Need and Payment Standards

 

Every year, the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG, also known as the Federal Poverty Levels or FPLs) are published in the Federal Register by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Clients who apply for TAFDC must demonstrate that their income is at or below the level of need to receive monthly TAFDC payments by meeting two TAFDC financial standards:

The Need Standard

The need standard for each case is used to determine eligibility.  This test is sometimes called the net income eligibility test.  To perform this test of eligibility:

If the net countable income is equal to or less than the need standard, the family is eligible.  If the net countable income is greater than the need standard, the family is ineligible.

The need and payment standards are posted at https://www.mass.gov/lists/dta-program-eligibility-charts-and-tables. This link can be opened in another tab or window to view the standards.

 

Calculating Incremental Need Standards

The incremental need standard is used for a family with more than 10 people.

For example, for a family with 13 people, that is exempt and eligible for a rent allowance, the need standard is as follows:

Standard for 10 + ((13-10) X incremental standard) =

$1754.00 + (3 X $139.00) =

$1754.00 + $417.00 =

$2171.00 (need standard for 13)

 

The Payment Standard

The payment standard for each case is used to determine the grant amount of the client’s cash grant.  The need and payment standards are the same amounts. 

The financial test of eligibility is performed automatically based on the financial information entered.  To understand the calculation, go to the Result tab on the Electronic Case Folder (ECF). Access the Financial tab to see the calculation.

 

To manually determine the TAFDC benefit amount:

The difference between the net countable income from the payment standard is the monthly TAFDC benefit payment amount.

Example: Raji and his 3 children apply for TAFDC. They have passed the needs standard test. His income is $500 monthly from part time employment, no child support is received, and the family is living in subsidized housing. How to determine manually the family’s TAFDC benefit amount:

 

Table 1.

TAFDC Need Standard Break down

This is Raji’s gross income from wages

  $500

Monthly Gross Income

Earned income deductions are subtracted

-  200

  $300

BEACON subtracts WRE (Work Related Expenses) from Raji’s gross monthly income.

50% of the earned income is disregarded

$300/2=

After the 50% earned income disregard, the remaining amount is

the difference between gross income and subtracted deductions

$150

also known as net earned income.

Table 2.

TAFDC Benefit Payment Standard

(How to determine monthly benefit payment)

Refer to FPL for Household size and Need and Payment standard amount

*check for rent allowance!

$912

Raji’s family is a household of 4 is $912

(No rent allowance as they live in subsidized housing)

Need and Payment standard subtracted from net earned income

- 150

$762

$762

monthly benefit/payment amount

 

 

Reminder

For clients to be eligible for the 100% Earned Income Disregard, they cannot have countable income that exceeds 200% FPL. If the client’s household income is more than the 200% FPL for the household, it is ineligible for TAFDC. For purposes of the 200% FPL test household size is determined by filing unit size (please see the 200% FPL test page for detailed information).

 

The following chart shows 200% FPL and payment standards with and without a rental allowance by household size.

 

Household size

200% FPL

TAFDC No Rent Allowance

TAFDC with Rent Allowance

1

$2430

$513

$553

2

$3287

$648

$688

3

$4143

$783

$823

4

$5000

$912

$952

5

$5857

$1045

$1085

6

$6713

$1183

$1223

7

$7570

$1316

$1356

8

$8427

$1448

$1488

9

$9283

$1580

$1620

10

$10104

$1714

$1754

Each additional household member

+857

+139

+139

 

 

Need and Payment Standards Policy and Procedures

 

  Last Update:  January 30, 2023