78. What happens if you run out of money before the lump sum time is up?

You can get your lump sum period of ineligibility recalculated only if

  • you had to spend the money or lost it because of a natural disaster,
  • because of domestic violence you had to spend the money on daily living expenses or no longer have the money, see DTA Transitions, Feb. 2008, p. 4; Appendix E (DTA Online Guide)
  • you spent the money on the expenses listed in Question 77,
  • you were not eligible for SNAP (food stamps) and spent the money on food, or
  • your TAFDC standard of need has increased because your assistance unit is bigger than it was when your period of ineligibility was calculated or for some other reason. 106 C.M.R. ยง 704.240(E), (F).

Advocacy Reminder

  • Recalculation does not necessarily mean that you can get back on assistance right away. Because the lump sum rules are so complicated and because the consequences of spending your lump sum on disallowed expenses are so severe, it is important to check the rules before you get the money, whenever possible. If a lawyer is representing you in a lawsuit that may bring you money, make sure the lawyer is familiar with the lump sum rules before trial or settlement of the case. Do not rely on oral information from your case worker about how you can spend a lump sum.
  • The standard of need increases in September when the clothing allowance is paid. See Question 73. If your period of ineligibility includes September, you might be able to get it recalculated using the higher standard of need. Email info@masslegalservices.org for more information.