What are the EA transfer of asset rules?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed September 2018
  • Under DHCD regulations, you are not eligible for EA if you transferred real or personal property within the previous year for the purpose of becoming eligible for EA. 760 CMR 67.02(8). If you did not know about EA at the time of the transfer, or there was another reason you transferred the property, this rule should not bar you from being eligible for EA.
  • A 2009 state law says that DHCD can deny you EA if it can prove that, in the previous year, you transferred, assigned or used up assets that would have made you ineligible for EA and that the transfer, assignment or depletion was for reasons that were not reasonable at the time or for reasons that do not qualify as "good cause." G.L. c. 23B, § 30(B) as amended by St. 2009, c. 27, § 14.

"Good cause" reasons for this rule include but are not limited to that the funds were spent for necessary or reasonable costs of living such as rent, utilities, food, health-related needs, education-related expenses, or transportation. As of this writing, DHCD has not yet revised its regulations to include the 2009 law.

Advocacy Tip

  • The Legislature actually repealed the state law that required a family to be denied EA if it transferred property in the past year for the purpose of getting EA. So the DHCD regulation based on that law may now be invalid. If you are denied EA because DHCD says you transferred property for the purpose of getting EA, contact an advocate.

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