46. What if I have a criminal record or DTA says I’m a “fleeing felon” or violating my probation?

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Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

A criminal record, including a drug felony conviction, does not bar you from receiving SNAP benefits in Massachusetts. However, you can be barred from SNAP benefits if you:

  • are “actively fleeing” prosecution or punishment for a felony, or
  • violate a condition of probation or parole.

See 106 C.M.R. § 367.800(D).

Fleeing felons

In order to bar you from SNAP as a fleeing felon, a law enforcement official must tell DTA of its intent to arrest you (within 20 or 30 days). They must also provide DTA with an outstanding felony arrest warrant for one of the following National Crime Information Center Uniform Offense Classification Codes:

  • Escape (4901)
  • Flight to avoid (4902), or
  • Flight-escape (4999)

See 7 C.F.R.§273.11(n)(1)(ii) and (3)(i),(iii).

Parole/probation violators

To be considered violating probation or parole, law enforcement must be actively seeking to arrest you (within 20 or 30 days) to enforce the conditions of the probation or parole1.

Other SNAP rules

Timely processing

DTA has to follow SNAP application timeliness standards. If it takes more than 30 days for DTA to verify this, DTA must process your application without taking into consideration fleeing felon or probation/parole violation status.

Treatment of income

If you are barred from SNAP benefits under these rules and you have income, all of your income counts against other members of your SNAP household. See counting income of someone not eligible in your SNAP household.

House arrest

If you are sentenced to home confinement or home detention (for example, you have an electronic bracelet), you should not be denied SNAP because you are not still incarcerated. See eligibility for SNAP if you live in a hospital, school, or other institution.

Contact Legal Services if you are denied benefits because DTA determined you are a fleeing felon or violating your probation or parole. You can always ask to speak to a Supervisor, call the Ombuds Office or appeal.

DTA Online Guide

See Appendix G for links to the DTA’s BEACON 5 Online Guide for this section.

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