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118. When do I have to repay an overpayment?

ALERT:  Many of the rules in the SNAPAdvocacy Guide do NOT apply during the pandemic. Please go to the following COVID-19 & DTA benefits page: https://www.masslegalservices.org/DTA-COVID-19 until further notice for more information about changes.

Under the federal and state SNAP rules, you are required to repay overpayments even if the overpayment was DTA's mistake - unless the overpayment meets certain exceptions. See 106 C.M.R. § 367.495(E)

This chart summarizes whenDTA will and will not pursue an overpayment.

  Overpayment Occurred 12+Months Before STA Discovery Overpayment Less than $600 Overpayment Less Than $125
Will DTA pursue an overpayment?
Agency Error No No Not applicable
Client Error-UPV No Yes No
Client Fraud-IPV Yes(up to 6 years) Yes No

If you are currently getting SNAP, DTA will take some of your SNAP to repay the overpayment.  See Question 124. If you are not currently getting SNAP, see Question 125.

DTA will collect from you and also any others who were adults and in your SNAP household at the time of the overpayment. 106 CMR § 367.490.

However, DTA has the authority to reduce the amount of a claim. This is called “compromising the claim.” 106 C.M.R. § 367.495(F).  

If I am currently getting SNAP, wil DTA waive (stop collection) of an overpayment it caused?

Yes, DTA now has special rules for SNAP recipients with "Agancy Error" overpayment:

  • If all SNAP household members in your household are age 67 or older, DTA will waive the entire (100%) Agency Error overpayment amount. DTA started this policy in May of 2018.
  • If any SNAP household members inyour household are below age 67, DTA will waive half (50%) of the Agency Error amount. For example, if a household had $900 Agnecy Error ovrpayment, DTA will reduce the amount owed to $450. DTA started this policy in November 2018.

If I am not getting SNAP, but the overpayment was DTA's fault, do I have to repay it? 

Yes. Agency Error overpayments are subject to the same rules as other kinds of overpayments. See Question 125.

You have the option to ask DTA to compromise your claim if you cannot pay it without hardship. Contact an advocate if you need help trying to convince DTA to reduce or eliminate a SNAP overpayment.

DTA Online Guide Sections: Home > Cross Programs > Overpayment and Recovery > Unintentional Program Violations