Teen Parents: Your Legal Rights Under Welfare Reform Leave a comment

Teen Parents: Your Legal Rights Under Welfare Reform

You must be in school full-time or have graduated from school if you are under age 20 and pregnant or a parent. You must also meet special living arrangement rules if you are under age 18 years. You’ve still got the right to register your very own application for TAFDC advantages without your moms and dads, even though you reside using them.

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

If you are under 20 you must be in high school, middle or elementary school OR a in a full-time GED (high school equivalency) program of at least 20 hours per week unless you have graduated. A week, you may be asked to do community service or other training as well if your GED program is less than 20 hours. This guideline will not use if you’re within 60 times of turning age 20. You really must be in college or perhaps a program that is ged minimum 75percent of that time period (15 hours away from a 20 hour system) to qualify for TAFDC advantages. If you’d like assist getting into college, pose a question to your DTA worker. The worker is meant that will help you find a course which help you receive care and pay for transportation costs to school and day care day. But, you can’t be sanctioned you) if you are not in school because of lack of child care or because of domestic or teen dating violence (like where your current or former boyfriend is stalking or has threatened.

2. Are there any known reasons for lack from school?

Yes. You’ll have cause that is good absences as a result of not enough transport or kid care, poor weather, a medical condition, a crisis or crisis you will need to focus on. If you don’t have good cause and you are clearly missing a lot more than 25percent of that time, you will definitely first lose about $92 of you TAFDC grant for 1 month. After 1 month, you will definitely 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 along with your moms and dads, or
  • Reside with another relative (associated with you or your infant) who’s age 20 or higher, or
  • Reside with a appropriate guardian, or
  • Be a “graduate of a DSS separate living program,” or
  • Be 17 years old and meet”waiver that is special 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. You must be living with your spouse to be exempt if you are under 18 and married.


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

4. That are the family members you are able to live with?

Teenagers nevertheless 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’ll be able to live having a former stepparent—like your father’s ex-wife or even the paternal grand-parents of one’s youngster (but this doesn’t consist of managing the little one’s daddy if you’re unmarried). Your family members don’t 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 guardians that are legal perhaps not count in determining your TAFDC grant.

5. Let’s say you cannot live together with your parents?

If you’re under 18 and cannot live along with your father or mother, tell DTA. A teenager expert under agreement with DSS will contact both you and have a look at whether you can easily carry on along with your moms and dads, in a teen living system, or all on your own. You must not be required to live in the home you, there clearly was drug abuse in your home, in the event that house has rule violations, or if perhaps you can find some other “extraordinary circumstances. in the event that you worry punishment, when your parent(s) will not help” The teen specialist’s work would be to learn why you simply cannot live in the home and work out a suggestion make sure to tell her all of the reasons. You may want to pose a question to your college guidance counselor or other experts who know one to phone or write the teenager expert. In the event that teen professional agrees you can not go back home, DTA could find you a teen living system to get or give you advice for the waiver guidelines for 17 12 months olds.


Teenagers that are 17 yrs . old and cannot live along with your moms and dads can request a particular “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 teen parenting system.

If you should be within 60 times of switching age 18, you don’t need a waiver and are usually exempt through the guideline.

6. Just Exactly 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 happens to be $1,990/month for just two people. If for example the moms and dads 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 will not count as soon as you turn age 18. The income of non-parent family members you reside with will not count —regardless of one’s age.

7. Challenging denial of advantages:

In case the TAFDC will be cut, you have actually a the ability to an advance written notice.

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

You’ve got the directly to bring in every brand new proof about why you can’t live in the home. If DTA claims you missed way too much school, bring towards the hearing any information which explains why you missed classes. You’ve got the straight to see your TAFDC instance record, including college attendance records and/or reports from the DSS contracted specialist that is teen. There is the straight to make copies of every papers in your file, to inquire of concerns of DTA worker or the teenager expert in the hearing and also to bring a close buddy or advocate to help you.

Call the local Legal Services to get more advice or appropriate representation. You can even contact the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy: for advice and recommendations.

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