The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

The Cap on Kids -- Impact on Gateway Cities

Date: 
07/18/2017
Author: 
MLRI

About the Gateway Cities

Gateway Cities are midsize urban centers that anchor regional economies around the state. For generations, these communities were home to industry that offered residents good jobs and a “gateway” to the American Dream. Over the past several decades, manufacturing jobs slowly disappeared. Economic investment can make it possible for Gateway Cities to once again serve as engines driving growth in regional economies across the Commonwealth.

The  26 Gateway Cities in Massachusetts are Attleboro, Barnstable, Brockton, Chelsea, Chicopee, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Methuen, New Bedford, Peabody, Pittsfield, Quincy, Revere, Salem, Springfield, Taunton, Westfield, and Worcester.

About the Cap on Kids

The Cap on Kids denies welfare benefits to children conceived while – or soon after – the family received benefits.

The Cap on Kids – also called the Family Cap – is the welfare rule that bars what otherwise would be $100 a month in welfare benefits for a child if the child was conceived while the family received welfare.  The rule also bars the child from receiving the annual children’s clothing allowance – $250 a year in FY 17. See information about the Campaign to Lift the Cap on Kids.

There are about 5,200 children in the Gateway Cities who are barred from benefits because of this rule. If it were not for the rule, the children would receive $7.8 million a year in benefits. Welfare recipients spend all of their benefits locally – for rent, diapers, and other necessities. The benefits if received would generate nearly $14 million in local economic activity, which is also lost because of this harsh rule.

Click on the markers on the map to see the impact of the rule on each of the Gateway Cities and how Lifting the Cap on Kids would help these communities and the children who live in them.


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