# 73. How much income can you have and still qualify for TAFDC?

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Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
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DTA has one set of rules for counting income for applicants to determine if they qualify for TAFDC and a different set of rules to calculate the amount of the benefit. Question 73 deals with applicant eligibility, sometimes called getting in the front door. Question 74 and Question 75 deal with how DTA calculates benefits once you get in the front door.

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Subtract allowable deductions from gross earned income

• \$200 for work expenses. This is a flat amount regardless of how much your work expenses really are. 106 C.M.R. § 704.270
• One-half of what is left after the \$200 work expense deduction if you were a recipient within the four months before you apply. 106 C.M.R. § 704.280. DTA calls this the 50% disregard.
• Dependent care costs. Deduct actual dependent care costs (including costs of transportation to and from childcare) up to DTA’s maximum dependent based on the age of the dependent and the number of hours you work. 106 C.M.R. § 704.275. Determine the maximum deduction you can take for each dependent using DTA’s table.
Maximum Dependent Care Deductions

Hours of Work

Dependent Age 2 or Over

Dependent Under Age 2

Weekly
1-10

Monthly
1-43

\$44

\$50

Weekly
11-20

Monthly
44-87

\$88

\$100

Weekly
21-30

Monthly
88-130

\$132

\$150

Weekly
31+

Monthly
131+

\$175

\$200

Subtract allowable deductions from unearned income

You can deduct the first \$50 a month in child support for children who are included in the grant. See income not counted.

Compare your total monthly countable income with the Need Standard for your family size
• Use the Standard with the rent allowance if you live in private, unsubsidized housing.
• Use the lower standard without the rent allowance if you do not pay rent, you live in a teen parent living program, or you live in public or subsidized housing and the rent of at least one of the occupants is based on a percentage of income. 106 C.M.R. § 705.910.
• Be sure to use the higher Standard in September when the clothing allowance is paid.

If your total monthly countable income is less than the Need Standard for your family size, you got in the front door. Go to the next 2 questions to figure your monthly TAFDC grant.

TAFDC Monthly Need Standards

Assistance unit size

No rent allowance
(no rent, or public or subsidized housing)

With rent allowance
(private, unsubsidized housing)

1

\$513

\$553

2

\$648

\$688

3

\$783

\$823

4

\$912

\$952

5

\$1,045

\$1,085

6

\$1,183

\$1,223

7

\$1,316

\$1,356

8

\$1,448

\$1,488

9

\$1,580

\$1,620

10

\$1,714

\$1,754

Increment

\$139

\$139

Note

The Need Standards go up in September by the amount of the clothing allowance for each eligible child (\$450 in September 2023).

*The state legislature approved a 10% increase to grant amounts to be effective April 2024, but the increases were eliminated in January 2024 by 9C budget cuts issued by the Governor.