TAFDC is only for families who have a low income and pregnant women who have a low income. You may be able to get TAFDC if you have some income and own some things.
There is a chart on MassLegalHelp that shows how much monthly income you can have and still be able to get TAFDC benefits. The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) does not count some kinds of income like work study income. You may be able to get TAFDC even if your income is above the levels in the chart.
There is a $2,500 limit on "assets." "Assets" are savings and things that you own. Some things that you own do not count. Your house and your personal belongings like furniture, appliances, and jewelry, do not count. One car per family does not count, up to a certain value. Also, things that you can not easily access or sell do not count. For example, if you own something with your spouse or boyfriend and can't sell it without his permission, it should not count against you. Also, if you have a joint account that you cannot use safely, this should not count against you.
Will owning a car stop me from getting TAFDC?
You cannot get TAFDC if you have more than $2,500 in "assets". Your car is included in this $2,500, but DTA only counts some of the value of your car.
DTA looks at two things:
- The Fair Market Value of your car (how much you could sell your car for); and
- The amount of equity you have in your car (how much you would have left after you sold the car and paid off your car loans).
DTA does not count:
The first $10,000 of the Fair Market Value of your car;
the first $5,000 of the equity you have in your car.
Work out how DTA figures what the value of your car is
- Subtract $10,000 from the price you could get for your car.
- Subtract $5,000 from what you would have left if you sold your car and paid off your car loans.
- Which is the bigger number?
- DTA uses the bigger amount.
- If the amount is more than $2,500, you have more than $2,500 in assets. You own too much to be able to get TAFDC.
- If the amount is less than $2,500, and more than $0 add this number to the value of other assets you have " like your savings account. As long as adding everything together is $2,500 or less, you may be able to get TAFDC. If you add all of your assets together plus the number you get for your car from step 4, and you come up with more than $2,500, you have more than $2,500 in assets. You may own too much to be able to get TAFDC.
You do not have to sell your car to get TAFDC. This is just a way to figure out how much your car counts as a part of your assets
Produced by an AmeriCorps Project of Western Massachusetts Legal Services updated and revised Massachusetts Law Reform Institute Last updated October, 2009