Benefits and Services

Produced by Deborah Harris, Ruth Bourquin, Patricia Baker Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Last Updated December 2010

The basic grant amount depends on the number of people in your TAFDC assistance unit (the number of people your grant is for) and your net countable income. See Part 2 Assistance Units and How much will you get each month?

The basic grant includes a $40 per month rent or mortgage allowance if you pay for private, unsubsidized housing. 106 C.M.R. § 705.910.

Your family automatically qualifies for MassHealth, 106 C.M.R. § 705.100, but you may be told you have to show proof of citizenship if you are a citizen. See F.O. Memo 2007-10 (Feb. 20, 2007).

In September, you will receive a $250 clothing allowance for each individual in the assistance unit who is under age 19. 106 C.M.R. §§ 204.420-204.425. This includes pregnant or parenting teens under age 19. Children excluded by the family cap do not get a clothing allowance.

The minimum grant amount is $10 a month. If you are eligible for at leats $1 but less than that, you will not get a cash payment but you will still be considered a recipient for purposes of MassHealth and other benefits (and you will get the clothing allowance in September). 106 C.M.R. § 204.500.

Advocacy Reminders:

  • If you are not receiving a cash grant because of the $10 minimum, you are still subject to the time limit and Work Program if you are not exempt, and you are subject to the family cap rules. You can choose to close your TAFDC case if you do not want to have these rules apply to you. You can apply for MassHealth and SNAP (food stamp) benefits separately and in most cases will continue to be eligible for them. You can reapply in late August or in September to get the clothing allowance in September.
  • The DTA worker has a duty to help identify any benefits you might be eligible for. 106 C.M.R. § 701.220(A); DTA Transitions, August 2007, p. 5.
  • You are eligible for the full $250 clothing allowance for each child in the assistance unit under age 19. You can apply any time in September and get the full clothing allowance.  You can get the full clothing allowance even if you would not be eligible for TAFDC without the September increase in the Need and Payment Standards.  DTA Online Guide (Clothing Allowance).
  • The clothing allowance amount is set in the annual state budget. The current amount of $250 for each child first applied to the clothing allowance paid in September 2016. Advocacy is sometimes needed to keep the clothing allowance from going down and to get it increased.
Produced by Deborah Harris, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Last Updated January 2017

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