DTA has several ways of collecting overpayments from former SNAP and cash recipients. If you appeal the overpayment, or disagree you were overpaid at all, DTA should suspend collection activities until there is a decision on the appeal. 106 C.M.R. § 367.495(H)
How to repay a SNAP overpayment
If you are not getting SNAP, you can fill out DTA’s Repayment Agreement form and agree to one of the following:
If you are getting SNAP, DTA can pay itself back by:
If BSI decides that you committed SNAP fraud and that the overpayment was not just a mistake, you can be prosecuted. 106 C.M.R. § 367.850. If you get notice of a criminal complaint, you should plead “not guilty” and ask the court to appoint a lawyer for you. Legal services programs do not represent people in criminal matters but they may help you and your lawyer figure out whether BSI has correctly computed what you owe.
If DTA thinks you were overpaid because of your mistake or because you committed fraud, it may refer your case to the Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI). 106 C.M.R. § 706.240. DTA may also refer applications to BSI if the worker thinks you are lying about something.
If you are found guilty of an IPV by a court of law or by a DTA hearing officer – or you waived your right to an IPV hearing or signed a consent agreement in court – you will not be eligible for SNAP benefits for yourself for
An IPV is an “intentional program violation.” That is when a court or an administrative hearing officer determines that you gave DTA false or misleading information on purpose. DTA must prove that you intentionally and willfully hid information in order to get benefits you are not eligible for, or intentionally and willfully did not report a change that you were required to report and would have reduced your benefits. 106 C.M.R. § 367.525.
Under the federal and state SNAP rules, you are required to repay overpayments even if the overpayment was DTA's mistake - unless the overpayment meets certain exceptions. See 106 C.M.R. § 367.495(E)
This chart summarizes whenDTA will and will not pursue an overpayment.