1. What is EAEDC?
EAEDC stands for "Emergency Assistance to Elderly, Disabled and Children." It is a cash benefit.
You apply for EAEDC at the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA).
Most people who get EAEDC can also get MassHealth Basic and SNAP/Food Stamps.
2. Who can get EAEDC?
You can get EAEDC if you are:
- Disabled; or
- Caring for someone who is disabled; or
- 65 or older; or
- In a Mass. Rehab program
- Also, some children who can not get TAFDC can get EAEDC.
3. How disabled do I have to be to get benefits?
To get EAEDC based on a disability:
1. You must have at least one physical or mental health problem that lasts at least 60 days.
2. You must have trouble supporting yourself through work.
3. The EAEDC standard is not as strict as SSI. You do not need to show that you are totally disabled.
When you apply, be sure your worker gives you an EAEDC Medical Report form to take to your doctor, a Disability Supplement for you to fill out, and a Temporary MassHealth Card to pay for your medical visits and any tests you need.
If you need help finding a doctor, getting an appointment, filling out the forms, or getting an interpreter for the appointment, tell your DTA worker. The worker must help you, if you ask.
4. Can I get EAEDC if I have a substance abuse disability?
You cannot get EAEDC based on a substance abuse disability alone. But if you have a mental or physical health problem related to the substance abuse, you may be able to get benefits. The rules for EAEDC are not the same as for SSI.
If DTA thinks you cannot properly spend your money on your basic needs, DTA may pay your benefits directly to your landlord, utility company, and other third parties. This is known as "protective payments."
5. Can I get EAEDC If I have income?
To get EAEDC, your countable monthly income has to be less than the grant level for your family size.
The grant amounts are lower if you live with another person getting benefits, or if you are homeless. If you have any income that is not from a current job, this money will be deducted dollar for dollar against from your grant. If you have earned income from a current job, some of it will not count.
Some income does not count, including:
- Housing subsidies, fuel assistance;
- Most gifts;
- Income of anyone living with you who gets SSI.
6. Can I get EAEDC if I have some money or own a house or car?
You can have money or property worth up to $250, or up to $500 if you are a couple or family. Some things are not counted: your home, your furniture, appliances, and personal items.
There are special rules for cars. Call Legal Services if you have questions.
7. Will I get health care if I'm on EAEDC?
You will get a MassHealth card. MassHealth covers most health services you may need, such as doctor visits and prescription drugs. If you are an immigrant, different rules may apply
8. I'm not a citizen. Can I still get EAEDC?
You don't have to be a citizen to get EAEDC. If you are in the U.S. legally, you can get EAEDC.
You will need to show DTA proof of your immigration status or your last contactwith INS. This can be a copy of any document you have. If you do not have any document, you can use a letter written by your lawyer or a copy of a receipt.
But do not go to INS without talking to a lawyer first. In some cases, getting EAEDC or other welfare benefits may hurt your immigration case.
9. How do I apply for EAEDC?
You can apply at your local DTA office. Be sure to sign an application the first time you go into the DTA office. The date you sign will be the date your benefits begin.
Your DTA worker will give you a list of proofs to bring back. If you don't have everything, bring what you have and ask your welfare worker for help. Your worker has to help you.
10. What are the time limits for getting proofs to DTA?
You have 22 days to get all the proofs back from the day you sign an application .
- If you need more time, you have the right to "extensions." Tell your worker if you need more time, and be sure to ask the worker for help.
- If DTA denies your EAEDC application, you can still get benefits if you give them the proofs they need within 30 days of the denial. You should get benefits back to the date of your application. You do not need to reapply.
11. If DTA stops or denies my EAEDC benefits, can I appeal this?
YES. If DTA decides to deny you or stop your benefits, you will get a written notice. If you disagree, you can file an appeal. This means that you request a fair hearing.
You have 90 days from the date on the notice to file an appeal. If you are already getting EAEDC, be sure to file your appeal within 10 days of the date on the notice in order to keep getting them while you wait for your hearing.
The Appeal form is on the back of the notice. Fill it out and fax it, or a letter requesting a hearing, to the Division of Hearings at (617) 348-5311. You can also mail it to:
Division of Hearings, DTA
P.O. Box 120167
Boston, MA 02112
Keep a copy of the appeal, and call the Division of Hearings at (617) 348-5321 or 1-800-882-2017 to make sure that they got it.
You also have the right to ask for a hearing if your worker threatens you, does not follow the rules, violates your privacy or does not treat you with dignity and respect.
You can bring a friend, family member, advocate or lawyer to help you at a hearing or any other business you have with the Department. Contact Legal Services right away to ask for help with your appeal.
Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute Last updated June, 2009