101. If my TAFDC case closes, do my SNAP benefits continue?
If your family was receiving TAFDC and your benefits end—due to earnings, voluntary case closing, or most reasons other than a TAFDC program sanction—you will automatically get five months of SNAP benefits. This special benefit is called the Transitional Benefits Alternative or “TBA.” TBA does not apply if your TAFDC closes due to a TAFDC program sanction.
The amount of SNAP you get will be calculated using only the income you had in the month your TAFDC benefits stopped. DTA will not count the amount of your TAFDC cash grant that stopped. DTA will also not count new income you receive that caused your TAFDC to close, such as new earnings or child support. 106 C.M.R. § 365.190.
Example: Mary gets TAFDC for herself and her baby. She has no other income. After a couple of months the baby’s father gets a new job and she begins to get $800 per month in child support. When her TAFDC closes, her TBA SNAP is calculated based on $0 of income (the TAFDC she was getting and the new child support – which caused the TAFDC to close – do not count). This helps Mary transition off TAFDC.
During the special five-month TBA period, you are not required to report any changes in your household. You do have the option to report changes and if you report a change that could increase your benefits (such as loss of income or the addition of a household member), DTA is required to act on that change and recertify your benefits to the higher amount. You will no longer be a TBA household. See 106 C.M.R. § 366.110(B).
About 45 days before the end of the 5-month TBA period, DTA should send you a recertification form that you will need to complete in order to continue your SNAP.
Note: If you get TAFDC and start a job, 100% of your earnings are disregarded (not counted) for up to 6 months, as long as your TAFDC household’s gross income stays below 200% FPL. With this 100% earnings disregard it is usually better for you to keep TAFDC instead of closing TAFDC and getting the TBA benefit. However, each family is different. Your DTA cash assistance worker should be able to explain how this works, or contact MLRI at email@example.com.