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Can you get TAFDC if the child is not in the home?

Produced by Deborah Harris, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed December 2017

You can get TAFDC for a child (and caretaking relative) if the child normally lives with you but is temporarily absent. This includes situations where the child is visiting the other parent, spends time with the other parent under a shared custody arrangement, is away at school or is in the hospital. It also includes situations where you have voluntarily placed the child in the care of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) or some other person or agency but you are still exercising care and control. 106 C.M.R. § 203.595; DTA Transitions, May 2009, p. 10; July 2006, p. 3.

In general, you cannot get TAFDC for a child who is temporarily absent for more than 120 consecutive days, unless you can show good cause for a longer period. You may be able to show that the absence is temporary because it is for fewer than 120 days. You may have good cause for a longer period if the child is hospitalized or in a residential school but comes home for visits or holidays, or there is a temporary family crisis. DTA recognizes that placement of a child with DCF usually involves a serious family crisis. DTA Transitions, May 2009, p. 10.

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