The other posts in this blog series covered how to plan your move and get your driver’s license and register your vehicle.
Residency is defined in different ways depending on the circumstances, so you may want to check with individual institutions and agencies to see what their requirements are. For example, to be eligible for the resident tuition rate at a community college, you must have lived in the state for at least six months and prove that you intend to stay indefinitely. However, if you are filing taxes, you must spend more than half the year in Massachusetts and maintain a permanent place of living in the Commonwealth or have your legal or permanent home here for you to qualify as a full-year resident.
Obtaining the following documents are common ways to prove your residency in Massachusetts:
- Voter registration
- Automobile registration
- Massachusetts driver’s license or ID
- Rent, utility, or telephone bills
- A city or town street list with your name on it
The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) provides resources for finding job listings and training opportunities for Massachusetts residents and newcomers. LWD’s JobQuest service lists thousands of job postings and enables users to upload their resume and create a profile. The Commonwealth Employment Opportunities (CEO) website, provided by the Human Resources Division (HRD), allows you to search for job opportunities with the state. You can also find career assistance, such as workshops, short-term training, and help with resumes and cover letters, at one of Massachusetts’ career centers.
Most Massachusetts residents 18 years of age and older who can afford it are required to have health coverage for the entire year. Otherwise, they will pay a penalty on their tax returns. Newcomers have several options for finding health care coverage in Massachusetts if it is not provided through their employment or education:
- MassHealth — MassHealth, Massachusetts’ form of Medicaid, is a public service that pays for all or part of its members’ health insurance and provides coverage for a wide range of services. To find out if you are eligible, start by filling out the correct online application based on your age and care needs.
- Massachusetts Health Connector — The Massachusetts Health Connector is a state-based health insurance marketplace where individuals and families can shop for affordable private and public health insurance and dental coverage plans that meet state and national coverage standards under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
- Additional Health Insurance and Assistance Programs — There are additional health insurance and assistance programs available for children, unemployed and working adults, and the elderly in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts has one of the highest quality education systems in the country and offers various options for early (birth to preschool), elementary, middle, high school, and higher education.
Parents can use the Department of Early Education and Care’s (EEC) program search tool to find licensed early education and care programs for infant, toddler, and preschool-age children. The tool also provides information on out-of-school programs for school-age children.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (ESE) search tool allows parents to research profiles of K–12 public schools and school districts and find information on class size, teacher-to-student ratios, and test scores. Families can choose from several types of schools, both inside and outside their home district.
Massachusetts is also home to a world-class collection of private and public colleges and universities. The University of Massachusetts, state universities, and community colleges offer a wide range of degree and certificate programs, honors programs, research opportunities, and online learning options. You can learn more at the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s website.
You can register to vote online (if you already have a Massachusetts driver’s license), by mail, or in person at a local election office. In certain circumstances, identification requirements, such as a Massachusetts license or a rent receipt, must be submitted with your registration form or presented when you check in at a polling location the first time you vote. You may register to vote if you are a U.S. citizen and are at least 18 years old.
According to the Department of Revenue (DOR), full-year residents and part-year residents whose Massachusetts gross income exceeds $8,000 during the taxable year are required to file a tax return. Nonresidents, such as students and those who do not have a permanent place of residence in Massachusetts, must also file a tax return if their Massachusetts gross income exceeds either their prorated personal exemption or $8,000, whichever is less.
If you are a full-year resident, you may be eligible to use WebFile for Income, a free service for filing returns provided by DOR. Find out what the most common forms for filing taxes are and make sure you choose the correct one(s).
Once you have settled into Massachusetts, you will be able to enjoy all the opportunities the state has to offer. Be sure to check out Part 1: Planning Your Move and Part 2: Driver’s Licenses and Motor Vehicle Registration of this blog series for more information about moving to Massachusetts.
Comment below or tweet @MassGov with any questions you have about settling into Massachusetts.
Tags: choosing schools, education, employment, finding employement, health connector, health insurance, higher education, income tax, job, jobs, living in massachusetts, masshealth, moving, moving day, moving to massachusetts, taxes, unemployment
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