What are the basic benefits available to TAFDC recipients?
The basic grant amount depends on the number of people in your TAFDC assistance unit and your net countable income. See 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 $150 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 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.
- 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. If you are eligible for any TAFDC, you can reapply in late August 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.
- To get the full $150 clothing allowance, you have to be a recipient on September 1 or be approved effective September 1. If your start date is later in September, the clothing allowance will be prorated. See DTA Operations Memo 2013-45 (Aug. 27, 2013); DTA Transitions, Sept. 2010, p. 5.
Deborah Harris, Ruth Bourquin and Patricia Baker Massachusetts Law Reform Institute