96. What is an intentional program violation? What is welfare fraud?

An intentional program violation (IPV) is purposely giving false or misleading information, hiding information in order to get benefits you are not eligible for, or not reporting a change that would reduce or end your benefits. 106 C.M.R. ยง 706.300. Purposely giving false or misleading information or hiding information in order to get benefits may also be welfare fraud and may trigger criminal prosecution.

Advocacy Reminders:

  • DTA uses Social Security Number (SSN) matches with the Department of Revenue, Registry of Motor Vehicles, banks and other financial institutions, the Department of Correction and other state and federal agencies to detect unreported income, assets or other eligibility factors. See Question 39. If you disagree with an action DTA is taking based on information from a computer match, you have a right to appeal. See Part 7.
  • Contact an advocate if you are notified of an IPV or administrative disqualification hearing.
  • You might consider arguing any of the following, if they are relevant to your situation, to help show that DTA did not meet its burden of proving that you committed an IPV:
    • DTA failed to give you written notice about your requirements in your own language;
    • You reported a change to the DTA office but DTA failed to record the change or lost the documents (always keep proof of reporting a change);
    • DTA relied on information from its computer system that you can show is not accurate;
    • You have a mental impairment which prevented you from purposely acting to defraud DTA. A statement from a health provider, such as a therapist, may be useful in showing that you did not act purposely.