79. What are the basic benefits available to TAFDC recipients?

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Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
  • The basic grant amount depends on the number of people in your TAFDC assistance unit (the number of people your grant is for) and your net countable income. See Part 2: Assistance Units and monthly grant amounts.
  • The basic grant includes a $40 per month rent or mortgage allowance if you pay for private, unsubsidized housing. 106 C.M.R. § 705.910.
  • Your family automatically qualifies for MassHealth, 106 C.M.R. § 705.100.
  • In September, you will receive a clothing allowance for each individual in the assistance unit who is under age 19 ($450 per child in September 2023). 106 C.M.R. §§ 704.420, Mass.gov/dta/eligibility. This includes pregnant or parenting teens under age 19.

The minimum grant amount is $10 a month. If you are eligible for at least $1 but less than $10 you will not get a cash payment but you will still be considered a recipient for purposes of MassHealth and other benefits (and you will get the clothing allowance in September). 106 C.M.R. § 704.500.

Advocacy Reminders

  • If you are not receiving a cash grant because of the $10 minimum, you are still subject to the time limit and Work Program if you are not exempt. You can choose to close your TAFDC case if you do not want to have these rules apply to you. You can apply for MassHealth and SNAP (food stamp) benefits separately and in most cases will continue to be eligible for them. You can reapply in late August or in September to get the clothing allowance in September.
  • The DTA worker has a duty to help identify any benefits you might be eligible for. 106 C.M.R. § 701.220(A); DTA Transitions, Aug. 2007, p. 5.
  • You are eligible for the full $450 clothing allowance for each child in the assistance unit under age 19. You can apply any time in September and get the full clothing allowance. You can get the full clothing allowance even if you would not be eligible for TAFDC without the September increase in the Need and Payment Standards. Appendix E (DTA Online Guide Links).
  • The clothing allowance amount is set in the annual state budget. Advocacy is sometimes needed to keep the clothing allowance from going down and to get it increased.
  • In recent years, DTA has been depositing the clothing allowance at the end of August for children receiving TAFDC in August. Applicants approved for TAFDC in September sometimes have to wait until later in the year to get the clothing allowance.


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