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Grandparents and TAFDC

 

What is TAFDC?

TAFDC is "Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children." It is a monthly cash benefit for families with children. Once a year, it includes money to buy clothing for each child in the family.  It is the same thing as "welfare."

I am a grandparent raising my grandchild. Can I get TAFDC benefits for my grandchild?

Yes. You can get TAFDC benefits for a grandchild that you are raising. Your grandchild must live with you and

  • be under age 18, or
  • be 18, still in high school, but will graduate before turning 19.

Do I need to have guardianship or legal custody of my grandchild in order to get benefits?

In general you do not need to have guardianship or legal custody to get TAFDC for your grandchild if the child’s parents do not live with you. You just need to show you are related to the child. You can be related by blood or marriage, even if the marriage has ended.

You can prove your relationship with birth certificates, school records, medical records, or other kinds of papers.

Can I get TAFDC benefits for my grandchild only? 

Yes. You can choose if you want to get benefits for your grandchild only, or for yourself as well.

If you choose to get benefits for your grandchild only:

  • DTA will not count your income or your assets - the things you own - when they decide how much TAFDC your grandchild can get. 
  • Some TAFDC rules, like work rules and time limits, do not apply.  

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:

  • DTA will count your income and your assets - the things you own - when they decide how much TAFDC you and your grandchild can get. 
  • Depending on your age and health, you may also have a work requirement. The TAFDC time limits will also apply.

Can I get child care for my grandchild for the hours that I work?

If you are getting TAFDC for yourself, you can get a child care voucher for the hours that you work or attend an education or training program.

If you only get TAFDC for your grandchild, the 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 SNAP/Food Stamps?

You can get SNAP/ Food Stamps for your grandchild, but only if you get them for yourself as well. DTA will count your income when they decide how much SNAP you and our granchild will get. 

What about Mass Health?

If you and/or your grandchild are getting TAFDC benefits, you will also get Mass Health. 


Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Last updated March 2015


More information and legal advice

Free Legal Services may be available to give you more advice or representation. Call the Legal Services program in your community for help.

 

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