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Does DTA ever count money as income even if you do not get it?


DTA made a number of changes and suspended a number of rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Guide notes in red when a rule was suspended during the pandemic.

Produced by Deborah Harris and Betsy Gwin, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed December 2022

DTA counts the money you don’t get that is withheld from your paycheck such as the money withheld for taxes, union dues, health insurance, and retirement accounts. DTA also counts money that is withheld from your paycheck to pay child support, back taxes, or a debt.

DTA may also try to count money that is withheld from social security or other benefits to pay back an overpayment. DTA Transitions, May 2013, p. 8. This may be illegal. Contact your local legal services program, Appendix D: Massachusetts Legal Services Offices, if this is a problem for you.

In some cases, DTA counts money as income to you even if all of it was paid to someone else. This is called “deeming.” 106 C.M.R. § 704.210(D).

The following questions deal with deeming from a stepparent or ineligible noncitizen parent, How does DTA count income of a stepparent or ineligible noncitizen parent?, and grandparent deeming, How is grandparent income counted towards the baby of a teen parent?

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