How do you ask for a fair hearing?

The TAFDC Advocacy Guide is out of date!


Many of the rules in the guide do not apply right now. See Help with food and cash during COVID-19.

Produced by Deborah Harris, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed December 2017

You can ask for a hearing by

  • sending a fax to
    Division of Hearings
    FAX 617-348-5311, or
  • writing to
    DTA Hearings
    P.O. Box 4017
    Taunton, MA 02780‐0314

Fax is better because it gets there right away and you can get a fax receipt showing the Division of Hearings got the appeal.

Call 617-348-5321 or 800-882-2017 to see if DTA got your hearing request.

DTA has forms you can use to ask for a hearing. If you got written notice of DTA's decision, you can ask for a hearing by filling out the hearing form that came with the notice. You can also just write your own letter. 106 C.M.R. § 343.240.

You can also ask on your appeal form for:

  • a telephone hearing
  • the hearing to be held in your home if you have a disability that makes it hard for you to go to DTA,
  • an interpreter (who is fluent in your primary language),
  • a sign language interpreter or auxiliary aids if you are deaf or hard of hearing, and
  • an "expedited" (quickly scheduled) appeal, if your family does not have benefits. 106 C.M.R. §§ 343.310, 343.450, 343.300(A). If you are appealing a termination or a reduction in benefits and you are getting benefits while you are waiting for the hearing, it is usually better not to ask for an expedited appeal.

Be sure to send your hearing request to the Division of Hearings, not your local DTA office.

Find Legal Aid

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

Your Local DTA Office

Ask a Law Librarian

If it's
9am and 4pm