The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

OLGT 2017-81: DTA Guidance on Client Requests to Block Access to Online Information (DTA Connect, IVR, MAP)

Date: 
09/01/2017
Author: 
DTA

For many years, DTA has had an option called “Heightened Level of Security” for clients worried about their safety and security. Clients who sign up for heightened security discuss this with a DTA worker and sign a form. For cases with heightened security, DTA is not allowed to talk to the client (or anyone) about the case by phone – and the client needs to do all business in person at a local DTA office. For some people who have security fears, this is a very important option. For others it is a barrier and makes it hard to get or keep their DTA benefits. For more information on this, see the DTA Online Guide here. 

Over the past few years DTA has created new ways for clients to get case information without going to a local DTA office or talking to a DTA worker. Currently, DTA clients (and those authorized to talk with DTA) can get case information from three places:

These services can be accessed with limited information, including Social Security Number and year of birth. Clients who may not want the Heightened Level of Security may still worry about others who have their SSN and year of birth gaining access to confidential information - including phone number and address.

In response to requests from advocates, DTA has developed a protocol to block access to these 3 services for clients concerned that an unauthorized person has their SSN and year of birth. This Online Guide 2017-81 describes how DTA clients must be offiered the opportunity to request a privacy block. This privacy block is an important protection for clients worried about an unauthorized person accessing personal information. This block is also important because it is less restrictive than the Heightened Level of Security- clients who sign up for the block do NOT need to go in person to a local DTA office to discuss their case. Clients concerned about security can choose which option they want.

 

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