The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

59. How does EAEDC count earned income?

ALERT:  Many of the rules in the TAFDC/EAEDC Advocacy Guide do NOT apply during the pandemic. Please go to the following COVID-19 & DTA benefits page: https://www.masslegalservices.org/DTA-COVID-19 until further notice for more information about changes.

If you have earned income, you are allowed deductions from earnings in calculating your EAEDC benefits. Because your earnings are not counted dollar-for-dollar against your grant, you will have more income (from combined EAEDC and earnings) than if you were not working.

You are allowed the following deductions:

  • $150 for work expenses. This is a flat amount deducted from gross income (before taxes or other payroll deductions) regardless of how much your work expenses really are. 106 C.M.R. § 704.270.
  • $30 earned income disregard, plus 1/3 of what is left after the $150 and $30 deductions. You can get this disregard for four consecutive months only.  You will continue to receive the $30 disregard for another eight months following these four months. 106 C.M.R. § 704.280.

The $30 and 1/3 disregard means that part of your earnings is ignored as a
"work incentive."

  • Dependent care costs. If you have dependent care costs (for a disabled
    adult or child), you can deduct actual costs of care up to $175 a month per dependent ($200/month for a child under age two). Dependent care cost includes the cost of transportation to and from dependent care. The amount you can claim depends on the hours you work. See 106 C.M.R. § 704.275
    for the chart which prorates this deduction.

Example: Jane Doe is a Mass. Rehabilitation Commission participant. She goes to a vocational training program, but she also just started working 10 hours/week at the local market earning $8.00/ hour for $80/week on average. DTA calculates her income to determine her EAEDC benefits as follows:

  1.  DTA computes her monthly earnings: $80/week gross income x    4.333 = $346.60/month.
  2.  DTA subtracts the $150 “work deduction” from gross income:  $346.60 less $150  =  $196.60.
  3.   DTA subtracts the $30 earnings disregard: $196.60 less $30 = $166.60.
  4.   DTA subtracts 1/3 of $166.60 from itself:  $166.60 less $55.504 = $111.10.  $111.10 is her countable monthly income.

Jane will be eligible for an EAEDC grant of $192.60 per month. (EAEDC grant of $303.70 less $111.10 = $192.60). Jane is eligible for the $30 and 1/3 disregard for four months only. After that, only $150 and $30 /month will be deducted from her gross earned income if she continues working for another eight months, which means Jane will receive $137.10/month in EAEDC. Afterwards, Jane will only be able to deduct $150 from her income and her grant will be $107.10/month.


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