SI BOS00830.405 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) - Massachusetts (TN 5-254 — 07/2005)

A. Background

Based on federal legislation passed in 1996, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). The legislation provides cash block grants to States and gives them flexibility to determine eligibility criteria and to set benefit amounts.

B. The Administration of TANF in Massachusetts

1. State Agency Administering TANF

The Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) administers TANF under the name of “Transitional Assistance for Families and Dependent Children” (TAFDC). Information on this and other programs can be found on the agency's website at www.state.ma.us/dta .

2. Simultaneous SSI/TAFDC Eligibility

In Massachusetts an individual may not be included in a TAFDC grant for the same months he or she is eligible for SSI. The monthly amount of any SSI payment must be reduced dollar for dollar by the individual's share of a TAFDC grant, until the State removes the individual from the grant. Sections C and D below provide instructions for verifying the individual's share of the TAFDC grant and the TAFDC termination date.

3. Frequency of Payment

Massachusetts makes two TAFDC payments monthly to each household or assistance unit (AU). The head of household who is applying for/receiving assistance for the AU is the grantee. The date of each payment depends on the last digit of the grantee's SSN. The table in Section G below gives the cyclical check dates. Note that changes in TAFDC benefit amounts and terminations are effective on the day prior to a cyclical check date. It is possible for an SSI recipient to be included in only the first TAFDC check in the month he/she is removed from the AU and not the second check.

4. How Massachusetts Computes TAFDC grants

Massachusetts uses an incremental method to determine the TAFDC grant amount for a family. The amount of the grant is increased or decreased, as the number of people in the family increases or decreases.

Assistance begins as of the date of application for TAFDC or the date the applicant meets all eligibility requirements provided this date does not precede the date of application. Benefits for the first month of eligibility are prorated.

5. Family Cap on Incremental Rate Grant

Since November 1, 1995, a family cap has applied in Massachusetts. In most cases an additional child born to a TAFDC AU more than ten months after the initial application date will not be added to the TAFDC grant.

6. Child Support Pass-Through

TAFDC and Medicaid recipients assign their child support rights to the State as part of their obligation to cooperate with child support enforcement efforts. In Massachusetts $50.00 per month of child support is disregarded, before the remainder is deducted from the family's TAFDC grant.

7. Individual Development Accounts (IDA)

Massachusetts does not offer Individual Development Accounts.

C. Procedure – Determining an Individual's Share of a TAFDC Grant

Because funding for TANF comes partially from Federal block grants, TAFDC payments are considered income based on need. The individual's share of a TAFDC grant is counted dollar for dollar as income and the $20.00 general income exclusion does not apply to this income. Verify the individual's share of the TAFDC grant amount with DTA, as required in SI 00830.403.

Use SSA Access to State Records Online (SASRO) to verify an individual's receipt of TAFDC in Massachusetts. (See subsection E. below.) The State's electronic Transitional Assistance Gateway (eTAG) gives the names of the eligible individuals on the grant and the monthly grant amount for the AU. It indicates whether the AU has exempt status and whether a rental subsidy applies. When the family grant amount agrees with one of the payment standards in the charts shown in Section F below, use the chart to derive the individual's share for each month of SSI eligibility.

For initial claims taken in MSSICS, document online verification on the IADC and ASSOCIATED REMARKS screens. When MSSICS cannot be used, document verification on the EVID screen in Shared Processes and input the individual's incremental share as type “F” income in the UM field per SM 01005.180-SM 01005.185. For all claims, record the following:

  • the name of the agency (DTA) whose records were accessed,

  • the system (eTAG) used for access,

  • the date of access,

  • the family grant amount and number on the grant for each month of SSI eligibility, and

  • the eTAG screen where this information was located; e.g., Results/Eligibility Results/Financial screen.

Click the following links for examples on documenting TAFDC and coding the appropriate screens. They are located in the TANF Guide for Massachusetts in the SSI Subject Index on BOSNet:

  • Example 1 - Verification and Documentation of TAFDC Grant for SSI Applicant - MSSICS Case

  • Example 2 - Verification and Documentation of TAFDC Grant for SSI Applicant - Non-MSSICS Case

If the AU grant amount is not one of those shown in the charts, or if eTAG shows that the recipient is a cap child, contact DTA through its Recipient Services at 1-800-445-6604. Ask the agency for:

  • the amount of the TAFDC grant paid to the family for each month of SSI eligibility and

  • the amount the grant would be without the SSI applicant.

Obtain this information orally. Document the grant amounts, along with the agency name, the date of contact, and the name and phone number of the individual contacted. For initial claims taken in MSSICS use the IADC and ASSOCIATED REMARKS screens. For non-MSSICS cases use the EVID screen and input the individual's share as type “F” income in the UM field per SM 01005.180-SM 01005.185.

