You are here

Head’s up — MassLegalHelp is getting a new look!

At the beginning of March, we will be relaunching this website with a brand-new look. You may notice some things moved around, but our main content will stay the same. We hope the improved design will make it easier to find what you are looking for.


What if you are expecting money from an accident or illness?


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 expecting money from an accident or illness and you need TAFDC because of that accident or illness, you have to assign your right to the money to DTA. This includes money from a lawsuit or Workers’ Compensation. DTA can reimburse itself from the accident or illness money for the TAFDC you needed because of the accident or illness. 106 C.M.R. § 702.800. The assignment form also covers money you may get for medical expenses.

If you are receiving TAFDC, DTA will apply the lump sum rule to the balance of money that you get from a settlement or Workers’ Compensation award. See

Because TAFDC no longer counts assets, you should be able to keep money you got before you applied. See Does TAFDC count assets?

Advocacy Reminder:

  • If child support has been paid to the state for the time period covered by the assignment, DTA should not reimburse itself again for TAFDC benefits that were paid back through child support payments. Similarly, DTA should not reimburse itself for TAFDC benefits you repaid to DTA after DTA said you were overpaid. Be sure to tell your lawyer about any payments that reduce DTA’s claim before the lawyer turns any money from the lawsuit over to DTA.

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
9am - 12pm and 1pm - 4pm