Appeal Rights

Alert

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, Ruth Bourquin, Patricia Baker Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed December 2010
Produced by Deborah Harris, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed March 9 2022

What are your rights if DTA will not give you benefits or reduces or stops your benefits?

If DTA denies benefits or stops or lowers your benefits, you can ask for a “fair hearing.” A fair hearing is a formal meeting at the local welfare office or a formal telephone or video conference. A hearing officer (referee) runs the hearing and decides who is right. 106 C.M.R. § 343.110. You can ask for a fair hearing to challenge any DTA decision or action you disagree with. 106 C.M.R. § 343.230.

Denials

You can ask for a fair hearing if your application is denied, or if any other request is denied, such as a request to correct an underpayment, a request for child care, a request for a domestic violence waiver, a request to correct your time clock, a request for a time limit extension, or a request to accommodate a disability. You can ask for a hearing if the worker says you have been denied, but never sends you written notice. You can also ask for a hearing if the worker just ignores your request.

Cuts or Terminations

In most situations, DTA must give you at least 10 days advance notice before your benefits are stopped or reduced. You can ask for a hearing if your benefits are stopped or reduced. See How much time do you have to ask for a fair hearing? on whether you can keep your benefits while you are waiting for a hearing decision. You can also reapply while you are waiting for a hearing.

Worker Bad Conduct

You can ask for a hearing if your worker threatens you, makes unreasonable demands that do not follow the rules, violates your privacy, or does not treat you with dignity and respect. 106 C.M.R. § 343.235.

Note

You can ask for a DTA fair hearing to appeal DTA’s determination that you are not eligible for child care. Other child care issues must be raised with the agency that is providing the child care, usually the Department of Early Education and Care.

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