Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC)

Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) is one of Massachusetts’ primary cash assistance programs, better known as “TANF”.

TAFDC is designed to provide time-limited cash assistance to needy families with children and pregnant women with little or no assets or income.

Eligible recipients also receive medical assistance through MassHealth and may be eligible to receive food stamps.

Once you are approved for TAFDC benefits, you get a 60-day work search period to find a job. If you do not, your benefits may be reduced or denied, unless otherwise exempt.


Who is eligible for TAFDC in Massachusetts?? #

TAFDC is for families with children under 18, including teen parents. In order to qualify, you must:

  1. Live in Massachusetts.
  2. Be a U.S. national, citizen, legal alien or permanent resident.
  3. Be either pregnant 2 or be responsible for a child under age 19.
  4. Meet income and asset limits.

What is the income limit for TAFDC in Massachusetts? #

The income limit is based upon your family size and the type of housing you live in. Different rules apply if you are a teen parent under age 18 living with your parent(s).

In Massachusetts, a family is considered “needy” when their net countable income is less than $783 a month for a family of three who lives in public housing.

The income limits for families in public housing are listed in the table below. The threshold is higher for those who resides in private housing.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $513
  • 2 $648
  • 3 $783
  • 4 $912
  • 5 $1,045
  • 6 $1,183
  • 7 $1,316
  • 8 $1,448

How much is TAFDC in Massachusetts? #

How much cash assistance you get from TAFDC in Massachusetts largely depends upon your family’s income, size and the type of housing you live in.

For example, a family of three with little or no income may get up to a maximum of $783 per month and a flat $40-per-month housing supplement if they reside in private, unsubsidized housing. 1

However, receipt of cash benefits is limited to 24 months only, with some exceptions for the elderly, disabled persons, and children under age 18.

How do I apply for TAFDC in Massachusetts? #

To apply for TAFDC, please contact the local DTA office in the county where you live or you may apply online at DTA Connect. DTA will approve or deny your application within 30 days.

If you are not sure which office to contact, please call
Application Information Hotline

How long can I get TAFDC in Massachusetts? #

You're eligible to receive benefits for a total of 24 months in a 5-year period. Each complete calendar month in which you receive benefits will extend your eligibility period by an additional month.

If you temporarily stop receiving TAFDC benefits and then resume, your eligibility period will continue from where it was paused.


  1. The first state to raise benefits since the onset of COVID-19; its increase (of 10 percent) was the state’s first since 2000.
  2. If you’re pregnant, you can apply for TAFDC for yourself if your child is due in less than 4 months.
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