33. Can you get TAFDC just for your children if you are not a citizen?

Yes. You have the right to exclude from the TAFDC application any noncitizen family members who do not want to apply. See DTA Field Operations Memo 2004-34 (Sept. 20, 2004); Appendix E (DTA Online Guide)
  • You can apply just for your U.S. citizen children or for children who meet noncitizen eligibility requirements. See Questions 8, 9, and 10.
  • You do not have to give information on your immigration status or an SSN.
  • You can opt out for any reason, such as you do not have legal status or an SSN, or you do have legal status but you do not meet TAFDC noncitizen rules. You do not have to give a reason for opting out.
  • Even if you opt out, you must still give DTA information on your income, the other parent, and other TAFDC eligibility factors.
  • DTA will not report you to immigration authorities unless you tell DTA you are under a final order of deportation and show DTA a copy of the final order. 106 C.M.R. § 704.430. If you are not sure about your status, contact your local legal services program, Appendix D. 

Advocacy Reminders

  • Noncitizens can also opt out of the SNAP (food stamp) application. But if you have lawful status in the U.S. you may be eligible for higher benefits if you do not opt out. And even if you opt out of TAFDC and SNAP, your children may be eligible for higher SNAP benefits if you have legal status and show DTA proof of that status. See 106 C.M.R. §§ 362.220, 365.520(B).
  • See Question 52 on the work rules for noncitizen parents who are not included in the TAFDC assistance unit.