You are here

How do you qualify for an exemption as the caregiver for a disabled spouse or other family member living in your home?

Alert

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, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed March 9 2022

You qualify for an exemption as the caregiver for a disabled spouse, sibling, half-sibling, the other parent of your child, or your or your spouse’s parent(s) or grandparent(s) if

  • the disabled person receives SSI or Social Security disability benefits, or
  • the disabled person is a recipient of TAFDC and meets the requirements for TAFDC disability, or
  • the disabled person is not a recipient of TAFDC and a medical provider has verified the disability, and
  • you provide written medical evidence of the severity of the disability, the reason you have to be home to care for the person, and your inability to work full time outside the home because you must be home to care for the person. DTA Transitions, July 2012, p. 5; DTA Online Guide (Exemptions from Time Limited Benefits).

Ask your DTA worker for the form to bring to the doctor.

Advocacy Reminders

  • DTA regulations do not specifically allow an exemption unless you are caring for a child, spouse, or the child’s other parent. Contact your local legal services program, Appendix D: Massachusetts Legal Services Offices, if you need an exemption because you are caring for a disabled relative who is not listed. See 106 C.M.R. § 703.100(A)(1)(b).
  • DTA regulations say that to qualify for the exemption based on caring for a disabled child you have to apply for Social Security benefits for the child. DTA regulations also say that to qualify for the exemption based on caring for a disabled adult, the adult has to apply for Social Security benefits. See 106 C.M.R. § 703.100 (A)(1)(b). Contact your local legal services program, Appendix D: Massachusetts Legal Services Offices, if this is a problem for you.

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.

Help us improve MassLegalHelp!

Take a short survey to tell us what works and what is missing.

Your Local DTA Office

Ask a Law Librarian

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