Monthly Archives: December 2012

Extended foster care benefits for youth receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Q: Can a youth receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits also be eligible for extended foster care benefits?

A: The receipt of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits does not disqualify a youth from participating in extended foster care (EFC).   Eligibility for EFC is based on whether the youth had an order for foster care placement on their 18th birthday.  If a youth has that order for foster care placement, then their eligibility for SSI  can qualify them under participation condition number five “medical condition” (although a youth receiving SSI is also permitted and encouraged  to meet any of the other four participation conditions).

 The effects of the receipt of SSI will be on the amount of foster care benefits. There are federal and state laws that govern the concurrent receipt of SSI and AFDC-FC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care) benefits that require offsetting of benefits to avoid double-dipping.  If a youth is eligible for federal AFDC-FC benefits, the monthly SSI benefits will be offset dollar for dollar.  Alternatively, if the youth is eligible for state-only AFDC-FC benefits, AFDC-FC is counted as income thus is reduced by the amount of the SSI benefits  (Reference: Welf. & Inst. Code § 13754; All County Letter 11-69).

Mutual agreement & Transitional Independent Living Plan (TILP) requirements for AWOL youth

Q: For youth who are AWOL but have an open court case when they turn 18 years old, how should the county comply with the requirements of completing the mutual agreement (SOC 161) and the TILP (Transitional Independent Living Plan)?

A: A youth who has an order for foster care placement but who is AWOL on his/her 18th birthday has the right to participate in extended foster care at the point that he/she contacts the child welfare agency and agrees to return to a supervised licensed or approved placement.  If the youth cannot be located upon turning 18, it may be appropriate for the social worker or probation officer to schedule a hearing pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 391 in order to close the case, recognizing that the NMD will be placed under general jurisdiction and retains the right to re-enter extended foster care at a later date.  In fact, Welfare and Institutions Code section 391 specifies that the court may terminate jurisdiction over a nonminor if the court finds after reasonable and documented efforts that the nonminor cannot be located.  If the court terminates jurisdiction, a SOC 161 and TILP would not need to be completed.  If the NMD chooses to re-enter at some point in the future, the agency would complete the required forms at that time.

  Citation: Welf. & Inst. Code § 391; 388(e).

Incarcerated non-minor dependents’ eligibility for extended foster care

Q: Are NMD’s eligible for extended foster care (EFC) while incarcerated ?

A: No, NMDs are not eligible for EFC while incarcerated because they are unable to reside in a licensed or approved placement, which is one requirement of extended foster care.  Once the NMD is released, he/she is eligible to re-enter foster care provided he/she meets all relevant eligibility criteria.  

Citation: ACL 11-69, p. 4.