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46. What if I have a criminal record or DTA says I’m a “fleeing felon” or violating my probation?

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.

A criminal record, including a drug felony conviction, does not bar you from receiving SNAP benefits in Massachusetts. However, you can be barred from SNAP benefits if you:

  • are “actively fleeing” prosecution or punishment for a felony, or
  • violate a condition of probation or parole.

See 106 C.M.R. § 367.800(D).

Fleeing felons

In order to bar you from SNAP as a fleeing felon, a law enforcment official must tell DTA of its intent to arrest you (within 20 or 30 days), and present to DTA an outstanding felony warrant for any of the following National Crime Information Center Uniform Offense Classification Codes:

  • Escape (4901)
  • Flight to avoid (4902), or
  • Flight-escape (4999)  

7 C.F.R.§273.11(n)(1)(ii) and (3)(i),(iii).

Parole/probation violators

To be considered violating probation or parole, law enforcement must be activity seeking to arrest you (within 20 or 30 days) to enforce the conditions of the probation or parole. 7 C.F.R.§273.11(n)(1)(ii) and (3)(i),(iii).

Other rules involving fleeing felons or parole/probation violators:​​

  • DTA has to follow SNAP application timeliness standards.If it takes more than 30 days for DTA to verify this, DTA must process your application without taking into consideration fleeing felon or probation/parole violation status.
  •  If you are barred from SNAP benefits under these rules and you have income, all of your income counts against other members of your SNAP household. See Question 78.
  • If law enforcement has arrested you and placed you in custody, you are not SNAP eligible. If you are released to a halfway house and get more than half your meals from the halfway house, you are not SNAP eligible.
  • If you are sentenced to home confinement or home detention (for example, you have an electronic bracelet), you should not be denied SNAP because you are not still incarcerated. See Question 41.

You can always ask to speak to a Supervisor, call the Ombuds Office or file an appeal if you are denied benefits because DTA determined you are a fleeing felon or violating your probation or parole. You can also contact Legal Services.

DTA Online GuideSNAP > Disqualifications/Sanctions > Intentional Program Violation > SNAP Disqualifications and Sanctions