Teen Parents: Your Legal Rights Under Welfare Reform

If you’re under age 20 and expecting or perhaps a moms and dad, you need to be at school full-time or have graduated from college. You must also meet special living arrangement rules if you are under age 18 years. You’ve still got the right to file your very own application for TAFDC benefits without your mother and father, even although you reside together with them.

1. Just how do the educational college attendance rules work?

Until you have actually finished, if you should be under 20 you need to be in senior school, center or elementary college or perhaps a in a full-time GED (highschool equivalency) system with a minimum of 20 hours each week. When your GED program is significantly less than 20 hours per week, you might be expected to complete community solution or other training too. This rule will not apply if you’re within 60 times of switching age 20. You truly must be in college or even A ged system at minimum 75percent of that time (15 hours away from a 20 hour system) to qualify for TAFDC advantages. If you’d like assist getting into school, pose a question to your DTA worker. The worker is meant to assist you find an application which help you receive care and pay for transportation costs to school and day care day. But, you simply cannot be sanctioned if you should be maybe not at school as a result of not enough kid care or as a result of domestic or teen relationship physical violence (like where your present or previous boyfriend is stalking or has threatened you).

2. Is there known reasons for lack from college?

Yes. You could have cause that is good absences because of not enough transport or kid care, inclement weather, a health condition, a crisis or crisis you’ll want to deal with. You are absent more than 25% of the time, you will first lose about $92 of you TAFDC grant for 30 days if you do not have good cause and. After thirty day period, you can expect to lose the entire grant that is TAFDC. Your SNAP/Food Stamps and MassHealth should carry on.

3. So how exactly does the living arrangment guideline work?

You must if you are under age 18 and not married:

  • Live together with your moms and dads, or
  • Reside with another general (linked to you or your infant) that is age 20 or higher, or
  • Reside with a guardian that www.datingrating.net/adam4adam-review/ is legal or
  • Be considered a “graduate of a DSS living that is independent,” or
  • Be 17 yrs . old and fulfill unique “waiver” rules (see below).

You may be asked to live in a teen living program — if one is available if you do not meet one of the above. If you should be under 18 and hitched, you need to be coping with your partner to be exempt.


18- and 19- year old teenagers (and teens within 60 times of switching age 18) don’t need to live with moms and dads, loved ones or perhaps in team houses. You do have to meet up with the college rules above.

4. Who will be the loved ones you can easily live with?

Teenagers still meet up with the arrangement that is living if coping with an aunt, uncle, grandparent, older sibling or other general that is age 20 or older. You could live with a former stepparent—like your father’s ex-wife or the paternal grand-parents of the son or daughter (but this will not consist of managing the kid’s daddy if you should be unmarried). Your family relations do not need to get guardianship that is legal. That person does need to be legal guardian if you live with an unrelated adult.

The earnings of loved ones or appropriate guardians does perhaps perhaps not count in determining your TAFDC grant.

5. Imagine if you cannot live together with your moms and dads?

If you should be under 18 and can not live along with your mother or father, tell DTA. A young adult expert under agreement with DSS will contact both you and have a look at whether you are able to carry on along with your moms and dads, in a teen living system, or by yourself. You must not be required to live in the home you, there is certainly substance abuse in the house, in the event that house has rule violations, OR if you can find just about any “extraordinary circumstances. in the event that you worry punishment, should your parent(s) will not help” The teenager specialist’s task will be discover why you simply can’t live in the home and work out a suggestion make sure to inform her all of the reasons. You can even pose a question to your college guidance counselor or any other experts who understand you to definitely phone or write the teenager expert. In the event that teenager expert agrees you can’t go homeward, DTA might find you a teen living system to get or help you of this waiver guidelines for 17 12 months olds.


Teenagers that are 17 yrs . old and cannot live together with your moms and dads can request an unique “waiver” to reside by themselves if: a) in a great living situation, b) at school full-time in good standing, c) have actually stable son or daughter care and d) are taking part in a parenting program that is teen.

You do not need a waiver and are exempt from the rule if you are within 60 days of turning age 18.

6. Exactly Just How is Parental Money counted?

You and your baby get if you are under age 18 and live at home, your parents’ income above 200% of the poverty level counts in deciding how much TAFDC. This degree is $1,990/month for just two individuals. When your parents will not inform DTA their income, you might be rejected TAFDC however you can certainly still submit an application for SNAP/Food Stamps and MassHealth.

Your parent’s earnings doesn’t count when you turn age 18. The earnings of non-parent family relations your home is with doesn’t count —regardless of the age.

7. Challenging denial of advantages:

When your TAFDC has been cut, you have a the best to an advance written notice.

In the event that you request a hearing within 10 times of the date of notice, your benefits should carry on through the appeal.

You’ve got a directly to bring in almost any evidence that is new why you simply can’t live in the home. If DTA claims you missed a lot of college, bring into the hearing any information which explains why you missed classes. You’ve got a directly to see your TAFDC instance record, including college attendance documents and/or reports from the DSS contracted specialist that is teen. There is the straight to make copies of any papers in your file, to inquire of concerns of DTA worker or even the teenager specialist in the hearing and also to bring a close buddy or advocate to help you.

Call your local Legal Services to get more advice or representation that is legal. You are able to contact the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy: for advice and recommendations.