The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

31. Are there work requirements for caretakers of children?

If you are a caretaker who chooses to be included in the EAEDC grant with the child and you are between the ages of 18 and 59, unless you are exempt or have good cause (see below), you must register for work with the Division of Career Services (DCS) and accept and continue any suitable work unless you are doing one of the following:

  • working at least 30 hours per week; or
  • attending school (for at least 20 hours per week); or
  • participating in full-time job training (attending at least 80% of scheduled hours).

106 C.M.R. § 703.700(G).

In addition to registering for work, if the youngest child you are caring for is 15 years old or older, you must:

  • work at least 20 hours per week; or
  • do unpaid community service of 30 hours per week; or
  • attend full-time school (at least 20 hours per week) plus do 16 hours per week of community service; or
  • attend full-time job training (at least 80% of scheduled hours) plus do 16 hours per week of community service.

106 C.M.R. § 703.710 Transitional Employment for Massachusetts Parents (TEMP).

Exemptions from the work requirements

You are exempt if you

  • qualify as disabled under the EAEDC rules, or
  • are essential to care for a disabled child or adult relative in the household.

106 C.M.R. § 703.720.

Good Cause

Good cause reasons for not meeting these requirements include

  • lack of appropriate child care,
  • illness or disability (your’s or a family member’s),
  • a crisis, including a family crisis,
  • an emergency or other compelling circumstance,
  • the job does not pay minimum wage, violates health or safety standards or discriminates on the basis of sex, race, religion, ethnic origin or disability, or
  • the job is available because of a strike or lockout.

106 C.M.R. § 701.380.

Advocacy Reminders:

  • The caretaker can choose not to be included in the grant and will then have no obligation to participate in work registration or work requirements.
  • Crises, emergency situations or other compelling circumstances can include accidents, severe weather, court dates, children’s issues, injuries, or health problems.
  • You may have good cause if no one at the work placement speaks your language or the placement is not appropriate for some other reason.
  • If you have just been evicted or you are homeless, you may be able to claim good cause on the basis of family crisis or emergency.
  • Domestic violence is good cause due family crisis or emergency.
  • You should be able to claim good cause if you cannot participate in the work requirement activity for any reason beyond your control.
  • If your worker will not approve your good cause claim, contact an advocate.

  DTA Policy Guidance:

DTA Online Guide: EAEDC > Categorical Requirements > Caretaker Family > Caretaker Family Grantee Responsibilities, and EAEDC > Categorical Requirements > Caretaker Family > Transitional Employment for Massachusetts Parents.
 


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