complete in order for the DTA to accept your application.

  • Have an adult you trust apply for you as your Authorized Representative. Download the Authorized Representative form.

  • Bring a friend or advocate to the DTA to help you apply or to any meetings you have with the DTA.

  • Have your SNAP application be processed within 30 days after you apply.

  • Get expedited SNAP benefits within seven days if you meet the guidelines.

  • Apply if you are homeless.

  • Prove your income, expenses, and identity in more than one way.

  • Receive an interpreter from the DTA.

  • Have a phone interview unless you prefer to go in person or the DTA worker has good reason to require you to come into the office.

  • Get a list of all the documents you need to bring to the DTA and help getting the documents if you need help.

  • Get a written letter telling you whether or not you can get SNAP, how much you will get, and how long the benefits will last.

  • Be treated with dignity, consideration, and respect, and to be treated without discrimination due to race, sex, color, national origin, disability, religious creed, or political belief.
  • Appeal any DTA decision you disagree with by calling Fair Hearings at 1-800-882-2017.

For more information about your rights

Call Project Bread's FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333.

If you need a lawyer or legal help

Please visit for a listing of legal services in Massachusetts.

Picture of vegetables

Need Help. Call Project Bread's FoodSource Hotline 1 800 645 8333

Frequently Asked Questions link


Link to Department of Transitional Assistance
Link to United States Department of Agriculture is a resource created by Project Bread - The Walk for Hunger, Inc., and has been funded in part with federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance. The contents of this website do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of USDA, nor does mention of tradenames, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Project Bread - The Walk for Hunger® | 145 Border Street | East Boston, MA 02128
FoodSource Hotline  |  1-800-645-8333   |  (TTY) 1-800-377-1292 | |