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What if you have a criminal history or are fleeing prosecution or punishment?

Produced by Deborah Harris Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed December 2017

You are not eligible for TAFDC benefits for yourself if

Other criminal history or activities that do not fall within these dates and conditions should not disqualify you from benefits.

If you get a notice from DTA that your TAFDC has been denied or reduced because of one of these situations, contact an advocate immediately. You have a right to appeal the denial or reduction. See Appeal Rights.

Advocacy Reminders

  • You cannot be denied SNAP (food stamps) because of a drug felony conviction.
  • If you are facing drug-related criminal charges, make sure your defense lawyer knows about this rule and how a felony conviction could affect your benefits.
  • The rest of your family should remain eligible for benefits if you are disqualified under these rules. Being excluded from the assistance unit explains how your income should be counted in figuring your family’s eligibility.
  • A DTA hearing officer has ruled that a person who left another state to start a new life is not ineligible as a fleeing felon where the person was not trying to avoid punishment or prosecution.

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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