The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Hotline Focus 11/09

Date: 
11/01/2009
Author: 
DTA

Q. My TAFDC applicant reported that he recently lost his job. During the application interview, he also
said that he still holds the lease on a 2007 truck that he had been using to get to and from his job.
Since this applicant does not currently own his vehicle, is it considered a noncountable asset?


A. Yes. As long as your client does not own the vehicle, then the asset is not counted. For more
information on vehicles and countable assets in the TAFDC Program, refer to 106 CMR 204.120.
In SNAP, TAFDC families are considered categorically eligible households, and therefore their assets
are not taken into consideration when determining eligibility, according to 106 CMR 365.180. (For
households that are not categorically eligible, vehicles are noncountable assets, according to 106 CMR
363.140.)


Q. My TAFDC applicant has explained that she was recently the victim of domestic violence and has
moved out of her abuser's home. When she came in to apply, she also reported that she and her
abuser co-own a car and a savings account. Her combined assets exceed the $2,500 asset limit. Are
these assets countable?


A. It depends. Assets are not counted in the TAFDC Program if they are considered inaccessible,
according to 106 CMR 204.125. For a victim of domestic violence, assets are considered inaccessible
if it is documented that attempting to access the assets puts the client at risk of further domestic
violence. This determination is made only after the case manager has conferred with the client as
well as his or her domestic violence specialist.


Q. When the case manager is determining whether or not the assets of a domestic violence victim are
inaccessible, must the client also request a good cause waiver of a TAFDC Program requirement due
to domestic violence, as described in 106 CMR 203.110?


A. No. Although case managers must explain the good cause waiver process to TAFDC clients who are
victims of domestic violence, requesting such a waiver is not a requirement for the client when the
case manager is determining whether or not a domestic violence victim's assets are accessible.


Q. What is considered acceptable documentation when determining whether or not a TAFDC client's
assets are inaccessible due to domestic violence concerns?


A. In consultation with the domestic violence specialist, the case manager must provide examples of the
types of documentation that will verify the previous domestic violence as well as the risk of future
domestic violence. These include records from: domestic violence programs, the courts, law
enforcement and/or the medical community. However, if these records are unavailable, a signed
statement from the individual is acceptable. Refer to 106 CMR 203.110(D) for more information on
acceptable forms of documentation.

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