Economy in Massachusetts has always ranked highly. Today, the fields of education and health services employ the most people in this state. Another top industry is manufacturing, especially computer and electronic products. Massachusetts’ technology sector has flourished in recent years and is among the most concentrated in the nation. With a balance of historical destinations and picturesque beaches at Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, the tourism industry also is a major economic powerhouse.
Legislatively, Massachusetts has paved the way for other states: It led the way in universal health care coverage, with a plan enacted in 2006 that inspired former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. It was also the first state to legalize gay marriage and the second to pass discrimination laws for individuals who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual.
Even though Massachusetts has maintained its ranking as the eighth best state in the United States, the state´s administration has created several programs especially designed to help the low-income population and the one conformed by single mothers. Following, you will find several of them in details:
Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children
The Massachusetts Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program provides temporary cash assistance and supportive services to children, individuals, and their families. Every person has the right, and can afford the opportunity, to apply for any category of assistance administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance.
In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must be a resident of Massachusetts, either pregnant or responsible for a child under 19 years of age, a U.S. national, citizen, legal alien, or permanent resident, have a low or very low income, and be either under-employed (working for very low wages), unemployed or about to become unemployed.
For further information about how to apply, please, visit this website.
Summer Meal Program for Families in Need
More than 229,170 Massachusetts children live in food-insecure households. Without school meals to depend on, food insecurity can rise as the summer approaches. Since 1968, the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) has provided food assistance for low-income families in Massachusetts. The program provides free, nutritious meals to children 18 years old and under during school summer break at SFSP meal sites. SFSP also offers a wealth of nutrition resources to families across the state.
Program eligibility is determined by either school or census data. SFSP meal sites are located in communities with a school at which at least 50% of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Additionally, a community is eligible for the program if at least 50% of the children under 19 years old are at or below 185% of the federal poverty level.
In Massachusetts, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are combined into one program called MassHealth. MassHealth members may be able to get doctors visits, prescription drugs, hospital stays, and many other important services.
The basic requirements to apply to MassHealth are:
- You must be a resident of Massachusetts to get MassHealth. You meet Massachusetts residency if you live in Massachusetts and either intend to reside in Massachusetts, with or without a fixed address, or have entered Massachusetts with a job commitment or seeking employment.
- To get the most MassHealth, Health Safety Net, or Children’s Medical Security Plan coverage, your citizenship or satisfactory immigration status must be verified.
To apply, you may need to provide the following information and documents:
- Social Security numbers, if you have them, for every household member who is applying
- Federal tax returns, if you file
- Information about citizenship or national status or immigration status
- Employer and income information for everyone in your household (for example, from paystubs or wage statements)
- Information about any job-related or other health insurance that you are currently enrolled in or have access to.
National School Breakfast and Lunch Program
The School Breakfast Program provides funding that makes it possible for schools to offer a nutritious breakfast to students each day. Schools receive Federal funds for each breakfast served, provided that the meal meets established nutrition standards. The state of Massachusetts provides additional funds to schools for each meal served to children who qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
The goal of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is to protect the health and well-being of the nation’s children by providing nutritious school meals every day. NSLP provides funding that makes it possible for schools to offer a nutritious school lunch.
Schools receive Federal funds for each lunch served, provided that the meal meets established nutrition standards. The Federal government and the state of Massachusetts provide additional funds to schools for each meal served to children who qualify, because of family income, for free or reduced-price meals.
In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must be a resident of the state of Massachusetts and a parent or primary caregiver responsible for a child(ren) who attends school (high school or under).
For additional information about the programs, please visit the Massachusetts Child Nutrition office.