Help for Single Mothers in MASSACHUSETTS

Massachusetts, MA

There is a plethora of state resources have been in place to benefit the state’s most disadvantaged residents. From cash to food and medical assistance, Massachusetts ensures that no single mother is left behind in times of need.

Massachusetts Earned Income Tax Credit #

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a tax credit designed to help individuals and families whose income is below certain federal thresholds.

Massachusetts EITC operates under the same eligibility rules as the federal EITC. For taxable years starting after January 1, 2019, the Massachusetts credit is limited to 30% of the federal credit.

How much is Massachusetts Earned Income Credit?

  • NO. OF CHILD Maximum EIC
  • 0 $180
  • 1 $1,198
  • 2 $1,981
  • 3 or more $2,229

To claim the Massachusetts EITC, you must file a tax return and be a Massachusetts resident for at least part of the taxable year.

Massachusetts Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) #

Massachusetts' Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) Program provides temporary cash assistance to families with children and pregnant women with little or no assets or income.

As a condition of eligibility for TAFDC, participants may be required to perform a work-related activity in order to receive benefit.

Families who are required to participate in the work program are only eligible to receive 24 months of TAFDC benefits in a 5-year period.

How much money do you get for cash assistance in Massachusetts?

How much cash assistance you get 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.

How do I apply for cash assistance in Massachusetts?

To apply for TAFDC, please contact the local DTA office in the county where you live. If you are not sure which office to contact, please call the

Application Information Hotline

Massachusetts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) #

Massachusetts SNAP helps low-income people and families with cash assistance to buy a month’s worth of healthy food they need for a nutritionally adequate diet.

SNAP benefits may vary from family to family depending on a variety of factors, including the household size, income and allowable deductions.

For example, a family of three with no income may receive up to $740 in monthly benefits or $440 each month if the family has a net monthly income of $1,000.

  • Family Size SNAP Benefits
  • 1 $281
  • 2 $516
  • 3 $740
  • 4 $939
  • 5 $1,116
  • 6 $1,339
  • 7 $1,480
  • 8 $1,691

The actual SNAP benefit amounts are based on a household's net income with a general rule that an increase of $100 in net income results in a reduction of $30 in benefits.

How do I apply for SNAP benefits in Massachusetts?

To apply for SNAP benefits, you may go to DTA Connect to submit your application online. An interview will then be arranged to determine your eligibility.

In Massachusetts, SNAP households are automatically eligible for discount rates on their utility bills and telephone services. Call 1-866-950-FOOD (3663) for additional details.

Massachusetts’ Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) #

Massachusetts HIP will match your SNAP purchases of local fruits and vegetables at participating HIP retailers — and have an equal amount of money, up to your monthly limit, instantly added back to your EBT card.

For example, if you buy a head of broccoli sold by a participating HIP vendor for $5, another $5 will be added to your account automatically and can be spent on any future SNAP eligible purchase. Depending on your SNAP household size, your monthly cap is always $40, $60, or $80.

There is no special sign-up for HIP. If you get SNAP benefits, your household is automatically able to participate in HIP.

How do I find a HIP vendor near me?

If you are planning to buy more fruits and vegetables for your family, visit to search for HIP vendors near you. You can search by city, county or device geolocation.

Massachusetts Special Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) #

Massachusetts WIC provides supplemental foods, nutrition education and referrals to health care, at no cost, to Massachusetts families who qualify. It is a short-term program with recipients usually receiving benefits from 6 months to a year.

The program covers pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are determined to be “at nutritional risk”.

What is the income limit for WIC in Massachusetts?

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $2,248
  • 2 $3,040
  • 3 $3,833
  • 4 $4,625
  • 5 $5,418
  • 6 $6,210
  • 7 $7,003
  • 8 $7,795

How do I sign up for WIC in Massachusetts?

First, you need to complete the WIC pre-application process online. A representative from a local WIC agency will then contact you to schedule an appointment.

WIC provides a smart phone application known as “WIC Shopper” for WIC participants to make the shopping experience as smooth as possible for both the WIC customer and the retailers.

Free Diapers for Low Income Families #

Many Massachusetts communities have diaper banks or other free diaper programs. Families may receive up to 30 disposable diapers per month per child, but benefits may vary depending on where you live.

To apply for free diapers, you should either contact the diaper program directly, or contact the WIC office or other family service agency that distributes diapers for your local diaper bank.

Massachusetts MassHealth (Medicaid) #

In Massachusetts, Medicaid and SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program) are combined into one program known as MassHealth — a public need-based health insurance program for low income residents in Massachusetts.

