While we are not affiliated with the government in any way, our private company engaged writers to research the LIHEAP program and compiled a guide and the following answers to frequently asked questions. Our goal is to help you get the benefits that you need by providing useful information on the process.
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The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides financial assistance to low-income families. The goal of TANF is to help families become financially self-sufficient. States and U.S. Territories receive block grants from the federal government, which are used to fund each state and territory’s specific TANF program.
Learn more about the TANF program and its primary purposes here.
In Massachusetts, the TANF program is known as Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC). To learn more about TAFDC and the assistance benefits it provides, visit the Massachusetts TAFDC website here.
Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) provides temporary assistance to financially support families in need. The TAFDC program also provides eligible families with work preparation services to help them re-enter the workforce or find more stable employment
For more information on the services, the TAFDC program provides to participating families, review the Massachusetts TANF brochure found here.
TAFDC and Food Assistance are both assistance programs administered by the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA). Food Assistance benefits can only be used to purchase foods that have been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, TAFDC benefits are money that can be used however the participant sees fit, with some restrictions.
To learn more about the restrictions on TAFDC expenditures, visit the TAFDC brochure here.
Both TAFDC and Food Assistance benefits can be given to participants on an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card.
Many TAFDC participants also qualify for Food Assistance due to the low-income requirement of both programs. For more information about Food Assistance, click here.
To apply for Food Assistance and/or TAFDC, visit DTA Connect here.
If you have questions about TAFDC or Food Assistance, call the DTA Assistance Line at 1 (877) 382-2363.
The exact cash benefit amount a family will receive each month will depend on their household income, size and resources. Families can receive these benefits for up to 24 months within a five year period. If approved, a family may obtain an extension for an additional 24 months following that initial five year period. Families cannot exceed 48 months of benefits within their lifetime.
Learn more information about TAFDC and benefit amounts in Massachusetts here.
To qualify for TAFDC in Massachusetts, you must meet the following requirements:
Learn more about income requirements and work and training requirements here.
To learn more about who can receive TAFDC benefits, click here.
Before you apply for Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC), complete the following two steps:
Learn about the TAFDC eligibility requirements here.
To apply for TAFDC online, create an account on DTA Connect here and fill out the virtual application form.
To apply for TAFDC in person, click here to find the nearest Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance office location.
If you have any further questions about the application process, call the DTA Assistance Line at 1 (877) 382-2363.
Depending on your method of application, you can check your application status in the following ways:
You must participate in an eligibility interview before your family can be approved for assistance.
If you applied for TAFDC online, you should be contacted to schedule an interview with a caseworker. After your application has been processed, you will receive a notice in the mail from the Department of Transitional Assistance with your determination, EBT card, your benefit amount and how you will be receiving the benefits, if you are approved.
If you applied in person at a local Transitional Assistance office, you may be able to complete your interview during your visit and receive your determination and EBT card on the same day so long as you provide all the required information and documentation. Otherwise, you will receive an EBT card by mail after your interview.
Once you receive your benefits, you can use them to support your family as you see fit, while following the restrictions.
Learn more information about how to use your EBT card and how benefits will be distributed here.
If you require additional assistance or have questions about your determination call 1 (877) 382-2363.
If you do not agree with the TAFDC benefit decision given to you by the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance, you can appeal your decision by completing the appeal form that is included with your determination letter. If you lose your determination letter, you can request another form from the DTA in person or by phone.
To request an appeal form in person, visit a local Department of Transitional Assistance office. Find your nearest location here. You can request a new appeal form by phone by calling your local office or 1 (877) 382-2363. You must submit your appeal request before the date listed on your determination letter.
For help with obtaining Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children, or for any further questions about your application, call the DTA Assistance Line at 1 (877) 382-2363.
You can also visit or call a local Department of Transitional Assistance office for further assistance. Find your nearest location here.
Offices and services are available Monday through Friday from 8:15 AM to 4:15 PM.
While we are not affiliated with the government in any way, our private company engaged writers to research the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and compiled a guide and these answers to frequently asked questions. Our goal is to help you get the benefits that you need by providing useful information on the process.
Our free TANF Guide is filled with helpful information about how to apply, program eligibility requirements and how to get in touch with local offices. You can view or download our free guide here.