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TAFDC Financial Eligibility Made (overly?) Simple. Deborah Harris Massachusetts Law Reform Institute Presentation for Action for Boston Community Development November 18, 2009. Goal of this part of training. Very general overview of financial eligibility Ability to do rough calculation

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tafdc financial eligibility made overly simple

TAFDC Financial EligibilityMade (overly?) Simple

Deborah Harris

Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

Presentation for

Action for Boston Community Development

November 18, 2009

goal of this part of training
Goal of this part of training
  • Very general overview of financial eligibility
  • Ability to do rough calculation
  • Where to get more info
  • Policy underlying the rules

Mass. Law Reform Institute

policy and purpose
Policy and purpose
  • Keep cost down
  • Keep out “undeserving”
  • Make sure people who get benefits are really poor
  • Promote work

Mass. Law Reform Institute

irene padilla
Irene Padilla
  • Two children
  • Not exempt from time limit or work requirement
  • Earned income = $100/week gross
  • Pays her mom $400/month rent

TAFDC grant = ???

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most important tool
Most important tool!

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grant calculation simplified
Figure gross monthly earned income

Subtract $120 (work expense deduction plus $30)

Subtract “work incentive” - 1/3 or 1/2 (exempt non-exempt)

$100 x 4.333 = $433.30

-$120.00

$313.30

½ * $313.30 = $156.65

$313.30 - $156.65 $156.65

Grant calculation (simplified!)

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grant calculation continued
Add countable unearned income

Total countable income

Enter Payment Standard – TAFDC Guide pages 90-91

$156.65 + 0

$156.65

$618.00

Grant calculation (continued)

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grant calculation the end
From Payment Standard

Subtract total countable income

Monthly TAFDC Grant (round down)

$618.00 - $156.65

$461.00

Grant calculation (the end!)

Worksheet in TAFDC Guide pages 161-162

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what income counts
What income counts?
  • Any earned or unearned income unless excluded
  • SSI is not counted, SSI recipient isn’t in assistance unit

See TAFDC Guide pages 72 -74

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plan to count ssi
Plan to count SSI
  • Effective Jan. 1, 2010
  • 8,400 cut off TAFDC, benefits for 700 drastically reduced

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gross income test
Gross income test
  • Screens out some families who would otherwise be eligible based on net income after deductions
  • Four standards depending on exempt/non-exempt status and housing situation

See TAFDC Guide pages 86-87

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what about assets
What about assets?
  • Eligible only if countable assets are $2,500 or less

What is countable/not countable?

See TAFDC Guide pages 68-69.

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slide13
Cars
  • Irene Padilla has a car – is she still eligible?
  • Official vehicle evaluation book (Blue Book or Red Book) says it’s worth $11,000 = “market value”
  • She owes $4,000 (her “equity” is $11,000 - $4,000 = $7,000)

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cars continued
Cars (continued)
  • Subtract $10,000 from market value ($11,000 - $10,000 = $1,000)
  • Subtract $5,000 from equity value ($7,000 - $5,000 = $2,000)
  • Whichever “excess” is greater counts towards asset limit
  • How much counts towards Ms. Padilla’s asset limit?

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lump sums good luck bad luck
Lump sums - good luck? bad luck?
  • Ms. Padilla $6,000 from an accident settlement
  • Deduct $600 ($6,000 - $600 = $5,400)
  • A few possible exclusions (see Guide p. 93)
  • Remainder divided by payment standard
  • $5,400 divided by $618 = 8.7
  • Ms. Padilla and her children ineligible for 8 months, reduced grant in 9th month

Mass. Law Reform Institute

asset development bill s 38
Asset development bill, S.38
  • Raise asset limit from $2,500 to $5,000
  • Allow TAFDC and EAEDC recipients to own reliable car
  • Increase work expense deduction to $250
  • Allow TAFDC recipients to set aside up to $10,000 from a lump sum for job training, transportation, housing, etc.

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policy and purpose1
Policy and purpose
  • Make work pay
  • Promote asset development
  • Increase financial stability

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what you can do
What you can do
  • Rough calculation
  • Check TAFDC guide
  • Encourage possible eligibles to apply
    • Cash benefit
    • Child care for work, school or training
  • Check with advocate if questions
  • Work to improve and protect benefits!

Mass. Law Reform Institute

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