What should I do if contacted by the Bureau of Special Investigations?

We are in the process of updating the SNAP Advocacy Guide, so some of the information is no longer current.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 2022 guide from www.masslegalservices.org/FoodStampSNAPAdvocacyGuide

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

If DTA thinks you were overpaid because of your mistake or because you committed fraud, it may refer your case to the Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI). 106 C.M.R. § 706.240. DTA may also refer applications to BSI if the worker thinks you are lying about something.

BSI may tell you to come in for an interview. You do not have to go to the interview. Your benefits won’t stop just because you do not go to the interview. But if you don’t go, BSI can decide to send the case back to DTA to collect the overpayment or BSI may decide to refer the case for a criminal prosecution of SNAP fraud.

If you do go to a BSI interview, you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you. It may be best to remain silent even if you have not done anything wrong. You do not have to give BSI names of people to talk to. Try to consult with an advocate before you meet with BSI or say anything.

Do not sign anything unless BSI has shown you how it figured the overpayment, you are sure that all the calculations are correct, and you agree with everything in the statement you are signing. Do not agree to a repayment schedule that you will not be able to keep or that will cause your family hardship. If you are unsure, consult an advocate first.

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