Areas of Massachusetts exempt from the 3 month rule
In addition to the exemptions listed above, low income residents of certain cities and towns with elevated rates of unemployment are also currently exempt from the time limit. As of January 2020, there are 83 Massachusetts cities and towns whose residents are exempt from the time limit based on elevated unemployment rates. These areas are mostly in Western MA, Cape and Islands, Merrimack Valley and Southeastern MA. See MassLegalServices.org/ABAWD for a list of exempt 2020 areas.
In December 2019 the Trump Administration finalized a rule change that would dramatically restrict when states can waive areas of the state due to elevated rates of unemployment. The changes in the federal rule may start in April of 2020 unless a federal court delays or prohibits implementation of the rule. As this Guide goes to print, litigation has been filed by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and 14 other AGOs. Check MassLegalServices.org/ABAWD for up-to-date information.
Proving an ABAWD exemption to DTA
DTA should automatically know about some ABAWD exemptions. For example, DTA should know if you are under age 18 or age 50 or older, if you receive a disability benefit like SSI or EAEDC, or if you are in a SNAP household with children under age 18. There are other exemptions you may qualify for but need to tell DTA about.
Here’s some steps you can take to show DTA you are exempt: