The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

100. How does DTA collect over-payments if I am not receiving benefits?

DTA has several ways of collecting overpayments from former recipients.

Tax intercept. The Department of Revenue (DOR) may intercept your state tax refund to pay back an overpayment. Before your state tax refund is intercepted, you should get notice from DTA. You can ask for a DTA hearing to show that you were not overpaid or that the amount of the overpayment is wrong. See Part 7. You will also get notice after the intercept, but DTA says you cannot challenge the overpayment after the intercept, so try not to wait for the intercept to ask for a hearing.

Wage attachment. DTA regulations also allow DTA to attach your wages to collect overpayments established by a court order, DTA hearing, or agreement. G.L. c. 18, § 30; 106 C.M.R. § 706.295. The first $500 a week in gross wages cannot be attached. G.L. c. 235, § 34.

Offsetting a payment from another agency. DTA can collect an overpayment by stopping a payment owed to you by another state agency, such as a transportation reimbursement. G.L. c. 7A, § 3; 815 C.M.R. § 9.00. Consult an advocate if this happens to you.

Other collection methods. DTA can turn over the debt to a collection agency. A collection agency is not permitted to harass you, cannot threaten to take the first $500 a week in gross wages, and can only take amounts in excess of $2,500 from a bank account. G.L. c. 235, § 34; 940 C.M.R. § 7.07(18).


Limit Offer