As Massachusetts is expanding Medicaid coverage, MassHealth is now available to all adults age 19-64 with income up to 138% of the federal poverty level.

MassHealth provides coverage to all children with incomes at or below 305% of the poverty level. That's about $75,820 for a family of three to qualify.

Massachusetts MassHealth 305% 205% 138%
1 $44,470 $29,890 $20,120
2 $60,150 $40,430 $27,210
3 $75,820 $50,960 $34,310
4 $91,500 $61,500 $41,400
5 $107,180 $72,040 $48,490
6 $122,850 $82,570 $55,590
7 $138,530 $93,110 $62,680
8 $154,210 $103,650 $69,770

A 5% disregard based on the federal poverty level (FPL) for the household size is applied and is reflected in the amounts shown above.

Can I apply for MassHealth online?

Massachusetts is operating a State-Based Marketplace, known as Massachusetts Health Connector — through which you can apply for MassHealth or other health insurance.

To apply online, create a secure online account at the Massachusetts Health Connector. It only takes a couple of minutes.

MassHealth Customer Service Center
(800) 841-2900

Massachusetts DTA Child Care #

In Massachusetts, child care assistance is provided through DTA Child Care that provides free or low-cost child care for TAFDC families, both current and former.

It does this by providing a child care referral for any eligible child under age 13 and send it to the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCRR) agency that serves your city/town.

Current TAFDC recipients who qualify get first priority for child care. While former TAFDC recipients get child care right away, but may have to pay a fee based on income and family size.

How do I apply for child care assistance in Massachusetts?

Application for child care assistance can be done at your local Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) office. Talk to your TAFDC case worker or call 1-800-249-2007 for more information on how to apply.

If you are not eligible from DTA, you may qualify for child care assistance through Early Education and Care Financial Assistance.

Massachusetts Early Education and Care Financial Assistance #

Low-income non-TAFDC working families who need help paying for child care may apply for Early Education and Care Financial Assistance.

This program offered by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) is limited to families with income not exceeding 50% of the state median income (SMI) or below 85% of the SMI, if the family has a qualifying child with a disability or special need.

If you receive EEC Financial Assistance, you may be required to pay a parent fee depending on your household size and income. Use EEC’s online calculator to get an estimate of your parent fee.

What is the income limit for child care assistance in Massachusetts?

A family is considered “income eligible” when their gross monthly income is less than 50% of the State Median Income (SMI) at the time of initial application or about $4,758 a month for a family of three.

How do I apply for child care assistance in Massachusetts?

If you are interested in applying for financial assistance, call your local child care resource and referral agency (CCR&R) or call Mass 211 (dial 2-1-1) to have your name put on a statewide centralized waiting list.

Massachusetts Head Start #

Massachusetts Head Start and Early Head Start are free early childhood programs for pregnant women and for children from birth to age 5, including children in foster care and homeless children.

It offers center-based family child care, and home visiting options on a part-day, part-year, or full-time basis. Children 3 to 4 years of age are eligible to participate with priority given to 4 years old.

Both programs are for families with limited income below 130% of the poverty line. That's about $2,693 a month for a family of three. Children from families receiving public assistance are categorically eligible regardless of income.

  • Family Size Income Limit
  • 1 $1,579
  • 2 $2,137
  • 3 $2,693
  • 4 $3,250
  • 5 $3,807
  • 6 $4,363
  • 7 $4,921
  • 8 $5,478

If you need help determining if your child is eligible, call Head Start at 1-866-763-6481 to find a program in your community.

Massachusetts Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) #

Massachusetts LIHEAP, commonly referred to as Fuel Assistance, helps low-income families and individuals in Massachusetts pay their heating bills during the winter season — up to $1,600 per household.

Household income must be within 60% of Massachusetts’ estimated State Median Income. Priority is given to those who are truly vulnerable — the lowest-income households with the highest heating costs.

Special provisions are also made for those households whose heat is included in their rent and those living in subsidized housing.

How do I apply for LIHEAP in Massachusetts?

The online application opens on October 1 for the upcoming heating season. You can submit an application online or in person through a network of local service providers.

For more details, call the Cold Relief Heatline at (800)-632-8175.

Massachusetts Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) #

LIHWAP is a temporary emergency program designed to help low-income households and families who have fallen behind on their water and wastewater bills.

Massachusetts LIHWAP provides a one-time benefit payment to eligible households for a maximum benefit amount of $200. Priority is currently given to those with terminated water service, impending termination, and/or those in arrears.

