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What is an Employment Development Plan?


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

The Employment Development Plan (EDP) is a written plan for recipients who are subject to the Work Program or who volunteer for Pathways to Work. The EDP is supposed to list your job goal, the education and training that you need to get to that goal, and the services like child care and transportation that you need. See 106 C.M.R. § 707.110; DTA Online Guide (PSS Assessment Introduction).

DTA is supposed to do an assessment of your skills and interests and the job market and get your agreement before it writes the Employment Development Plan. This is called Pathways to Self-Sufficiency (PSS) assessment. The EDP should reflect the agreement between you and your worker and be signed by both of you.

  • Make sure the EDP does not set an unrealistic timetable or subject you to costs you do not want to pay.
  • DTA may say it will not approve the activity you want to do if it cannot be completed in the time left on your 24-month time limit clock, but there is no rule that allows DTA to disapprove a plan for this reason.
  • Ask DTA to change your plan if it is not working out.

Contact your local legal services program, Appendix D: Massachusetts Legal Services Offices, if you cannot agree on an EDP, if DTA will not approve your plan for what you want to do, if DTA wants you to do an activity you do not want to do, or if DTA will not change your plan. You can also appeal any of these DTA decisions. See Appeal Rights.

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