Deborah Harris, a staff attorney at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, was quoted in a March 6 Eagle Tribune article that reported on the financial pressures low-income families face due to inflation even while state and federal cash assistance benefits have increased.
Last year, Gov. Charlie Baker and state legislative leaders agreed to increase the monthly benefits for the state’s primary cash assistance program, known as Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children, by about 9.1% — which boosted the maximum payment for a household of three to $612 per month. It was the first increase in more than a decade.
But advocates point out that the inflation rate — which climbed to about 7.5% in January — whittles down the net value of the increase to only about 1.6%.
“It’s simply not enough to make up for the lost value,” said Harris. “We hear from families who have to skimp on clothes and other essential items because the value of the assistance they get has eroded.”
Read more in The Eagle Tribune.