Section 2. The department shall aid a parent in properly bringing up, in his or her own home, each dependent child, but no aid shall be granted, under this chapter, for, or on account of, any child unless the said child resides in the commonwealth. Further, the department shall render aid to any pregnant women, who is otherwise eligible, upon medical verification of pregnancy. The aid furnished shall be sufficient to enable such parent to bring up such child or children properly in his or her own home, and shall be in an amount to be determined in accordance with budgetary standards of the department, and shall be granted from the date on which the applicant is determined to be eligible or thirty days from the receipt of a signed and completed application form, whichever is earlier. Such assistance shall be paid by cash or in check and shall be paid semimonthly in advance unless the applicant prefers less frequent payments.
Payment for funeral expenses of any such parent or dependent child in his or her custody may be paid directly to the person furnishing such services. Payment for other services rendered to such parent or dependent child in his or her custody may be paid directly to the person furnishing such services only when such payment is effected to meet an expense which remained unpaid at the time of the death of the parent or his commitment to an institution as a mentally ill person or in a case where such payment is necessary to discharge an obligation incurred by the department in securing such services for such parent or dependent child. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as authorizing any public official, agent or representative, in carrying out any provision of this chapter, to take charge of any child over the objection of the father or the mother of such child, or of the person standing in loco parentis to such child, except pursuant to a proper court order.
The department may pay a sum not exceeding $1,100 toward the funeral and final disposition of a recipient to the funeral establishment if there are insufficient resources to pay for the cost of such funeral and final disposition and if the total expense of the funeral and final disposition does not exceed $3,500. The commonwealth shall have the right of reimbursement from whatever resources may exist in the estate of the recipient.
Effective July first of every year, subject to appropriation, the department shall increase the total budget of each eligible recipient, before taking into consideration any available income and resources, by a percentage amount equal to the percentage rise in the United States Consumer Price Index for January first of that year over the level of said index for January first of the previous year plus such additional percentage amount as is recommended annually by the department and appropriated by the general court.