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).

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