53. When do you have to start a Work Program activity?

You have 60 days to look for and start a work program activity once you begin receiving TAFDC, start a new five-year eligibility period (see Question 34), or DTA decides you are subject to the Work Program. 106 C.M.R. § 703.150(A)(1),(2),(4); DTA Operations Memo 2011-53 (Nov. 22, 2011); Appendix E (DTA Online Guide)

DTA calls this 60-day period the “Pathways to Work Planning Period.” DTA will connect you with a Full Engagement Worker to assist you in finding a work program activity and get supportive services.

If your activity stops or no longer qualifies as “work,” you have 20 days to begin another activity.

If you cannot meet DTA’s deadline for starting a work program activity, you may have good cause to start later. See Question 58. For example, you may need more time to arrange child care or a community service site may not be ready for you.

If you reapply for TAFDC, you have used your 60-day work search period already, and you do not qualify for an exemption or have good cause for not participating in a work activity, you have 10 days to look for and start an activity (unless your case was closed because you did not meet the work activity requirements). See Appendix E (DTA Online Guide); see Question 58 for more information on good cause.


Advocacy Reminder

The Work Program requirement is separate from and in addition to the applicant job search requirement discussed in Question 102. Be sure to tell DTA about any problem you have meeting the job search requirement and also finding a Work Program activity.