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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 3: Duties of department

Section 3. Except as hereinafter provided, the department shall determine what aid is necessary to enable such parent to bring up such child or children. For this purpose, the department shall make an immediate and careful inquiry, including the resources of the family and ability of its other members, if any, to work or otherwise contribute to its support, the existence of relatives able to assist the family and societies or agencies who may be interested therein; shall, in any case involving a missing parent require the applicant or recipient to furnish in writing under the penalties of perjury, complete information within the knowledge of such applicant or recipient pertinent to the location of said missing parent; shall take all lawful means to locate said missing parent; shall take all lawful means which shall include, in appropriate cases, the institution of criminal proceedings, to compel all persons bound to support such parents and such child or children to support them, and to enforce any other legal rights for their benefit; shall encourage all members of the family who are able to work, to secure work; shall help them to find work; and shall secure all necessary aid for such parent and such child or children which can be secured from relatives or organizations; provided, however, that any exemption now or hereinafter permissible under the federal Social Security Act relative to earned income may be allowed; and provided, further, that determination of eligibility be completed within forty-five days of the date of application.

The department shall follow federal regulations relative to search for missing parents, and employment and employment training for certain recipients.

The department shall give first priority in employment placement activities to each parent whose unemployment has caused his or her children to be dependent within the meaning of this chapter and shall insure that all services necessary for such employment are available to said parent within thirty days after initial receipt of benefits under this chapter. Consistent with all applicable state and federal regulations, said parent shall not refuse employment. If such refusal of employment is without good cause, said parent shall be determined ineligible for this program.

A recipient whose youngest dependent is at least six years of age shall be referred to the department of career services or shall be enrolled in any vocational training program; provided, however, that a recipient shall not be compelled by the department to be trained or to be employed in domestic service, nor required to accept such employment if such employment would require work between the hours from six o'clock postmeridian of one day and six o'clock antemeridian of the following day. In no case shall a recipient be required to seek or accept employment as a condition for eligibility when a mental or physical disability of a dependent child requires presence at home.

No individual shall be considered ineligible for aid or assistance because of failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter if such failure is due to illness or disability. This section shall not apply to any recipients under chapter one hundred and eighteen A nor to recipients of assistance under this chapter with dependent children under six years of age; provided, however, that in a two parent household, only one parent shall be exempt from the provisions of this section. In no event shall such failure to comply with the provisions of this section affect the eligibility of minor children for assistance under this chapter.