GN BOS00301.037 Accessing State Records Online — Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance Connect (DTA Connect)

A. Introduction

SSA has agreements with some state agencies throughout the United States to obtain benefit and other information from their records online. CS/CSRs have traditionally obtained this information by phone, paper, or fax requests. Online access means the adjudicator can access the information on the adjudicator's computer screen, thus decreasing telephone, fax, and mail traffic between SSA field offices and the State agencies.

SSA Boston Region has an agreement with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) allowing Social Security field office employees access to BEACON, the eligibility system of the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA). Inquiry-only access to BEACON for SSA employees is through the electronic Department of Transitional Assistance Connect (DTA Connect) application. DTA Connect provides information about Temporary Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC), Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled, and Children (EAEDC), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) clients in Massachusetts.

B. SASRO Data and DTA Connect

1. Using SASRO Data

a. Background

The terms of the SSA Access to State Records Online (SASRO) agreement between SSA and MA DTA allows SSA to use the information obtained from DTA Connect to update SSA files of individuals, assign SSNs, and to establish and verify eligibility and payment amounts under certain benefit programs administered by SSA, as required under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act. DTA Connect data may not be used for any other purpose.

Most commonly, SSA uses DTA information to help determine the eligibility and payment of individuals for benefits under Title XVI of the Social Security Act.

b. Types of SASRO Data

There are two kinds of data available through SASRO:

  • Custodial Data consists of records created and or maintained by the agency or official who is charged under law to safeguard records. SSA can use this information as verified, since it is from the custodian of the record.

  • Collateral Data is information available from an entity that is not the custodian of the record. For example, the TAFDC database may contain information about earned or unearned income from other sources. SSA cannot use this information as verified, since DTA is not the custodian of the record. Verify the information with the actual source of the income, if applicable.

c. DTA Connect Data Considered Verified (Custodial Data)

Consider the following information obtained from DTA Connect as verified (i.e., no further verification is necessary):

  • Receipt of TAFDC or EAEDC (to verify PA household per SI 00835.130B or to exclude TAFDC recipients from the deeming computation per SI 01320.141),

  • Individuals in the Assistance Unit (AU),

  • Benefit amounts for TAFDC and SNAP,

  • Termination dates of TAFDC and SNAP benefits,

  • Child Support Pass-Through payments only, and

  • Retroactive payments made by DTA.

Instructions for using SASRO to verify TAFDC amounts and termination dates in Massachusetts are in SI BOS00830.405. There is no requirement to verify that an individual does not have income from the DTA. (This type of verification is referred to as “negative verification.”)

d. DTA Connect Data Not Considered Verified (Collateral Data)

DTA information such as the following can assist interviewers in completing applications or redeterminations, but must be verified with other sources:

  • Other income or resources (e.g., wages, child support, unemployment compensation, etc.),

  • SSNs for household members,

  • Dates of birth for household members, and

  • Addresses and phone numbers for recipients of benefits from DTA.

2. How to Document SASRO Data

Document online verifications for CCE, MCS, and other SSA systems per current POMS and MS instructions (GN 00301.286 - GN 00301.290 Electronic Evidence Documentation and Retention). Follow existing POMS procedures in resolving discrepancies between evidence obtained online and the claimant's allegation. SI BOS00830.405 contains specific instructions for documenting TAFDC payment information.

When entering verification of custodial data obtained via DTA Connect into any of SSA's systems, the documentation should clearly indicate the information was obtained from an online query. In general, the data entered must contain sufficient audit trail information to support the determination. In addition to the pertinent data being documented, record the agency name (DTA) and system accessed (DTA Connect), the date of access, and the screen(s) where the information was located.

3. Accessing SASRO Data through DTA Connect

Field office employees must be approved as a user by the State before attempting access to DTA Connect through the portal link login screen. See GN BOS00301.037D for information to request employee access.

C. Disclosure and Confidentiality

The Federal Privacy Act and other disclosure regulations protect SASRO information (both custodial and collateral) in the same manner as other SSA records.

1. Employee Requirements

Information obtained from the State must be treated in the same confidential manner as SSA data.

  • Treat the query information consistent with the requirements of the Social Security Act, the Federal Privacy Act, and applicable regulations.

  • Disclose information obtained from DTA Connect only in a manner consistent with applicable statutes and regulations.

  • Access to DTA Connect data is restricted to those authorized individuals who need the information to perform their official duties.

