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If my TAFDC case closes, do my SNAP benefits continue?

Produced by Patricia Baker and Victoria Negus
Reviewed January 2018

If your family was receiving TAFDC and your benefits end—due to earnings, voluntary case closing, or most reasons other than a TAFDC program sanction—you will automatically get five months of SNAP benefits.

The amount of SNAP you get will be calculated using only the income you had in the month your TAFDC benefits stopped. DTA will not count the amount of your TAFDC cash grant that stopped. DTA will also not count new income you receive after your TAFDC case closes, such as new earnings or child support. This special benefit is called the Transitional Benefits Alternative or “TBA.” 106 C.M.R. § 365.190.

Example: Aisha receives $433 monthly in TAFDC for herself and her two children, plus $300 in Social Security Survivors Benefits. Their SNAP benefits are $338 a month. Aisha starts working at a job that pays $800 a month and asks DTA to close her TAFDC case. Under TBA, DTA recalculates Aisha’s benefits counting only the $300/month in Social Security Survivors Benefits. DTA excludes the terminated TAFDC income and excludes the new income from her new job. Their benefits will be $468 a month for five months.

During this special five-month TBA period, you are not required to report any changes in your household. However, you have the option to report changes and if you report a change that could increase your benefits (such as loss of income or the addition of a household member), DTA is required to act on that change and recertify your benefits to the higher amount. You will no longer be a TBA household. See 106 C.M.R. § 366.110(B).

About 45 days before the end of the 5 month TBA period, DTA should send you a recertification form that you will need to complete in order to continue your SNAP.  

Advocacy Reminders

  • Unless you reapply for TAFDC during the 5 month TBA period or report changes that would increase your benefit, DTA should not decrease or close your TBA. If DTA stops your TBA because you reported an increase in income contact Legal Services right away.
  • Some households do not get TBA when their cash assistance closes. If you do not get TBA, DTA cannot shorten your regular SNAP certification period (require you to complete a SNAP recertification early) when your cash assistance case closes, unless they are moving you from Change Reporting to Simplified Reporting. If DTA tells you to recertify earlier than you were told in your SNAP approval notice, contact Legal Services. 
Additional Guidance

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