Massachusetts TANF Application Information

The Massachusetts Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) program is a key support system for families in Massachusetts facing financial challenges. This program is specifically designed to help families with children by providing them with temporary financial assistance. The main goal of Massachusetts TANF is to help these families become self-sufficient by offering not only financial aid, but also access to job training, education, and other supportive services.

Massachusetts TAFDC focuses on empowering families to move beyond temporary aid and build a stable, independent future. The program emphasizes the importance of work and education as pathways to achieving long-term financial stability. By participating in TAFDC, families in Massachusetts receive the help they need during tough times, along with the tools and opportunities to grow stronger and more self-reliant.

Eligibility Requirements

There are a few things you need to know about qualifying for the Massachusetts Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) program. This includes:

Who Can Apply:

  • If you have children under 18 or are pregnant and due in less than 4 months (or under 20 and pregnant at any stage).
  • Caregivers related to a child, but not the biological or adoptive parent, can also apply for the child or children in their care. If you're applying just for the children, your income won't be considered, even if the application is in your name. However, any income the child has could affect eligibility.

Residency and Citizenship:

  • You need to live in Massachusetts and be a U.S. citizen or eligible immigrant.

Income Limits:

  • Your family's income before taxes (gross income) must be below a certain limit, which varies based on your family size and whether you live in public/subsidized housing or private housing.
  • If you work, you can deduct $200 from your monthly earnings right off the bat. If you've received TAFDC in the past 4 months, you can also subtract half of the remaining gross earnings. Child care costs may also be deductible.

Teen Parents:

  • If you're a teen parent living with your parents, your family's income must be under specific limits to qualify.

Child Support:

  • Every child on TAFDC must have a child support case open unless they live with both parents. There are exceptions for cases involving domestic violence or safety concerns.

Employment and Training Services:

  • If you're over 18 and can work, DTA will link you to JobQuest and the MassHire Career Center network as part of your application process. This will give you access to free tools and resources to help with your career.

Disability Accommodations:

  • If you have a disability or health issue that makes it hard to meet certain requirements, you can ask for an accommodation.

Domestic Violence Support:

  • If domestic violence is a concern, DTA's Domestic Violence Unit can provide support and address safety concerns.

If you're not sure whether you qualify, the best thing to do is apply. The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) will review your application, conduct an interview, and determine if you meet the TAFDC eligibility criteria.

Using the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Card

When you qualify for Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) in Massachusetts, you'll be issued an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, unless you already have one. This card works similarly to a debit card. You may even receive it in the mail before your application is officially approved. EBT cards allow you to use your TAFDC benefits at authorized stores for eligible purchases, and you can also withdraw cash at participating ATMs.

If you prefer a more direct method and have a bank account, you can opt for Direct Deposit, where your TAFDC benefits are electronically transferred straight into your account, providing a seamless way to access your funds.

TANF Application Instructions

If you're looking to apply for Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) in Massachusetts, there are a few different ways you can do it:


The easiest way might be to apply online. Just go to to fill out and submit your application.

By Phone:

If you prefer talking to someone or need a bit of help, you can apply over the phone. Call your local office, and they'll guide you through the application process.

In Person:

You can also apply in person. Visit your local Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) office. They have self-service options available. Some community centers also have kiosks where you can apply.

Each of these methods is designed to make the application process as smooth as possible, so you can choose the one that works best for you.

The Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) program in Massachusetts is an important support system for families going through financial hardships. By offering temporary financial assistance, the program aims to provide a safety net for families, ensuring that children have the stability they need during challenging times.

Beyond just financial aid, TAFDC is committed to encouraging self-sufficiency among participants through access to employment support, education, and training opportunities. This holistic approach empowers families to not only meet their immediate needs, but to also build a foundation for a more secure and independent future.