Although no DTA program requires a grantee to have a permanent address, the Department needs a mailing address for every household to send important correspondence regarding benefit approvals, changes, reevaluations and requests for information.

Address information that has been entered into BEACON is formatted and matched to addresses found in the Address Validation database. If the address entered matches the Address Validation database, the address is marked as validated.

If the address entered does not match the Address Validation database, and if the database cannot recommend any addresses, an error message displays asking you to change the address. The address must be reentered on the Address page. If the address entered does not match the Address Validation database, but the Address Validation database has suggestions, Addresses Suggested opens with all the suggested addresses, and prompts selection of one of the addresses. If changing a previously validated address, the address must be validated again.

To enter information about the client’s current address:

  1. select the Address Type from the drop-down list

  2. enter all pertinent information about the Address by clicking the pop-up box in the Current Residence area. The Address Details page will appear

  3. enter the information.  (Street Address should go on Line 1 and Line 2 if needed)

  4. click Validate.  A message will appear indicating if the address is validated.  Click OK and then follow the instructions in the pop-up boxes, and

  5. click Save

  6. click the Address match button.  The Address Match page will appear

  7. if the address is a match, and the client lives at that address, click Match.  If it is not a match, click the New button

  8. in the Permanent Residence and Mailing Address boxes, if the address is the same as the Current Residence, click those boxes.  If not, click on the pop-up box in each field and enter the appropriate information

  9. click Next.  This will save your data and take you to the next page, Phone


An Ext Data button appears to the right of the Type drop-down box to access a view-only version of External Agency – RMV page.  You can view the address on file with the RMV on this page.  If a SNAP client provides an address and the RMV has any Massachusetts address on file, you may use the database to verify Massachusetts residency. The address does not need to be the same.


Homeless Clients

For homeless clients, be sure to explain that the Department will send important notices to them about their benefits.  If a client states that they do not have a mailing address or P.O. Box, explore with the client whether or not they can provide the address of a friend, relative, authorized representative or shelter where they can pick up mail on a regular basis.



If the client is having difficulty identifying a mailing address, please contact the Homeless Liaison for the clients catchment area for further assistance.


Inform clients about the benefits of providing an e-mail address to be sent important Department updates and information. Clients must also be informed of the DTA Connect Mobile App if they own a smart device and the DTA Connect portal which can be accessed online from any computer or smart device. Please see DTA Connect Overview.

Be sure to determine eligibility for expedited SNAP benefits and/or Immediate Needs. Difficulties posed by lack of a mailing address must not delay issuance of expedited SNAP benefits or the processing of Immediate Needs to any client who is eligible to receive them.




Click the Homeless check box to initiate the proper Homeless Shelter Deduction when calculating SNAP benefits.  If there is no current or permanent address, check the None check boxes.



Inform the client of the Department’s returned mail procedures that may stop benefits if a client does not respond to a mailed Special Projects-Returned Mail Notice (SP-RMN) form.  If the client’s name is not on the mailbox at the mailing address, ask the client to consider putting the mail in care of the person living at the address to prevent mail from being returned to the Department.  Complete the “In care of” field in the Address Details page, as needed.  If that is not an option, the alternatives above must be explored.


Completing the In Care Of Field

When sending mail, the prefix C/O is used to indicate that you are sending to mail to a person on behalf of someone else. C/O stands for the phrase, “in care of,” and it helps to ensure that the recipient receives the correspondence from DTA. For the purposes of BEACON, the proper way to address such letters is to enter C/O before the name of the other party. Failure to include C/O may result in the USPS not delivering the mail.

If you need to complete the In care of field in the Address Detail page, you must always type C/O followed by a space and then the name of the agency/representative receiving mail on the client’s behalf. If you do not type C/O, BEACON will generate the following error message:

You must enter C/O and a space before typing the subject in the In care of field. For example, C/O Jane Doe. The In care of field usually includes the name of an individual or organization who is expecting the mail.


Clients in Domestic Violence Shelters


Clients in domestic violence shelters are asked to keep the location secret as a condition of placement.


To enter address information for a client in a DV shelter:


·     in the Current Residence section:

    1. click the Homeless checkbox

    2. click the None checkbox

·     in the Permanent Residence section:

    1. click the None checkbox

·     in the Mailing section:

    1. click the “i” icon to open the Address Detail popup page

    2. enter the client’s mailing address

    3. click Validate. A message will appear indicating that the address is validated.

    4. click OK

    5. click Save to exit the Address Detail popup page

    6. click Finish to exit the Address page


Applications with Out-of-state Addresses

If you receive an application that has listed a current, permanent, and/or mailing address outside of Massachusetts, you must cold call the applicant and take one of the following actions:


If an application with an out-of-state current, permanent, and/or mailing address has no phone number listed or the cold call is unsuccessful, you must deny the application for No longer MA resident.

For each scenario, you must write a detailed narrative explaining the actions taken.


Address Confidentiality Program (ACP)

The Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) was established for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. ACP is administered by the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth and allows participants to use a confidential address to stay safe from actual or threatened violence. The program is offered statewide.

To be certified as a program participant, the ACP applicant must be a Massachusetts resident and show that disclosure of their address threatens their safety and/or the safety of their children. The Secretary of the Commonwealth will certify that, disclosure of the individual’s actual address threatens the safety of the individual or their children.  The individual must be living at a permanent address that is unknown to their perpetrator.

ACP provides program participants to use a substitute mailing address when interacting with government agencies. The substitute address is used as the program participant's legal residence, as well as work and/or school address.  Consequently, government records may be disclosed to the public without identifying the victim's new location.  State and local agencies like DTA are required to accept the substitute address unless the agency receives a written exception from the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Each program participant receives an authorization card which verifies that they are in the program.  The card includes their identifying information, the expiration date, and the substitute ACP address which is P.O. Box 9120, Chelsea, MA 02150-9120.

The program participants must show their card to verify that they are in the program.  Save an image or copy of the card into the client’s case record.

Clients who are interested in the program can call 1-866-723-3233 (1-866-SAFE-ADD). To apply to become a program participant, an applicant must complete the ACP application with an application assistant certified by the Secretary of the Commonwealth. The application is submitted by the application assistant to the Secretary for certification. ACP will notify the applicant whether they have been certified as a program participant.

As long as it is safe to do so, clients can be encouraged to use the DTA Connect portal if they have an e-mail address and internet access (or the DTA Connect mobile app if they have a smartphone or tablet).



Any client participating in the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) must be referred to a DV Specialist.


Once a client presents an ACP card, or other verification, to prevent DTA from disclosing their location, you must check the Address Confidentiality Program box on the left-hand side and select the client’s Residence type.

Both the Current and Permanent Residence sections will be greyed out and will not allow an entry. It will only allow an entry in the Mailing Address section. You must update the Address page as follows:

    1. click the i icon to open the Address Detail popup page

    2. enter the ACP address as follows:

        1. Line 1: P.O. Box 9120

        2. Line 2: leave blank

        3. City: Chelsea

        4. State: MA

        5. Zip / Postal code: 02150-9120

        6. In care of: leave blank

    1. click Validate. A message will appear indicating that the address is validated if properly entered.

    1. click OK

    2. click Save to exit the Address Detail page

    3. click Finish to exit the Address page


If Address Confidentiality Program is selected as the Residence Type for a client with an existing Current or Permanent address, those addresses will be automatically removed.


If you have any questions about the program or about working with a client who is in the program, please contact a Domestic Violence Specialist.


Address Changes Reported to DTA by DHCD

Americans with Disabilities Act Overview

Interpreter Services


Request for Assistance Policy and Procedures



 Last Update:  August 5, 2021