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What if DTA makes a mistake and owes you money?


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 has to correct all underpayments. 106 C.M.R. § 706.210. An underpayment is any mistake that makes you get less than you should have gotten. For example, you might be underpaid because

  • your worker did not add a new household member to your grant on time,
  • DTA counted income against your grant that should not have been counted,
  • DTA denied or stopped benefits because of missing proofs even though it had all the proofs it needed, or
  • DTA sanctioned you even though you complied with a rule or had good cause for not complying.

If you are underpaid, you should ask DTA in writing to correct the underpayment. If DTA will not make the correction, you can appeal. See Appeal Rights.

Advocacy Reminders

  • DTA regulations say that you can only get an underpayment corrected if you are a current recipient or would be a current recipient if the mistake causing the underpayment had not occurred. 106 C.M.R. § 706.210. These limits on underpayment correction may not be legal. Email [email protected] if DTA refuses to correct an underpayment because you are not a current recipient.
  • DTA uses a calculator to figure the amount of back benefits. See DTA Online (Determining Prorated Benefit Amount). Make sure you agree with the dates and amounts DTA puts into the calculator.

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