This Guide shows that the TAFDC program is complicated. As a result, DTA denies benefits to many eligible people. You can help by learning the rules and explaining them to people in need. You can work with other people to make sure DTA offices follow the rules so that people get the benefits they need for themselves and their children.
This Guide also shows that TAFDC rules often hinder the goal of aiding children and families. By joining together, we can change state and federal welfare laws to create programs that better serve the needs of low-income families and actually help families escape poverty.
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Deborah Harris, Ruth Bourquin, Patricia Baker, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Introduction: Why the Handbook?
In 1935, the United States Congress created the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) program as part of the original Social Security Act. The goal was to help states make it possible for poor children without a parent’s support to live at home rather than in an orphanage...This section includes information about The Federal Welfare Block Grant, The Massachusetts TAFDC Program and How to Keep Up with the Law.
General Eligibility Rules
Answers questions about who can get TAFDC?
An assistance unit is all the members of a household who are counted in determining the amount of the grant. This chapter answers questions "assistance units", explains the "family cap" and more...
Time Limit and Work Program Rules and Exemptions
Certain families are limited to a total of 24 months of TAFDC benefits in any 5-year period... This Chapter answers questions about these rules, exemptions, waivers and extensions.
You must be financially eligible to get TAFDC benefits. To be financially eligible, your countable income and assets must be within TAFDC eligibility limits. If you are within TAFDC eligibility limits, the amount of your grant is figured by comparing your countable income, after any allowable deductions, with the payment standard for your family size. These rules are discussed in more detail in this Part.
Benefits and Services
This chapter answers questions about the Benefits and Services offered by TAFDC.
Applications and Proofs
Where do you apply for TAFDC? What should you bring with you? How long does it take to decide whether you are eligible? What if you need help right away? What is BEACON?
Proving Continuing Eligibility
DTA is supposed to review (“redetermine”) eligibility for most recipients every six months. This chapter answers questions about this rule and changes to the rule