The Commissioner of Department of Transitional Assistance just sent along a memo to providers with regard to the status of the proposed 9c cuts to TAFDC benefits for many of our poorest families and the good news, is that the funding has been restored. Here are a few words from the Commissioner:
As you know, in October, Governor Patrick announced $352 million in budget reductions in order to close a $600 million gap. As part of these reductions, we were prepared to begin counting the income of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients toward determining eligibility and grant levels for the Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program (TAFDC). This reduction would have stopped or significantly reduced TAFDC benefits for thousands of families.
Today, I am thrilled to announce that after careful review of the most recent revenue figures, Governor Patrick has reversed this 9C reduction. The restoration will preserve full cash assistance benefits for 8,550 families with SSI income. These decisions reflect Governor Patrick’s ongoing commitment to preserving safety net services and supports for the state’s residents with the greatest needs, and I hope you will join me in thanking him for preserving critical benefits for families with disabilities.
Our other previously announced reductions have already taken place or will soon be implemented. These include increasing the work participation requirement for TAFDC families whose youngest child is between the ages of six and eight; $2 million in reductions to the Employment Services Program; administrative reductions through management furloughs and layoffs; and the elimination of nearly $5 million in state surpluses and bonus awards.
These are difficult financial times, and I appreciate your patience and understanding throughout this 9C process. Thank you for sharing our commitment to assist low-income individuals and families to meet their basic needs, increase their incomes, and improve their quality of life.
With much appreciation,
Julia E. Kehoe