What if DTA says I committed fraud or an Intentional Program Violation (IPV)?

We are in the process of updating the SNAP Advocacy Guide, so some of the information is no longer current.  In the meantime, you can read or download a pdf of the 2023 guide from www.masslegalservices.org/FoodStampSNAPAdvocacyGuide

Produced by Patricia Baker and Victoria Negus, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed January 2020

An IPV is an “intentional program violation.” That is when a court or an administrative hearing officer determines that you gave DTA false or misleading information on purpose. DTA must prove that you intentionally and willfully hid information in order to get benefits you are not eligible for, or intentionally and willfully did not report a change that you were required to report and would have reduced your benefits. 106 C.M.R. § 367.525. Purposely giving false or misleading information or willfully hiding information in order to get benefits is fraud.


Stacy wrote that she has $0 of income on her SNAP application. She was working when she wrote this on the application and she knew she was lying when she wrote $0 on the application. She did it intentionally in order to get the maximum SNAP grant.

If DTA thinks you committed fraud, they are required to send you a notice about an Administrative Disqualification Hearing. This notice sets a time and a date for a hearing with a DTA Hearing Officer. At this hearing the hearing officer will hear from DTA about why DTA thinks you intentionally broke SNAP rules in order to get more SNAP.

This notice also includes a page called an “Administrative Disqualification Hearing Waiver.” Do not sign this waiver without first consulting with an advocate. Signing this waiver means that DTA will find that you have an IPV and sanction you off SNAP – without a hearing or any further evaluation of the situation.

If you get a notice about an Administrative Disqualification Hearing, call Legal Services as soon as possible.

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