D. Procedure – Verifying TAFDC Termination

Massachusetts does not allow an individual to receive TAFDC concurrently with SSI. When an SSA field office inputs an SSI allowance for a TAFDC recipient in Massachusetts, DTA receives electronic notification of this event. The agency then updates its database and posts a termination date for the individual's eligibility to TAFDC benefits. When the final SSI allowance is input, make sure that the type “F” income is verified and posted as a continuing amount. Control the case for follow-up on eTAG for a period of 10 days following final adjudication. If the termination date appears on eTAG within this period, use it as verification that the SSI recipient has been removed from the TAFDC grant. Input the termination date for the TAFDC income, once the termination date appears on eTAG. If the individual is included in the first check in the month of termination but not the second, the final entry for type “F” income will be different than for prior months.

For MSSICS cases, post the termination date and final payment amount to the IADC screen and document online verification of TAFDC termination on the DROC screen. Lock the DROC screen after entering the necessary information. For non-MSSICS cases use the EVID screen and input the termination of type “F” income in the UM field per SM 01305.200-SM 01305.215. Include for both MSSICS and non-MSSICS claims:

  • the name of the agency (DTA) whose records were accessed,

  • the system (eTAG) used for access,

  • the date of TAFDC termination, and

  • the eTAG screen where this information is located; e.g., Results/Eligibility Results screen.

Click the following links for examples on documenting TAFDC and coding the appropriate screens. They are located in the TANF Guide for Massachusetts in the SSI Subject Index on BOSNet:

  • Example 3 - Verification and Documentation of TAFDC Grant Termination for SSI Applicant - MSSICS Case

  • Example 4 - Verification and Documentation of TAFDC Grant Termination for SSI Applicant - Non-MSSICS Case

If you cannot verify the TAFDC termination date on eTAG within ten days of the SSI allowance, contact DTA through Recipient Services at 1-800-445-6604.

  • Advise the agency of the individual's eligibility to SSI and the date of the first SSI payment.

  • Request the date that the individual will be removed from the TAFDC grant.

Recipient Services will contact the appropriate DTA case worker, obtain the termination date and provide you with the information. Document the TAFDC termination date, along with the agency name (DTA, Recipient Services), the date of contact, and the name and phone number of the individual contacted. For MSSICS cases use the IADC and DROC screens and lock the DROC screen after entering the necessary data. For non-MSSICS cases use the EVID screen, and input the termination of “F” income in the UM field.

E. Accessing SASRO – Massachusetts' eTAG

SSA has a SASRO agreement with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services allowing SSA field office employees inquiry- only access to data in DTA's BEACON database via a system known as electronic Transitional Assistance Gateway (eTAG). Access is provided through a PIN and password system. Management instructions to obtain PINs and passwords along with a training package for eTAG are on BOSNet on the Massachusetts SASRO website .

F. Rate Charts For TAFDC In Massachusetts

(Maximum Monthly Benefit Levels - Effective July 1, 2001)

The amounts in the subsections below represent the combined total of both payments made within a month. If only one payment is made in a month, divide the amount in half.

The “incremental” amount is the benefit for each additional individual for a family size greater than 10.

1. Without Rental Allowance

Family Size

Exempt

Nonexempt

1

$388

$378

2

$491

$478

3

$593

$578

4

$691

$673

5

$792

$772

6

$896

$872

7

$997

$971

8

$1,097

$1,067

9

$1,197

$1,165

10

$1,298

$1,263

Incremental

$105

$103

2. With Rental Allowance

Family Size

Exempt

Nonexempt

1

$428

$418

2

$531

$518

3

$633

$618

4

$731

$713

5

$832

$812

6

$936

$912

7

$1,037

$1,011

8

$1,137

$1,107

9

$1,237

$1,205

10

$1,338

$1,303

Incremental

$105

$103

G. TAFDC Payment Dates In Massachusetts

Cyclical Check Dates

TAFDC benefit decreases/terminations are effective the date prior to a cyclical check date.

Last SSN # of Grantee

1st Check Date

2nd Check Date

0

1

16

1

2

17

2

4

19

3

5

20

4

7

22

5

8

23

6

10

25

7

11

26

8

13

28

9

14

29

To identify the grantee of the TAFDC grant, go to the People view in the Summary sub-tab in eTAG (Section 10.1, Step 2 of the eTAG Release 1 Training Manual). This screen displays all household members for each program. The grantee of an active/pending DTA grant is listed first. Enlarge the frame and the word Grantee will appear at the end of the entry.

EXAMPLE: If the last number of the grantee's SSN is 4, a termination date of 04/06/05 would mean the individual was included in both payments in March but was not included in either payment in April. A termination date of 04/21/05 would mean that he/she was included in the first payment in April but not included in the second payment in April.

H. References

  • Electronic Evidence Documentation and Retention, GN 00301.286

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), SI 00830.403

  • SSA Access to State Records Online (SASRO) – Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), GN BOS00301.037


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0500830405BOS
SI BOS00830.405 - Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) - Massachusetts (TN 5-254 -- 07/2005) - 04/26/2010
Batch run: 04/26/2010
Rev:04/26/2010