Head’s up — MassLegalHelp is getting a new look!

At the beginning of March, we will be relaunching this website with a brand-new look. You may notice some things moved around, but our main content will stay the same. We hope the improved design will make it easier to find what you are looking for.


Can I get child support if I am on TAFDC?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed February 2019

If you are getting TAFDC and the Department of Revenue (DOR) is collects child support for you, the child support will go to the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) instead of to you.

If the other parent pays less than $50 in any month, DTA will give you your regular TAFDC payment plus the child support the other parent pays.

If the child support amount is more than $50, DTA will give you your regular TAFDC grant plus $50.

If your child support is more than $50 over your TAFDC grant, DTA will give you the difference. If this happens for a few months in a row, DTA will close your TAFDC case and you will get the child support directly.

The money that DOR collects in child support should start going directly to you if your TAFDC case closes. You can read Child Support for Survivors of Domestic Violence for more information.

Child support from other parent What you get
Less than $50 TAFDC grant + child support other parent pays
More than $50 TAFDC grant + $50
More than $50 + TAFDC grant For the first couple of months you get your regular TADC payment + the portion that is more than your TAFDC grant. This will be in 2 payments.If the other parent continues to pay this much, DTA closes your TAFDC case and sends all of the child support to you.


You have a child support order for $100.00 per month.

  1. If the other parent pays the full $100 for the month of April, DTA will give you $50 of it plus your TAFDC grant.
  2. If the other parent does not pay any of the child support he owes for May, DTA will just give you your TAFDC grant and nothing extra.
  3. If the other parent then pays double ($200) in June to make up for the missed payment in May, DTA will just give you $50 of it plus your TAFDC grant.


If the child support is for a child who is not on your TAFDC grant because of the "family cap" rule, the DTA will give you the first $90 of child support paid for that child, each month, and they will not lower your TAFDC grant.

Who to call for help

Find Legal Aid

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

Ask a Law Librarian

If it's
9am - 12pm and 1pm - 4pm