What is TAFDC?
TAFDC stands for Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children. It is a cash benefit for families with children who have very little money. It includes a monthly cash benefit and, once a year, extra money to buy clothing for each child.
I am a grandparent, and I am raising my grandchild. Can I get TAFDC benefits for my grandchild?
Yes. Grandparents can apply for and receive TAFDC benefits for grandchildren they are raising.
Do I need to have guardianship or legal custody of my grandchild in order to get the benefits?
In general you do not need to have guardianship or legal custody toget benefits for a grandchild if the child’s parents do not live with you. Youjust need to show you are related to the child (by blood or by marriage, even if the marriage has ended). You can do thiswith birth certificates, school records, medical records, or other kinds of papers.
If one of your grandchild’s parents also lives with you, then you need to have legal guardianship or custody in order to be the one to apply for the child’s benefits.
Even if the parent does not live with you, you may need to get legal guardianship or custodyif you are trying to get TAFDC benefits for a child whose parentalready hit the 24 month TAFDC time limit or for a child who has not been able to get benefits due to the "family cap" rule.
I am working or get Social Security. Can I get TAFDC benefits for my grandchild without getting them myself?
Yes. You can choose whether you want to get benefits for your grandchild only, or for yourself as well. If you choose to get benefits for your grandchild only, then your income and the things you own will not be counted in deciding how much TAFDC your grandchild can get.
Can I get TAFDC benefits for myself if I need them?
Yes, if your income is low enough. If you choose to get benefits for yourself, your income and the things you own will be counted and your income will lower the size of your grant and your grandchild’s grant. Depending on your age and health condition, you may also have a work requirement.
Can I get child care for my grandchild for the hours that I work?
If you are on the TAFDC grant and receiving benefits for yourself, you can get a child care voucher for the hours that you work or attend an education or training program.
If you are not on the grant, your welfare worker may tell you that you can not get a child care voucher for your grandchild. But you may be able to get one with the help of a Legal Services advocate. Call your local Legal Services program to ask about this.
What about Food Stamps?
You can also get Food Stamps for your grandchild, but only if you get them for yourself as well. This means that your income must be below the income limit for Food Stamps, and your income will be counted in deciding the size of your Food Stamps grant. If you are above the income limit for Food Stamps, you may still be able to get TAFDC for your grandchild only.
What about Mass Health?
If you and/or your grandchild are getting TAFDC benefits, you will also get Mass Health. If either you or your grandchild is denied TAFDC, you should apply separately for Mass Health benefits because you and/or your grandchild may still be able to get them.
Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute Last updated February 23, 2007