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Overpayments and Fraud

Produced by Patricia Baker and Victoria Negus, Massachusetts Law Reform institute
Reviewed January 2020

What If I was overpaid SNAP benefits ?

If you get more SNAP benefits than you are eligible for, DTA can recover the overpayment. 106 C.M.R. § 367.490. An overpayment can happen in four ways:

  • DTA made a mistake and gave you too much in SNAP. This is called an Agency Error.
  • You made an unintentional mistake that caused your SNAP to be higher than you should have received. This is called an Unintentional Program Violation (UPV).
  • You received SNAP benefits while you were waiting for a hearing and you then lost the hearing.
  • You are found by a court or a DTA administrative hearings officer to have committed fraud or an “Intentional Program Violation” (IPV).

See 106 C.M.R. § 367.495. 106 C.M.R. § 367.275.

DTA will not pursue an Agency Error overpayment if the amount is for less than $600. For example, if DTA paid you an extra $500 in SNAP by mistake, DTA will not ask you to pay it back.

DTA will not pursue a UPV or IPV overpayment if the amount is less than $125 - unless DTA discovered the overpayment during a Quality Control case review. 106 C.M.R. § 364.870.

If you are getting SNAP, DTA will take some of your SNAP each month to pay back the overpayment. See How does DTA collect an overpayment if I am getting SNAP?

Show DTA Policy Guidance

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