74. What is the 6-month 100% earned income disregard?

Once you get through the front door and qualify as an applicant, DTA will disregard (not count) any of your earned income for 6 months in figuring the amount of your grant as long as your total family income is not over 200% of the Federal Poverty level. DTA calls this the 100% disregard because DTA is disregarding (not counting) 100% of your earned income. 106 C.M.R. § 704.281.

How are the 6 months calculated?

  • DTA counts the 6 months as 12 regular payments (two payments per month). The 12 payments do not have to be consecutive. DTA tracks the 12 payments in its computer system.
  • If you got a partial payment before you got a regular payment, the partial payment should not count as one of your 12 regular payments.
  • If you start working while you are getting TAFDC, DTA counts the first TAFDC payment you get after DTA updates your case with the new job information.
  • In a two-parent household, each parent can get the 100% disregard for up to 12 payments.
  • If you stop working while you are on TAFDC and DTA counted payments you got when you did not have earned income, DTA can tell the computer system that those months should not be counted. 106 C.M.R. § 704.281; Appendix E (DTA Online guide); DTA Online Guide 100% Earned Income Disregard – Scenarios.

What if your TAFDC case closes and you reapply and get back on TAFDC?

  • If your TAFDC case closes and you reapply with the same employer, you are eligible for the 100% disregard only if you haven’t used up your 12 100% disregard payments.
  • If your case is closed for 30 days or more and you reapply with a new employer, you are eligible another 6 months (12 payments) with the 100% disregard. 106 C.M.R. § 704.281; Appendix E (DTA Online Guide)

How does DTA determine if total income is below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level?

  • See Question 68 for a table with 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) by family size. The amounts will increase in January or February.
  • Household size for the 100% disregard does not include SSI recipients or their income. Household size also does not include ineligible noncitizen parents even though their income is counted.
  • Deemed income (e.g., stepparent income) counts towards the 200% FPL limit. 
  • Income of an ineligible noncitizen parent counts.
  • Income of an SSI recipient does not count. 106 C.M.R. § 704.281; Appendix E (DTA Online Guide)