  • Civil and criminal sanctions for noncompliance contained in the applicable federal laws, including the Privacy Act and SSA regulations, apply.

2. Notification of Systems Breach or Changes

The SASRO agreement requires SSA to immediately notify MA DTA of any breaches of systems security or systems changes affecting the confidentiality of information provided to SSA. If data obtained from DTA Connect is involved in a PII loss, immediately report the incident to the Data Exchange Coordinator (DEC) at in addition to following normal PII loss reporting procedures.

D. Access Procedures

EOHHS allows access to DTA Connect through an email and password process. Access is limited to those employees who need to use the data to perform their jobs. CSs, CTEs, MSSs and OSs are the primary users.

1. DTA Connect Account Access

a. Requesting Access

Per Commonwealth of Massachusetts regulations, the State grants access to DTA Connect and limits access to a small number of SSA technicians. Each field office manager must complete the form, “DTA Provider Security Request Form for DTA Connect.” Do not complete the signature and date line at the bottom of the form. Submit the form to the Boston Regional Office Center for Disability and Programs Support (CDPS) via vHelp or by emailing

Technicians outside the Boston Region should contact a local field office (FO) for assistance from a technician who already has access granted by the State.

b. Using the DTA Connect Website

After DTA grants access, Boston Region CDPS will provide the approved user with supplemental instructions for DTA Connect Access/Login, Navigation and Verification. The instructions contain information regarding what functions are accessible, which functions are prohibited, and how to navigate in the DTA Connect portal.

c. Initial Access Attempt

Each DTA Connect approved user receives an initial email notification with a link to the DTA Connect login screen. At initial login, the new user inputs their SSA email and selects “Forgot Password.” This initiates an email to the approved user with a temporary password. The approved user can log into DTA Connect using their SSA email and temporary password provided from the state. Upon access to the portal, the approved user must change the temporary password to a permanent password that will not expire.

2. User Updates

If an approved user changes their field office location or has a name change, the field office manager must report the change to Boston Region CDPS by emailing

a. FO or Job Title Change

If the report involves a FO or job title change, Boston Region CDPS will determine, with concurrence from DTA, if the field office may be required to de-activate a user account due to the total number of users in the field office. Boston Region CDPS will communicate with field office management to provide the choice of which users to de-activate, if needed. If contacted by Boston Region CDPS to de-activate a user, follow the de-activation instructions in GN BOS00301.037D3.

b. Name Change

If the report involves a name change, include a completed “DTA Provider Security Request Form for DTA Connect” in the email to Boston Region CDPS. Name changes require the de-activation of the prior account and establishment of a new account under the user's new SSA email address. Follow de-activation instructions in GN BOS00301.037D3. Do not submit the request until the user's SSA email address has been updated.

3. De-Activation

A user may require de-activation of their DTA Connect account when the following occurs:

  • An employee no longer works for the agency,

  • An employee's SSA email changed, or

  • There are excess users with access in the FO.

To remove employee access, each field office manager must complete the form, "DTA Provider Security Request Form for DTA Connect" and select the column labeled Delete. Do not complete the signature and date line at the bottom of the form. Submit the completed "DTA Provider Security Request Form for DTA Connect" form to the Boston Region CDPS by emailing

4. Issues with the DTA Connect Website and Login

If a user is experiencing issues with the DTA Connect website or Login issues, management should notify the Boston Region CDPS by emailing A designated liaison in CDPS will contact DTA systems technicians to resolve reported concerns and notify field office management with the resolution.

Only management should notify the Boston Region CDPS of any changes in the designated individuals. Refer policy questions about how to use data obtained from DTA Connect for documentation purposes to Boston Region CDPS via vHelp.

5. Training

DTA staff does not provide online or individual training to SSA users on the functionality of the DTA Connect portal. With collaboration from DTA Connect IT staff, Boston Region CDPS created training guides which will be provided to newly approved users. Training guides are also available upon request from the Boston Region CDPS. The package describes login instructions, navigating DTA Connect, and how to verify TAFDC grant amounts in DTA Connect.

E. References

GN 00301.035 – Proofs from Other Government or State Agencies

GN 00301.286 – Electronic Evidence Documentation and Retention

SI BOS00830.405 – Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) - Massachusetts

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GN BOS00301.037 - Accessing State Records Online — Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance Connect (DTA Connect) - 04/19/2024
Batch run: 04/19/2024