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Cash Assistance news: 2017 EAEDC Advocacy Guide released; Vets Services Benefits; TAFDC Campaign to end Family Cap

As we know you know, many individuals and families cannot survive on SNAP alone.  Here is information about cash assistance benefits that your no-income/low-income clients may qualify for, and also about the campaign to end the TAFDC "family cap"policy that deprives children of important cash assistance benefits.

1. EAEDC Cash Assistance 2017 Advocacy Guide released:

If you are working with individuals who are age 65+ or disabled and have little or no income and assets, they may qualify for the Emergency Aid to Elders, Disabled and Children (EAEDC) cash assistance benefits. And in certain situations, a caretaker of an unrelated, or distantly related child may also qualify for EAEDC for that child. 

MLRI is proud to announce we have just released the EAEDC Advocacy Guide for 2017, available for free download on our Mass Legal Services website HERE, OR you can order a bound paperback book for $9.95 from Mass Continuing Legal Education HERE.

Updated by Central West Justice Center attorney Marion Hohn, this 2017 Guide is an indispensable tool for advising low income clients, especially persons with disabilities awaiting an SSI determination or appeal.  Individuals apply for EAEDC cash benefits at local DTA offices.

2. Veterans Services (Chapter 115) Benefits:

The Massachusetts State Auditor's Office recently issued a report finding that almost 8,000 low-income veterans receiving MassHealth appeared eligible for but were not receiving state Veterans Services Benefits (under Chapter 115 of the Mass General Laws). See pgs 12 an 13 of SAO report.

Veterans Services is a state and locally-funded needs-based cash and medical benefit for eligible veterans and their dependents - different from the federal VA service and non-service connected disability compensation and pensions.

If you are working with a veteran, or dependent of a veteran, please screen for this benefit.  Attached is a self-help guide brochure which describes the benefits, created by Veterans Legal Services Legal Center, Harvard Law School. 

Veterans apply for Chapter 115 benefits with local Veterans Services Officers. Depending on where they live, beterans may qualify for legal help from Veterans Legal Services.

3. TAFDC "Lift the Cap" Campaign gearing up -- Mittens and Hats drive: 

Please consider donating mittens and hats for children to the Lift the Cap campaign.  The TAFDC family cap policy deprives children of all TAFDC cash benefits, including the annual children's clothing allowance designed to help families afford winter clothes. 

To drive home the impact of this callous policy, Lift the Cap advocates are hoping to display lots of children's winter caps and mittens in a State House event on October 26th (11;30- 12:30 in the House Members Lounge, State House). After the event, advocates and families will stop by legislators' offices to ask them to prioritize Lifting the Cap on Kids.

You can contribute new mittens and hats to low income Massachusetts children by purchasing them on Amazon, HERE.  Orders will be shipped to the MA National Association of Social Workers for the event, and then distributed to needy children. 

You can sign onto the Lift the Cap Campaign Petition HERE:

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