111. How much time do you have to ask for a fair hearing?

You usually have 90 days to get your fair hearing request to the Division of Hearings. You have 120 days in worker bad conduct cases and cases where DTA fails to act on a request. 106 C.M.R. § 343.140.

What happens to your benefits while you are waiting for a decision on your appeal?

  • In most situations, if your benefits are being cut off or reduced, you can keep your benefits while you are waiting for a hearing decision by making sure that the Division of Hearings gets your fair hearing request no later than 10 days after it sent notice of the cut-off or reduction, or before the effective date of the action, whichever is later. 106 C.M.R. § 343.250. DTA can recover benefits you got while you were waiting for a hearing if you lose. 106 C.M.R. § 706.260. See Questions 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, and 123, for limits on recovering overpayments.

Advocacy Reminders

  • It is almost always a good idea to appeal any denial, termination, or reduction in benefits promptly. The appeal form may ask if you do not want your benefits to continue while you wait for a hearing decision. It is almost always a good idea not to choose this option.
  • Save any notices you get from DTA and the envelopes the notices come in. You may need the postmark on the envelope to show when the notice was sent.
  • SNAP benefits may close automatically if the SNAP benefits are not recertified before the end of the SNAP recertification period. However, even if DTA is closing your SNAP benefits, it must send you at least 10 days’ advance notice of termination or reduction in your TAFDC benefits. See Appendix E (DTA Online Guide); DTA Operations Memo 2012-42 (Sept. 21, 2012).