The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

88. How much time do I 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 to ask for a hearing 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 situation, 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 Question 95 for limits on recovering overpayments. Getting benefits while you are waiting for the hearing decision is called “aid pending appeal.”

Advocacy Reminders:

  • It is almost always a good idea to appeal any denial, termination, or reduction in benefits you disagree with promptly. The appeal form asks 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 except when your EAEDC benefits are being terminated because DES denied your disability.
    • EAEDC terminations based on DES saying that you are not disabled:
      • If your doctor can say on a new medical report that you are disabled for at least 60 days, you can reapply for EAEDC right away and get EAEDC based on the new application. If that happens, you may not want to get aid pending your appeal.
      • If you have a question about getting aid pending, contact a legal advocate.
  • 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.

See Appendix G for a copy of the Fair Hearing Request form.

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