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How much time do you have to ask for a fair hearing?


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

You usually have 90 days to get your fair hearing request to the Division of Hearings. You have 120 days in worker bad conduct cases and cases where DTA fails to act on a request. 106 C.M.R. § 343.140.

What happens to your benefits while you are waiting for a decision on your appeal?

for limits on recovering overpayments.

Advocacy Reminders

  • It is almost always a good idea to appeal any denial, termination, or reduction in benefits promptly. The appeal form may ask if you do not want your benefits to continue while you wait for a hearing decision. It is almost always a good idea not to choose this option.
  • Save any notices you get from DTA and the envelopes the notices come in. You may need the postmark on the envelope to show when the notice was sent.
  • SNAP benefits may close automatically if the SNAP benefits are not recertified before the end of the SNAP recertification period. However, even if DTA is closing your SNAP benefits, it must send you at least 10 days’ advance notice of termination or reduction in your TAFDC benefits. See DTA Online Guide (Reevaluations Q and A); DTA Operations Memo 2012-42 (Sept. 21, 2012).

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