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What are your Pathways to Work choices?


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

Pathways to Work choices include

See Choose a TAFDC Pathways to Work Program. You can get information about DTA employment programs and services from a DTA employment staff person listed at

DTA guidelines for referring TAFDC recipients to Pathways to Work activities may be found at DTA Online Guide (ESP Component Eligibility) and in DTA Operations Memo 2011-46 (Sept. 21, 2011) and DTA Field Operations Memo 2009-52A (Oct. 6, 2009) and 2009-45 (July 31, 2009).

During the pandemic, some programs operated remotely. DTA also provided vouchers to cover the fee for you to take the HiSet test remotely. DTA OLGT 2020-79 (TAFDC: High School Equivalency Testing and Vouchers) (Nov. 27, 2020).

Advocacy Reminders

  • It is usually not a good idea to borrow money for skills training. Programs do not always deliver on the promise of a job. You can be stuck with very high debt for the rest of your life. DTA should not pressure you to enroll in an activity that you have to pay for and should discuss no-cost options with you before approving an activity you have to pay for. DTA Operations Memo 2011-46 (Sept. 21, 2011).
  • A program that sounds good on paper may not offer the services you need. If you are subject to the work requirement, DTA may try to sanction you if you stop participating. You should also be sure to choose carefully so you do not use up the limited time you have to participate in education or training. DTA stopped sanctions during the pandemic.

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