You are here

Who cannot be in the assistance unit?

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

Certain people cannot be included in the assistance unit, even if they live in the same household. These people may or may not have their income and assets counted in determining the family’s eligibility.

People who are excluded and whose income and assets do not count are

People who are excluded and whose income and assets do count if they are otherwise mandatory members of the assistance unit (see Who has to be in the assistance unit?) are

  • people who are sanctioned (for not cooperating with child support, an Employment Development Plan, the Work Program, Learnfare, immunization, teen parent school attendance, third-party medical insurance, or direct deposit requirements, or for an intentional program violation),
  • ineligible non-citizens, and
  • people who have not met an eligibility rule such as the Social Security number requirement. 106 C.M.R. §§ 204.305-204.310.

Also, you are excluded if you have an outstanding default or arrest warrant in Massachusetts, you are fleeing prosecution or punishment for a felony, or you are violating a condition of probation or parole. 106 C.M.R. § 701.110. See What if you have an outstanding default or arrest warrant? and What if you have a criminal history or are fleeing prosecution or punishment?. You may also be excluded if you were convicted of a drug-related felony for conduct that occurred after August 22, 1996, you were released from prison less than 12 months ago, and you do not meet any of the other exceptions listed in What if you have a criminal history or are fleeing prosecution or punishment?. Consult an advocate if you need help dealing with any of these problems.

Advocacy Reminders:

  • It may be illegal for DTA to remove you from the grant for not cooperating with child support. Also, if you have income that is being counted in figuring the grant amount, DTA may be reducing your grant for not cooperating with child support by more than the amount permitted by law.
  • You may have grounds to challenge a sanction or disqualification if you had good cause for not meeting a DTA requirement or DTA did not comply with its obligations before imposing the sanction or disqualification.

Find Legal Aid

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

Your Local DTA Office

Ask a Law Librarian

If it's
Monday-Friday
between
9am and 4pm