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What if I have a criminal record or DTA says I am a “fleeing felon”?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed March 2023

A criminal record, including a drug felony conviction, does not bar you from receiving SNAP benefits in Massachusetts. However, you can be barred from SNAP benefits if you:

  • are “actively fleeing” prosecution or punishment for a felony, or
  • violate a condition of probation or parole.

See 106 C.M.R. § 367.800(D

Fleeing felons

In order to bar you from SNAP as a fleeing felon, a law enforcment official must tell DTA of its intent to arrest you (within 20 or 30 days), and present to DTA an outstanding felony warrant for any of the following National Crime Information Center Uniform Offense Classification Codes:

  • Escape (4901)
  • Flight to avoid (4902), or
  • Flight-escape (4999) 

See 7 C.F.R.§273.11(n)(1)(ii) and (3)(i),(iii).

Parole/probation violators

To be considered violating probation or parole, law enforcement must be activity seeking to arrest you (within 20 or 30 days) to enforce the conditions of the probation or parole. 7 C.F.R.§273.11(n)(1)(ii) and (3)(i),(iii).

Other rules involving fleeing felons or parole/probation violators:

DTA has to follow SNAP application timeliness standards.

Contact Legal Services if you are denied benefits because DTA determined you are a fleeing felon or violating your probation or parole. You can always ask to speak to a Supervisor, call the Ombuds Office or appeal.

DTA Online Guide: See Appendix G for links to the DTA’s BEACON 5 Online Guide for this section.   


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