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)).