68. How is grandparent income counted towards the baby of a teen parent?

If you are a teen parent under 18 and you live with your child’s grandparent (your own parent or the baby’s other grandparent) the grandparent’s income is counted after deducting 200% of the federal poverty guideline for the grandparent, grandparent’s spouse and other dependents who are not receiving assistance. 106 C.M.R. § 704.236.

This is true even though your baby’s grandparents have no legal responsibility to support your baby.

Family Size 200% of Poverty Monthly 
1 $2,430
2 $3,287
3 $4,143
4 $5,000

These are the 2023 amounts. they usually go up in January or February of each year. See https://www.mass.gov/lists/dta-program-eligibility-charts-and-tables.


Sherry is 17. Sherry and her baby live with Sherry’s mother, Grace Ryan, and Sherry’s 15-year-old sister. Grace Ryan earns $42,000 per year before taxes, or $3,500 per month. Subtract 200% of the federal poverty level for a family of two ($3,287) from Grace’s monthly earnings. The difference, $213 a month, is counted as unearned income against the grant for Sherry and her baby.

Advocacy Reminders

  • Only the income of a grandparent counts. Do not count income of the teen’s stepparent (grandparent’s spouse) or the teen’s siblings. 106 C.M.R. § 704.236.
  • There is no grandparent deeming if a teen parent lives with a nonparent relative such as an aunt, uncle, older sibling, or her own grandparents, and the relative is not receiving TAFDC.
  • There is no grandparent deeming if the teen parent is 18 or 19.
  • There is no grandparent deeming if the teen has left the home and the grandparents are caring for the teen’s baby. The grandparents can get a one-person grant for the baby excluding their income. See Question 32.
  • There is no grandparent deeming for MassHealth unless the grandparent applies for MassHealth as part of the family group.