Immigrant Eligibility Alert-Data Entry Errors

Vicky Pulos, MLRI

We are still working on tracking down the source of persistent eligibility errors affecting immigrants. It looks like one source of the problems may be when information from paper application forms are entered into the computer by the state. In this alert, we show what the computer screen menus look like compared to the questions on the paper application. To avoid data entry errors when filing a paper application, we are recommending that eligible immigrants describe their documents and immigration status using terms from the on line menu options and also include a copy of their immigration documents. 

Advocates who are representing eligible immigrants who received an erroneous program determinations should ask if the application was filed on paper. The paper application is scanned and saved in the system. Find out from MassHealth or the Connector how the paper application questions about immigration status were answered and compare it to the information entered on the screen. Identifying a data entry error should make it easier to get retroactive assistance even if appeal periods have expired, and/or to establish a special enrollment period based on the agency's error.

Thanks to advocates spotting these problems, the error that resulted in eligible immigrants being treated as ineligivle when applicants or data entry workers selected "none of the above"as the status of an eligible immigrant has been fixed going forward. The on-line is being revised to omit the "none of the above" option. However, many errors may have occurred from this source between Nov 2014 and July 2015.   We have urged the state to revise future versions of the paper application to include the menu options but don't yet know if or when this will happen. .Please let us know about your "none of the above cases" by sending an email to

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Immigrant Eligibility Alert 2.pdf (506.32 KB) 506.32 KB