The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Basic EAEDC Rights (disability and caretaker benefits)


1.    What is EAEDC? EAEDC stands for "Emergency Assistance to Elderly, Disabled and Children."  It is a cash benefit.You apply for EAEDC at the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) 

2.    Who can get EAEDC?  You can get EAEDC if you are: disabled; or caring for someone who is disabled; or 65 or older; or in a Mass. Rehab program. Also, some children who can not get TAFDC can get EAEDC.

3.    How disabled do I have to be to get benefits? To get EAEDC based on a disability: 1. You must have at least one physical or mental health problem that lasts at least 60 days. 2. You must have trouble supporting yourself through work. 

4.    Can I get EAEDC if I have a substance abuse disability? You cannot get EAEDC based on a substance abuse disability alone.  But if you have a mental or physical health problem related to the substance abuse, you may be able to get benefits. If DTA thinks you cannot properly spend your money on your basic needs, DTA may pay your benefits directly to your landlord, utility company, and other third parties. This is known as "protective payments."  

5.    Can I get EAEDC If I have income? To get EAEDC, your countable monthly income has to be less than the grant level for your family size. Family Size/Grant (Monthly) 1/$303.70 2/$395.10 3/$486.60 4/$578.20 5/$669.80.  The grant amounts are lower if you live with another person getting benefits, or if you are homeless. If you have income that is not from a job, it will all count against your grant. If you have earned income from a current job, some of it will not count.  

6.    Can I get EAEDC if I have some money or own a house or car? You can have money or property worth up to $250, or up to $500 if you are a couple or family. Some things are not counted: your home, your furniture, appliances, and personal items. There are special rules for cars. Call Legal Services if you have questions.

7.    Will I get health care if I'm on EAEDC? You will get a MassHealth card.  MassHealth covers most health services you may need, such as doctor visits and prescription drugs. If you are an immigrant, different rules may apply. 

8.    I'm not a citizen. Can I still get EAEDC? You don't have to be a citizen to get EAEDC. If you are in the U.S. legally, you can get EAEDC.  You will need to show DTA proof of your immigration status or your last contactwith INS. This can be a copy of any document you have. If you do not have any document, you can use a letter written by your lawyer or a copy of a receipt. But do not go to INS without talking to a lawyer first.  In some cases, getting EAEDC or other welfare benefits may hurt your immigration case.  

9.  How do I apply?  You can apply at your local DTA office.  Be sure to sign an application the first time you go into the DTA office. The date you sign will be the date your benefits begin. Be sure your worker gives you an EAEDC Medical Report form to take to your doctor, a Disability Supplement for you to fill out, and a Temporary MassHealth Card to pay for your medical visits and any tests you need.If you need help finding a doctor, getting an appointment, filling out the forms, or getting an interpreter for the appointment, tell your DTA worker. The worker must help you, if you ask. Your DTA worker will give you a list of proofs to bring back.   

10.  What are the time limits for getting proofs to DTA? You have 22 days to get all the proofs back from the day you sign an application . If you don't have everything, bring what you have and ask your welfare worker for help.  Your worker has to help you. 

11.  If DTA stops or denies my EAEDC benefits, can I appeal this? YES. If DTA decides to deny you or stop your benefits, you will get a written notice. If you disagree, you can request a fair hearing. To request a hearing, fill out the back of the notice and send it to: Division of Hearings, P.O. Box 167, Essex Station, Boston, MA 02112, or FAX: 617/348-5311You have the right to bring any new medical evidence or other proofs to the hearing.   

12.  Can I get help with an appeal or other problems?  Legal Services may be able to help you.  Contact the Legal Services office nearest you right away.  To find the office nearest you, click on Find Legal Aid.

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, revised February, 2006

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