Kin-GAP benefit payments cannot go directly to youth

Q: I am 19 years old, living with my grandmother who is my guardian and receiving Kin-GAP benefits. Can I move into an apartment on my own? If yes, is it possible for me to receive the payment directly?

A: Yes, you can move into an apartment on your own, however you cannot receive the payments directly. A non-minor over the age of 18 who is eligible for extended Kin-GAP benefits does not have to continue to reside in their relative guardian’s home to continue to receive Kin-GAP beyond the age of 18, as long as the guardian continues to care and support the non-minor.

The non-minor can move into his or her own apartment or into some other housing situation (like a dorm) and the guardian can continue to receive the Kin-GAP benefits to help support the youth. This is not considered a Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP) and the non-minor does not have to be approved to live in this type of setting since a youth who receives extended Kin-GAP benefits is no longer in foster care and is thus no longer in placement.

Kin-GAP payments are paid to the relative guardian; the non-minor can never receive the Kin-GAP payments directly. Additionally, the guardian is responsible for requesting the continuation of Kin-GAP benefits after the age of 18 and for providing documentation to the county welfare agency that the youth is meeting one of five participation requirements.

(Reference: All County Letter 11-86, Welf. & Inst. Code §366.3, 11364(b) & 11387(b) & (c)).

2 thoughts on “Kin-GAP benefit payments cannot go directly to youth

  1. Judge Donna Groman says:

    Are there benefits to a youth under guardianship and still a 602 to transition to 450 status rather than to Kingap when the 602 case is ready for termination?

    • kidsalliance says:

      If the minor is modified to 450 status and the court retains jurisdiction (as opposed to dismissing the jurisdiction, which would have the effect of moving the minor into Kin-GAP program assuming all other eligibility conditions are met), then the youth will become a NMD on her 18th birthday (this is regardless of the guardianship order). In effect, the order for foster care placement “trumps” the guardianship from a benefits eligibility standpoint.

      In terms of the difference between extended Kin-GAP until 21 or AFDC-FC as a NMD until 21, there are a few differences:

      (1) If the former guardian (former, because once the youth turns 18 the guardianship is dissolved – but Kin-GAP funding continues) is receiving Kin-GAP, the Kin-GAP payment will continue to go to the former guardian. The youth cannot receive the Kin-GAP payment directly.

      (2) Youth receiving extended Kin-GAP benefits are not be eligible for placements like a SILP or THP-Plus Foster Care. That said, the youth does not have to reside in the former guardian’s home after 18. He/she can move into a dorm or his/her own housing, as long as the former guardian continues to utilize the Kin-GAP benefits for the support of the young adult. If something happens to the relationship and the former guardian does not want to continue to support the youth or the former guardian dies (which has happened in several cases), then Kin-GAP could be terminated and the youth would not be able to reenter foster care and start receiving AFDC-FC benefits (because there was no order for foster care placement at age 18). However, we are trying to resolve this issue in the event that a former guardian dies through AB 787.

      (3) Youth who do not have an order for foster care placement on their 18th birthday are also not be eligible for Medi-Cal for Former Foster Youth until age 26 (youth with an order for foster care on their 18th birthday will be eligible for Medi-Cal benefits without regard to income/resources until the youth turns 26 beginning January 1, 2014).

      (4) Finally, youth who do not have an order for foster care benefits on their 18th birthday are not eligible for transitional housing. Many counties offer THP-Plus, which is housing available to youth who have exited foster care and provides up to 24 months of transitional housing until the age of 24.

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