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Can you qualify if you are pregnant and do not have a child living with you?


DTA made a number of changes and suspended a number of rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Guide notes in red when a rule was suspended during the pandemic.

Produced by Deborah Harris and Betsy Gwin, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed December 2022

If you are age 20 or older, you are pregnant, and you have no other children living with you, you can get TAFDC – for yourself only –beginning with your third trimester (week 27 or 120 days before your due date). If you are a teen (under age 20), you are pregnant, you have no other children living with you, and you are meeting the teen school attendance requirements, see What are the school attendance rules for teen parents and pregnant teens?, you can get TAFDC – for yourself only –as soon as the pregnancy is verified. 106 C.M.R. § 702.210; DTA Online Guide (Pregnancy).

If you are living with but not married to the baby’s father, his income should not be counted until the baby is born. 106 C.M.R. §§ 704.210, 704.235(c).

You should begin the application process several weeks before your eligibility date in order to get benefits as soon as you are eligible.


Carolyn is pregnant and is due on December 16. She can get TAFDC beginning on August 18 (120 days before her due date). She should apply in July.

Advocacy Reminders:

  • A pregnant woman not yet eligible for TAFDC may be eligible for EAEDC cash benefits if she is disabled.
  • Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy may also be eligible for MassHealth; SNAP (food stamps); and WIC (Women, Infants and Children) nutrition benefits through the Department of Public Health, 1-800-WIC-1007. Homeless pregnant women may also be eligible for emergency shelter for families through the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities. Apply by calling 866-584-0653 or at your local DTA office if it is open. See Find emergency family shelter

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