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When can DTA take money back?


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 sometimes takes back benefits that were deposited to your EBT account. DTA calls this “expunging” or “purging” benefits.

  • DTA expunges TAFDC benefits in an EBT account that were not accessed for 90 days. You can ask DTA to give you back the benefits that were expunged, but DTA will only give back the benefits if you can show that there was an emergency or similar reason you could not access the benefits. 106 C.M.R. § 706.420(D). DTA Operations Memos 2014-8 (Feb. 6, 2014), 2014-9 (Feb. 6, 2014).
  • If your TAFDC EBT balance goes over $4,000, DTA will send you a notice to contact DTA. If DTA decides you didn’t respond to the notice, DTA will close your TAFDC case but will re-open it if you are eligible. 106 C.M.R. § 706.420(F).

Advocacy Reminder:

  • DTA cannot expunge benefits that are deposited to a bank account.

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