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Can you fix problems without going to a 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 can try to fix problems by talking with your worker, your worker’s supervisor, the Assistant Director or the Director. See Appendix B:Department of Transitional Assistance Offices with Addresses and Telephone Numbers for Assistant Director and Director names and phone numbers.

You can also ask the Ombuds Office, 617-348-5354, but the Ombuds Office often will tell you to talk to your worker.

When the issue is missing verification and the verification has been provided, DTA is required to take action to adjust the benefits. 106 C.M.R. §§ 702.240, 343.350(B).

Even if you are trying to fix the problem, you should be sure to ask for a hearing right away. You can always cancel the hearing if you settle your case. 106 C.M.R. § 343.350. For legal help, call the nearest legal services office. See Appendix D: Massachusetts Legal Services Offices.

Advocacy Reminders

  • Advocates may need a signed release from the client to discuss a client’s case with a DTA worker, supervisor or the Ombuds Office. You can fax the release to the Document Processing Center (DPC), fax 617-887-8765. A worker is authorized to discuss the case with you if you have sent a release to the DPC.
  • An advocate may be able to talk to the Ombuds Office or the worker or supervisor without a release by setting up a three-way call with the client, DTA and the advocate.

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.

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