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What if my benefits are denied or stopped?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed March 2019

What if DTA denies or stops my benefits?

You have the right to get all decisions in writing. These include decisions denying, lowering or stopping your benefits.

You have the right to talk to a supervisor or assistant director if your worker doesn’t help you or you are not satisfied.

You can also call DTA Recipient Services help line:
1-800-445-6604.

TTY: 617-348-5599 or 1-888-448-7695.

You can appeal any decision you think is wrong. Ask for a "fair hearing."

You also have the right to ask for a fair hearing if your worker:

threatens you,
does not follow the rules,
violates your privacy, or
does not treat you with dignity and respect.
AnchorWhat is a fair hearing?
A fair hearing is a formal meeting. It can take place at the local welfare office, by telephone, or by a video conference.
A hearing officer runs the hearing and decides who is right.

How do I ask for a fair hearing?

Use the Appeal form on the back of the notice to ask for a hearing. Or, you can write your own letter.  Keep a copy of your hearing request.

Fax your request to the Division of Hearings, 617-348-5311, or
Mail it to
DTA - Hearings
P.O. Box 4017
Taunton, MA 02780-0314 
Call the Division of Hearings to make sure that they got your hearing request.
Phone: 1-800-882-2017
TTY:1-800-532-6238 or 617-348-5337.

You can bring a friend, family member, advocate or lawyer to help you at a hearing or any time you need to do business with DTA..

Call your local legal aid office right away to ask for help with your appeal.

How long do I have to ask for a fair hearing?

Usually, you have 90 days to ask for a fair hearing.

If DTA is trying to stop or lower your benefits, and you appeal quickly, you keep getting the same amount of TAFDC while you wait for your hearing decision. This is called “aid pending.” The Division of Hearings must get your request for an appeal within 10 days from the date on the DTA notice.

If you miss the 10 day “aid pending” deadline, you can still ask for a fair hearing within 90 days. But your TAFDC benefits will stop or go down while you wait for the hearing decision.

Find Legal Aid

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

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