H.621 An Act Relative to Assisting Elders and People with Disabilities in the Commonwealth
EAEDC (Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children) is a state-funded cash assistance and benefits program providing support to approximately 22,000 extremely low-income individuals, administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA). It serves adults 65 years of age and older who are in the process of applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), adults of all ages with qualifying disabilities, and certain caretaker relatives. This bill would increase the EAEDC grant, which has not been increased since 1988. It also would remove the shelter reduction/penalty for individuals experiencing homelessness, who currently have their grants reduced by 70% each month because they are deemed to not have housing cost. This bill would increase the personal asset limit from $250 to $2,500, so as to allow more EAEDC participants to have assets and to move toward housing stability (by being better able to afford ongoing rent, first month’s rent, last month’s rent, and security deposit payments and to be able to retain a car). Finally, this bill would create an annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) for EAEDC program participants so that DTA can provide increased benefits in response to the wider economic conditions and ensure that participants do not fall behind further economically from year-to-year.
Read the bill here.