Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children

  • Description
  • Funding History
  • Proposals

Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC) is a cash assistance program administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA). Individuals eligible for EAEDC are: disabled, caring for someone who is disabled, 65 or older, in a Mass. Rehab program, and children who are not able to get TAFDC benefits.

EAEDC is similar to the federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. SSI is a cash assistance program for people over 65, disabled or blind. SSI benefits in Massachusetts consist of a federal SSI payment combined with a state-funded payment from the Massachusetts SSI State Supplement Program (SSP). EAEDC also provides emergency cash assistance and recipients can also receive MassHealth coverage, payment for funeral costs up to $1,500, up to $1,000 for moving expenses into permanent housing if a recipient has been in an emergency or domestic violence shelter for 60 days or more, and payment for a crib for recipients with a newborn up to six months old.

EAEDC eligibility standards for the disabled are not as strict as SSI. SSI requires applicants have an official disability while EAEDC defines disabled as having at least one physical or mental health problem that lasts at least 60 days impairing a person's ability to work. Any individual applying for EAEDC must be in the process of applying for or have been rejected for SSI. A person who is rejected for SSI can receive EAEDC benefits if they meet all EAEDC requirements – financial and non-financial. Financial requirements include both income and asset tests. The income test requires a person not have more monthly income than their potential EAEDC benefit. While many forms of income are counted (dividends, interest, etc.), some income including housing subsidies, fuel assistance and the income of anyone living in the same home who gets SSI is not counted. The asset test limit is $250 for an individual and $500 for a family. Houses and furniture are excluded as well as the first $1,500 of the equity value of one car.

Non-financial eligibility requires people be over 65, disabled or caring for someone who is disabled. Children living with a caretaker who is not related are also eligible. Caretakers must have legal custody or guardianship or be able to provide verification of "good cause" for not obtaining either within six months of the application date. Adult caretakers may have to meet the Transitional Employment for Massachusetts Parents (TEMP) rules if the youngest dependent child is over age 15. The disabled, recipients over 65, and essential caretakers of a disabled child, parent, grandparent or spouse do not have to meet the work requirement.

Recipients of EAEDC can receive Emergency Assistance, MassHealth and food stamp benefits at the same time, but not SSI, Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) or Veterans' Services Benefits.

Caseloads for EAEDC which were increasing slowly into FY 2014 have begun to decrease. Caseload levels which rose from under 18,000 in FY 2008 to over 23,500 in FY 2013 are back below 22,000 individuals in FY 2016.

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