Monthly Archives: September 2012

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) eligibility for non-minor dependents with an adult-dependent status

Q: How does a Non-Minor Dependent’s “adult-dependent” status affect their eligibility to file a FAFSA as an “independent student”? 

A: All youth in extended foster care are considered independent for financial aid purposes.  Under federal law, the definition of “independent” when used with respect to a student, means any individual who– (A) is 24 years of age or older by December 31 of the award year;  or (B) is an orphan, in foster care, or a ward of the court, or was an orphan, in foster care, or a ward of the court at any time when the individual was 13 years of age or older.

Thus, the fact that a youth is considered a “non-minor dependent” for purpose of participating in extended foster care and receiving foster care benefits after the age of 18 does not impact his/her ability to receive financial aid as an independent student.

Citation: 20 USC 1087vv(d)

Extended foster care eligibility for youth receiving wrap around services

Q: If a 17 year old is in foster care but receiving wrap around services when she turns 18, does she qualify for extended foster care?

A: After eligibility for extended foster care is determined, then wrap around services can begin or continue for the youth. In order to determine whether a youth receiving wrap around is going to be eligible for AB 12 services, the same threshold criteria must be met:  there must be a court order for foster care placement when the youth turns 18 years old.  If that foster care placement order is in place on the youth’s 18th birthday, then he/she is eligible for to participate in extended foster care and receive benefits under AB 12 as a non-minor dependent.  The key factor in eligibility for extended foster care is the placement order that is in effect on the youth’s 18th birthday.  If the youth is in family reunification on a trial home visit but he/she still has an order for foster care placement, then he/she will be eligible to participate in extended foster care.  NOTE: a youth is not eligible to receive a foster care payment while living in the home of a parent, but as long as there was an order for foster care placement on his/her 18th birthday, then the youth would be eligible to begin receiving foster care benefits if and when he/she moves into a licensed or approved placement. 

Alternatively, if the youth is in a family reunification status and has been RELEASED with a Home of Parent Order, then that youth does not have an order for foster care placement and is NOT eligible for AB 12 services.

  1. 1.      No citation as this was clarified by CDSS for us.

Extended foster care eligibility for a non-minor dependent on adult probation status

Q: If a non-minor dependent (NMD) is arrested as an adult and put on adult probation status, will the adult probation status affect his/her eligibility for extended foster care? 

A:The adult probation status does not change the NMD’s eligibility for extended foster care; although, there may be circumstances when the adult probation status may be taken into account when determining the most appropriate placement for the NMD.  While a NMD who becomes subject to adult probation has a right to a placement and also has the same range of placement options available, including THP-Plus Foster Care or a Supervised Independent Living Placement, the placing county must find a placement that ensures the safety and well-being of all other minor dependents and NMDs who are residing in the same setting.

Each county has the obligation of revising their county protocols (known as the WIC 241.1 protocols) to determine who will supervise and oversee a NMD’s case if and when a NMD becomes subject to adult probation.

Citation: ACL 11-85 p. 8.