Many figures used to calculate Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) benefits are revised annually by the Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) Family Investment Administration, the state agency that administers the program. Changes to the program can be found in the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 07.03.03, or on the DHR website. You may also contact your local Department of Social Services office for updated figures. Benefit amount varies depending on individual and household circumstances.

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Eligibility: 

Minor child residing with a parent or another adult caretaker relative or a pregnant woman with no other child. A recipient must be a U.S. citizen or a legal immigrant who meets the full conditions of the rules of the program. A "child" must be under 18 or under 19 and a full time secondary school student.  Additional eligibility requirements are available on the DHR website and in the COMAR.

TCA has a 5 year (60 month) lifetime limit for recipients.  Recipients may go on and off of TCA as often as needed, but may not exceed the 60 months of benefits unless they meet the requirements for a hardship exemption.  This and other limitations are explained in COMAR 07.03.03.20.

Income Eligibility: 

Net income (from any source must be below limit after certain deductions such as child care payments, 20% of any earned income...)

Net Income by Household Size:

The assistance unit (07.03.03.06) is not eligible for TCA if the total net income is more than the allowable payment amount for the unit size, as listed below (based on $0 income).  Additionally, DSS will only issue a benefit if the assistance unit is determined to be eligible for $10 or more. (07.03.03.13)

1   (or pregnant woman)     $288

2     $503

3     $636

4     $762

5     $883

6     $971

7     $1091

8     $1201

9     $1295

10   $1295

(These amounts may change; you should not decide to apply for benefits solely on the bases of the information here.  The rules are complicated, and the only way to be positive whether you are eligible is by filing an application.)
Effective October 1, 2014 to present

Many figures used to calculate Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) benefits are revised annually by the Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) Family Investment Administration, the state agency that administers the program. Changes to the program can be found in the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 07.03.03, or on the DHR website. You may also contact your local Department of Social Services office for updated figures.

Asset Eligibility: 

TCA does not consider assets/resources when determining eligibility for most applicants.  The asset/resource cap for sponsored immigrants is $2000.  Check with your local DSS Office for additional and up-to-date information about assets.  See here and here for more about this rule.

Apply at: 

Department of Social Services. Find your local DSS Office.  The Maryland Department of Human Resources' web site has information, an application form you can download and print, and more.  You can see if you may be eligible with the Department of Human resources "Am I Eligible" benefits calculator.

You can apply online through myDHR: https://mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/dashboardClient/#/home

Appeals: 

  • You can appeal any decision or action taken by DSS that you disagree with. Here are some examples: application denial, benefit termination or reduction, DSS has not made a decision on an application within 30 days, referral to a work program that you disagree with, overpayment, you receive a sanction but had an excuse or good cause.
  • If you have a disability and need DSS to accommodate you, you can request a reasonable accommodation. You can make the request in any way (such as orally or in writing). If DSS does not make a decision on your request or denies your request, you can appeal that decision. For more information visit: http://www.dhr.state.md.us/blog/?page_id=14831
  • Appeals can be filed in writing at the DSS office.  It is best to file it in person and to get a receipt showing that you filed the appeal. Here is a link to a Request for Fair Hearing Form: https://www.dhr.state.md.us/documents/SHINE/SHINE%20Forms/Appeal%20Form.pdf
  • You can also mail the form to: Office of Administrative Hearings11101 Gilroy Road, Hunt Valley, MD 21031-1301
  • You may request an appeal within 90 days of DSS providing timely and adequate notice of an action. If proper notice was not provided, you can request an appeal within 90 days of the action taken.
  • If you file within 10 days of notice that benefits are being terminated or reduced, you have a right to request that DSS continue your benefits uninterrupted until the decision.  If you do not want benefits to continue until the decision you must specifically request that they not continue.

Source of Funds: 

State and federal funds

Sources of Law: 

Federal Law: 42 U.S.C. §§ 601 to 619 

Federal Regulations: 45 CFR §§ 260.10  and following sections

State Law: MD Code Human Services §§ 5-3125-313

State Regulations: COMAR 07.03.03.00 to 07.03.03.9999

  • 07.03.03.06   The Assistance Unit (who is included)
  • 07.03.03.07   Eligibility Requirements (residence, and other factors besides financial eligibility)
  • 07.03.03.11   Financial Eligibility (income eligibility rules)
  • 07.03.03.12   Assets (eligibility rules about bank accounts and other valuable property; what is counted, and what is not counted)
  • 07.03.03.13   Income and Benefit Amount (how to count income and factors considered for determining benefit amount)
  • 07.03.03.23   Appeals (conferences with DSS and hearings)
  • 07.03.03.04   Administrative Hearings

Other: 

This program is very complicated, and is different from county to county.  It is always a good idea to get legal advice if you are denied or terminated, or if benefits are reduced.

Escape Now Button: 

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Is this legal advice?

This site offers legal information, not legal advice.  We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information and to clearly explain your options.  However we do not provide legal advice - the application of the law to your individual circumstances. For legal advice, you should consult an attorney.  The Maryland State Law Library, a court-related agency of the Maryland Judiciary, sponsors this site.  In the absence of file-specific attribution or copyright, the Maryland State Law Library may hold the copyright to parts of this website. You are free to copy the information for your own use or for other non-commercial purposes with the following language “Source: Maryland's People’s Law Library – www.peoples-law.org. © Maryland State Law Library, 2017.”

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