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85. How often will my eligibility be reviewed?

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

DTA generally reviews ("reevaluates") eligibility for most recipients at a minimum every 12 months. See DTA Online Guide: EAEDC > Basic Case Activities & Maintenance > Reevaluations > Reevaluations Overview.

DTA can review your case sooner than that if it thinks your eligibility may have changed or if the Disability Evaluation Service (DES) decides your disability needs to be reviewed or has changed. 106 C.M.R. § 702.210.

DTA can complete your reevaluation over the phone or in person. See DTA Online Guide: EAEDC > Basic Case Activities & Maintenance > Reevaluations > Reevaluations Overview.

When DTA reviews your case, it can only make you bring in proof of those things that might have changed since the last review. 106 C.M.R. § 702.230.

If your worker thinks DTA needs more proofs, the worker is supposed to send you a checklist (VC-1) listing the proofs that are needed.

If your disability is being reviewed, you will be sent a medical report for your doctor to fill out and a disability supplement for you to fill out. 106 C.M.R. § 702.315.

Tell your worker if you need an extension to get the proofs, help filling out forms, or a referral to a doctor. If you do not get the proofs on time, your worker will send you a notice saying your benefits will stop. You still have 30 days from the date of that notice to bring in the proofs and your worker will reopen your case if the proofs show you are eligible. 106 C.M.R. § 702.240.

You might also be asked to come in for a quality control (QC) review. 106 C.M.R. §§ 701.430, 706.700-706.710. This is a special review to make sure the local DTA office is following the rules. If you are asked to go to a QC review, you have to go or your worker will stop your benefits.

If DTA thinks your eligibility has changed, it has to send you an advance notice before it stops or reduces your benefits. 106 C.M.R. §§ 702.500, 343.140. If you ask for a fair hearing before the termination or reduction go into effect, your benefits will continue until a hearing officer decides your case. 106 C.M.R. § 702.610. See Part 7, Appeal Rights.

Advocacy Reminders:                                

  • Tell your DTA worker if you need an appointment at a special time because
    of work, a medical problem, care of a disabled household member or other reason. If DTA schedules an appointment for a time that is bad for you, call your worker before the appointment to reschedule. If your worker will not reschedule, call the supervisor, Assistant Director, Director or the DTA Ombuds Office, 617-348-5354.
  • Tell your DTA worker if you are unable to come to the office because of a disability and you need an accommodation.
  • If you miss your interview appointment and do not call to reschedule, DTA will close your case. If you complete the reevaluation within 30 days of the closing, your case will be reinstated. See DTA Online Guide: EAEDC > Basic Case Activities & Maintenance > Reevaluations > Reevaluations Case Manager Responsibilities.
  • Each time you go to the DTA office, ask to sign a log if there is one. If you are dropping off proof, ask to have a copy made and date-stamped. Write down the name of the DTA staff you talk to. You can use this as proof later if DTA cannot find the verification or says you missed your appointment.
  • If you are sending proof by mail, use the DTA postage-paid envelope if you have one. Try to keep a copy of anything you mail and make a note on the copy of the date that you mailed it. See Question 76.
  • If getting to the DTA office is hard for you, takes a long time, or costs too much, ask your DTA worker if you can have your interview by telephone or a home visit. Check with an advocate if DTA will not meet with you by telephone. Although DTA rules do not provide for telephone meetings for EAEDC, an advocate may be able to help you persuade DTA to meet with you by telephone.

If you have email you can choose to get notices electronically instead of by mail. The email will tell you that there is a notice that you can see on you My Account Page (MAP). You can also access notices on your smartphone or tablet on DTA’s DTA Connect app. See Question 83. DTA Operations Memo 2014-41 (June 12, 2014). 

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