- The mission of the Department of Transitional Assistance is to assist low-income individuals and families to meet their basic needs, increase their incomes, and improve their quality of life.
Important Update for Unemployment Compensation (UC) Claimants
On January 3, 2013, President Obama signed the Tax Relief Extension Act. This law will extend Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits until the end of 2013. Please visit the Division of Unemployment Assistance website for more information. http://www.mass.gov/lwd/unemployment-insur/
If you are a current DTA client whose unemployment benefits have ended, please let your case manager know. It may result in higher benefits.
New EBT Restrictions
Chapter 161 of the Acts of 2012 makes it unlawful to use or accept DTA cash assistance funds held on Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards or devices to purchase or sell the following services or products:
•Firearms and ammunition
•Tattoos or body piercings
•Court-ordered fees, fines, bail or bail bonds, or
•Pornographic material or performances
Direct cash assistance includes Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) and Emergency Aid to Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC) benefits.
Penalties for knowingly violating the law can include paying DTA back for the items or services purchased to permanent disqualification from receiving cash assistance. More information here:
• EBT Card Restrictions: What You Cannot Buy Poster
The following establishments can no longer accept DTA cash assistance used in any EBT transaction:
•Casinos, gambling casinos or gaming establishments
•Manicure shops or aesthetic shops
•Adult bookstores, or adult paraphernalia stores, or pornographic performance establishments.
Store owners who knowingly violate this law can be fined and face possible disciplinary action.
Retailer Posting Requirement
The law also requires businesses that accept EBT cards to post a sign with DTA’s fraud hotline in a conspicuous area and to maintain a list of categories of prohibited products at each cash register.
Please visit our Information for Retailers page for information on how these requirements affect your business.
To report a prohibited purchase, call 1-800-FRAUD-99.
Be Aware of EBT Scams
There have been recent reports of people getting text messages about their EBT cards. These messages say that the cardholder must call a toll-free number or the EBT card will be deactivated.
If you receive a text message like this, please do not respond. These messages are not sent by DTA.
To report EBT scams or fraud, please call our Fraud Hotline at 1-800-372-8399.
- The Department of Transitional Assistance serves one out of every eight people in the Commonwealth — including working families, children, elders, and people with disabilities. Our services include food and nutritional assistance, cash assistance, and employment supports.