SENATE DOCKET, NO. 124        FILED ON: 1/12/2009

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 82



The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the Year Two Thousand Nine



An Act protecting and improving the Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC) program..


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1: Section 1 of chapter 117A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2006 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding at the end thereof the following words:-

 A person who is eligible for assistance under the provisions of this chapter, and who is maintaining his or her own home, shall receive monthly benefits no less than the payment standard in effect in fiscal year 2009. The Department is further authorized and directed, subject to appropriation, to increase said payment standard through an annual cost of living adjustment until said payment standard is equal to the same amount of benefits otherwise provided to an assistance unit of the same size eligible under chapter one hundred and eighteen of the general laws.

 SECTION 2: Said chapter 117A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after section 10 the following section:-

 Section 11:   Representation to secure federal disability benefits

 To maximize the receipt of federal benefits and to maximize reimbursement of interim assistance paid by the Commonwealth under this chapter, the Department shall implement a program to provide legal advice and representation to disabled recipients in order for said recipients to secure Supplemental Security Income benefits administered by the Social Security Administration.

SECTION 3:  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, in determining eligibility for the program of emergency aid to elders, disabled and children under chapter 117A of the General Laws, the department of transitional assistance shall provide benefits to persons under age 21 who are regularly attending a full time grade school, high school, technical or vocational school not beyond the secondary level, and who the department determines are homeless or in immigrant risk of becoming homeless  or are otherwise considered unaccompanied youth as defined by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in accordance with federal law. Such students must meet other generally applicable eligibility requirements for the program and the income of assets of any legally liable persons who live with said student shall be considered in determining the financial eligibility for benefits under this chapter.