Welfare Application Instructions for Massachusetts



Application Instructions

In order to receive TAFDC in Massachusetts, potential applicants should contact the Department of Transitional Assistance Application Information Unit or the local Transitional Assistance Office. (http://webapps.ehs.state.ma.us/DTAOffices/default.aspx) For more information, call 1-800-249-2007.


Available Benefits

TANF benefits are figured based on individual state guidelines and dependent on factors such as family size, earned and unearned income, and housing expenses. In Massachusetts, TAFDC benefits are available to eligible residents for a maximum of 24 months (2 years) in a 60 month period (5 years). In 2005, the maximum TANF benefit for a family of three was $618 per month or $7416 per year.


Am I Eligible?

In Massachusetts, TANF applicants must meet both the state and federal guidelines for the program. The federal government requires that individuals meet the monetary and non-monetary state guidelines, complete work-related activities, provide paternity information about the children in the household, and report as required by the state. The federal guidelines have been built into each state.s program, as this is required in order for states to receive the block grants that fund TANF. Therefore, it is really only necessary that applicants be aware of and meet the requirements as outlined by the state of Massachusetts. To read more about the federal TANF eligibility guidelines, click here. In order to qualify for TAFDC benefits in Massachusetts, applicants must live in state and be legal immigrants or U.S. citizens. At least one dependent child must live in the home or a child must be due to be born within 120 days. Additionally, applicants must meet income limits and participate in the required work program (unless exempt).


General TANF information for Massachusetts

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a federally funded program that helps American families by providing benefits, both financial and otherwise, to help keep family units intact. TANF benefits, sometimes referred to as welfare benefits, are intended to supplement a family.s earned and unearned income and can be used to purchase clothing, food, medication, and pay for housing and utility costs, for example. On the federal level, the Office of Family Assistance, which is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, oversees and funds the TANF program. State governments are responsible for designing and implementing their own welfare programs, including the determining eligibility, providing benefits, and distributing cash allotments. This page outlines the state requirements for TANF benefits. To learn more about the Federal TANF program and its requirements, click here. The state of Massachusetts administers Federal TANF benefits through the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance. To learn more about Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC), or cash assistance, click here. In addition to regular cash assistance, Massachusetts also offers EAEDC, Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled, and Children, a program for those who do not qualify for TANF.