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I have lived with Domestic Violence. Are there any special TAFDC rules that can help me?

Produced by Greater Boston Legal Services
Reviewed April 2019

Yes. TAFDC has special rules that help survivors of domestic violence:

  • rules that give extra help getting the proofs that you need to get TAFDC, while helping you stay safe
  • a rule that says you do not have to give information about your child's other parent if doing so could put you or your child in danger
  • rules that give exceptions and waivers from the family cap rule
  • rules that allow you to be excused from time limit and work requirement rules if you or your child are suffering from the effects of domestic violence
Produced by Greater Boston Legal Services
Reviewed April 2019


If you need extra help you can ask for a "domestic violence waiver" of a rule. A "domestic violence waiver" means that a TAFDC rule does not apply to you because you have survived domestic violence. If you get a waiver of the rule, the rule will stop applying to you, either for a set amount of time or permanently.

You can ask for a domestic violence waiver of a TAFDC rule if:

  • it is hard for you to follow the rule, because of current or past domestic violence; or
  • following the rule makes it difficult for you or your family to escape or recover from the abuse; or
  • applying the rule to you would be unfair, because of the domestic violence.

DTA allows domestic violence waivers of the time limit, the work rules, the family cap rule, and the teen parent school attendance rules. You can ask for a waiver of other rules too, but you may need legal help to get it. Call your local legal services program to see if you qualify for free legal help.

If you ask for a waiver, you will need to fill out an application form. DTA will ask you for proof of the domestic violence and proof of why you need the waiver. There are different ways to prove the domestic violence and your need for the waiver. One way is to have a friend or family member, or a social worker, write a letter about it.

Learn more about domestic violence waivers on MassLegalHelp.

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