Youth in guardianships: eligibility for extended benefits

Q: I’ve heard that youth in guardianships are only eligible for extended benefits if the guardianship began after the age of 16.  Is this true?

A: It depends on the type of guardianship.  Youth in non-related legal guardianships created in juvenile court are eligible for extended benefits up to age 21 regardless of the age that the youth entered the guardianship.  Youth in non-related legal guardianship’s created in probate court are not eligible for extended benefits at all.  Youth in guardianship through the Kin-GAP program must have entered Kin-GAP at age 16 or older in order to be eligible for extended benefits.  However, if a youth in Kin-GAP has a disability which warrants the continuation of benefits, benefits may be extended regardless of the age the youth entered Kin-GAP.

3 thoughts on “Youth in guardianships: eligibility for extended benefits

  1. Shelby Jones says:

    Hello, I need to clarify this one. I am a social worker in Child Protective Services serving AB12 eligible youth. I understand the difference between youth who’s guardianship is established in juvenile court vs. probate court. However, is there a difference in benefits for youth who enter legal guardianship “with dependency” vs. “without dependency”? This has come up a lot for us. We have been hesitant to establish legal guardianships “without dependency” for older youth due to the fear that it will make them ineligible for AB12 when they turn 18. Is this true? Please advise.

  2. Kim Misner says:

    I work for Child Protective Services and there is a lot of erroneous information about guardianships and whether the youth are eligible for extended foster care and THP+FC. Can you please let me know if a youth is eligible for EFC if they are in a non-related guardianship with or without dependency and at what age does the guardianship need to have been established if they are eligible? I have a pending court hearing that I need the information for.

    • John Burton Foundation says:

      Hi Kim,

      Sorry for the delayed response. I have not been getting notifications of comments on this his blog.

      Youth in Non-Related Legal Guardianship (NRLG) are not eligible for Extended Foster Care. They are eligible for extended Kin-GAP benefits. They cannot be placed in foster care placements (i.e. THP+FC, SILP, etc.). They can, however, reside outside the home of their guardian and still receive support. – This means they could potentially be sharing an apartment with a friend, and their guardian could still receive benefit payments on their behalf and provide financial support to them.

      As for age of guardianship establishment and how that impacts eligibility for extended benefits –

      If the NRLG was established in dependency court, they are eligible for extended Kin-GAP benefits to age 21, regardless of the age when the guardianship was established. If the NRLG was established in probate court, the benefits cannot be extended (except if they are still in high school – they can remain receiving benefits until they graduate or turn 19, whichever comes first. This is called “the high school completion rule”).

      For youth in guardianship with kin, the guardianship would have to be established after age 16 for the youth to be eligible for extended Kin-GAP benefits to age 21. (If the guardianship was established prior to turning 16, they are also eligible for the high school completion rule described above).

      For youth in guardianship with kin, if a youth has a mental or physical disability, the Kin-GAP benefits can be extended to age 21 regardless of the age the guardianship was established.

      I hope this helps.

      Simone Tureck
      simone@johnburtonfoundation.org

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