Massachusetts law about public benefits

Laws, regulations, cases, web sources, and print sources on Massachusetts public benefits law.

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Table of Contents

Best bet

Public Benefits & SSI, Mass. Legal Help.
Collections of information on issues related to public benefits and supplemental security income, including:

Recent updates

Emergency Assistance director provides update as state’s shelter system approaches capacity limit, October 2023.
Explains the process when the state’s shelters reach their capacity limit.

Massachusetts laws

MGL c. 18 Department of Transitional Assistance

Massachusetts regulations

106 CMR Department of Transitional Assistance

760 CMR 67.06 Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, Eligibility for emergency assistance

Selected cases

Garcia v. Dept. of Housing and Community Development, 480 Mass. 736 (2018)
Vacates a preliminary injunction that had directed the DHCD to use motels as emergency shelter for people with approved ADA accommodation requests whose request could be satisfied by a motel placement.


Department of Transitional Assistance
DTA serves residents with direct economic assistance (cash benefits) and food assistance (SNAP benefits), as well as workforce training opportunities.

Web sources

Affordable Connectivity Program (Discontinued)
This program provided discounts for high speed internet service for eligible households. The program’s last fully funded month is April 2024. Households are encouraged to contact their internet company to learn more about how the end of the ACP will impact their internet service and bill. See also the federal Lifeline program for additional savings benefits.

Applying for emergency assistance shelter: A guide for families, Mass. Law Reform Institute and Rosie's Place, October 2015. Also available in Spanish.
"Emergency Assistance is the shelter system for families in Massachusetts..." Pregnant women and families with children are eligible." There are several more requirements to be eligible. The guide explains these requirements and how to apply for shelter. For more detailed information, see Emergency Assistance Advocacy Guide below.

Benefits checkup, National Council on Aging.
BenefitsCheckUp® connects millions of older adults and people with disabilities with benefits programs that can help pay for health care, medicine, food, utilities, and more.

Check EAEDC eligibility and how to apply, Mass. Dept. of Transitional Assistance.
Emergency Aid to the Elderly Disabled, and Children (EAEDC) is a cash benefit for disabled adults, caretakers, and some children who are not able to get TAFDC. You cannot receive SSI and EAEDC at the same time.

Emergency assistance advocacy guide, Mass. Law Reform, 2022.
Using a simple question-and-answer format, this Guide leads advocates and homeless families through the rules governing eligibility for Emergency Assistance--the program that provides emergency shelter and rehousing services to homeless families with children in Massachusetts.

Food stamps/SNAP advocacy guide, Mass. Law Reform, 2023.
Online version of the print title. Covers eligibility, benefits, applications and more., Mass. 2-1-1 service.
"HelpSteps connects individuals to local health and human resources... The assessment and referral tools are available at no cost to anyone with access to the internet or a smart phone."

A flexible financial household assistance resource that is available to families who are eligible for the state’s Emergency Assistance (EA) Program. Household Assistance can be used to help you and your family find your own apartment, co-house by living with someone else and sharing household costs, pay for moving expenses to another state or location in-state and for other costs, such as child care to help with securing or maintaining employment or job training. (Note: This is not related to the program for veterans.)

Lifeline program, Universal Service Administrative Co. and the FCC.
"Lifeline is a federal program dedicated to making phone and internet service more affordable for low-income households. This benefit provides eligible consumers with a monthly discount of up to $9.25. Consumers living on Tribal lands are eligible for an enhanced discount of up to $34.25 per month."

Program Operations Manual System (POMS), Social Security Administration.
The primary source of information used by the Social Security Administration to process claims for Social Security benefits

Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program
The RAFT program helps keep households in stable housing situations when facing eviction, loss of utilities, and other housing emergencies. RAFT can provide up to $7,000 per household within a 12-month period to help preserve current housing or move to new housing.

SNAP for college students, USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
Includes information on eligibility requirements and benefits available.

TAFDC advocacy guide, Mass. Law Reform, March 2022.
Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Online version of the print title. Covers eligibility, benefits, applications and more

Print sources

Contact   for Massachusetts law about public benefits

Last updated: May 6, 2024

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