How do I get help with my water bill in Massachusetts?

LIHWAP is administered by 20 local administrating agencies that cover the entirety of Massachusetts. If you are in danger of falling behind on your water bills and need help, please contact the local agency that serves your area to schedule an appointment.

Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund #

Massachusetts's Good Neighbor Energy Fund provides financial assistance to help pay for energy costs for Massachusetts residents who are not eligible for other utility assistance programs.

Follow this link for more information on eligibility requirements, where and how to apply for assistance.

Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program #

Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) is the State’s largest state-funded rental assistance program to help extremely low income households avoid homelessness.

The MRVP helps families pay their rent by providing a subsidy in the form of voucher that covers the difference between what the landlord charges and what they can “afford to pay” — often no more than 30% of their income.

How to apply for MRVP assistance?

There are no application forms online to apply for rental assistance vouchers. You may inquire at the Local Housing Authority in the area you wish to reside to see if they have an open waiting list.

Please use the Service Locator to find the Housing Authority closest to you or call the Rental Assistance Division at 617-573-1250.

Massachusetts Emergency Assistance (EA) Shelter #

Massachusetts Emergency Assistance (EA) is a program that gives shelter and other emergency housing services to low-income families with children, and to pregnant women, who are homeless with no safe place to live.

You must have proof that your housing situation meets the shelter eligibility requirements such as domestic violence, natural disaster, no-fault eviction, or substantial risk to health and safety.

To apply for shelter services, please call 866-584-0653 and speak with a Homeless Coordinator or apply in person at the DHCD office nearest to you.

Massachusetts Paid Family Leave (PFL) Program #

Massachusetts has passed one of the most generous Paid Family Leave law in the nation, joining a number of states that have launched paid leave programs in recent years, including New York, California, plus Washington, D.C.

Massachusetts offers up to 12 weeks, of paid family leave in a year or up to 20 weeks for those with serious health condition.

While on leave, you will receive 80% of your average weekly wages up to one-half of the state’s average weekly wage — capped at $1,130 per week.

If you work in Massachusetts and need to take Paid Family and Medical Leave, file your claim online through

Department of Family and Medical Leave
(833) 344-7365

Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance #

Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance (UI) provides temporary financial assistance to workers who have recently lost their job through no fault of their own.

As Massachusetts is currently in a period of low unemployment, the maximum number of weeks has been reduced to 26. 1

If you qualify, you will receive weekly payments to help cover your living expenses while you search for new employment, based on what you were paid in the last year.

How much will I get from unemployment in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts currently pays up to $1,033 each week — the most generous in the country, and an additional $25 per dependent child — capped at 50% of your benefit rate.

For example, if you are receiving $100 per week in UI and have three dependents, your allowance is capped at $50.

How do I file for unemployment in Massachusetts?

You can file your initial claim using UI Online or if you wish to file your claim over the phone, please call TeleClaim Center at 1-877-626-6800.

Massachusetts MASSGrant #

Massachusetts' MASSGrant is the state’s flagship need-based award program for undergraduate students who reside in Massachusetts.

Award amounts vary according to each applicant’s EFC and the type of institution — up to $2,200 for each academic year.

To be eligible for a MASSGrant, you must submit and complete your FAFSA no later than May 1 AND have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of 6,656 or less.

Students attending one of Massachusetts’ fifteen public community colleges may now apply for MASSGrant Plus — a new program to provide funds to some of the state’s neediest students.

Massachusetts Part-Time Grant Program #

For working adults and part-time, non-traditional students, the Massachusetts Part-Time Grant Program is an alternative to MASSGrants, which carries many of the same eligibility requirements.

Awards are made to students based on exceptional financial need as determined from filing the FAFSA and availability of funds — ranging from $200 to a maximum that depends on the type of institution that the student attends.

MassReconnect #

The proposal is currently before the Massachusetts legislature, and, if approved, will begin in the Fall of 2023.

MassReconnect is a proposal to cover the cost of community college for Massachusetts residents 25 or older without a previous college degree.

MassReconnect is available to students who:

  • Are age 25 or older as of the first day of classes
  • Have been a resident of Massachusetts for at least one year
  • Have earned a high school diploma or equivalent but have not previously completed a
    postsecondary degree
  • Have submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Are enrolled in 6 or more credits for an associate degree or certificate program at a
    community college

MassReconnect funds free community college certificates and degrees including all costs related to tuition, fees, books and supplies.


  1. Prior to July 2, 2023, the maximum number of weeks for which you may receive unemployment benefits was 30.

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