Monthly Archives: January 2014

Eligibility for NMD not Meeting Participation Condition

Q: I am the social worker for a Non-Minor Dependent (NMD), age 19. He is currently enrolled in community college, but struggling with mental health issues. If he stops attending community college will he automatically be ineligible for extended foster care because he is not meeting one of the five participation conditions?

A: No.  It is likely that a NMD may transition between participation activities during the six‐month certification period that occurs between each case review hearing. However, temporarily not participating in one criteria does not make the youth ineligible for extended foster care. As long as the NMD continues to work toward the goals set out in their TILP, then they will not lose eligibility. Participation criteria Number 3 “Removing Barriers to Employment” is intended to bridge the gaps ineligibility.  In addition, the Six‐Month Certification of Participation should specify both a primary participation condition that the NMD will satisfy as well as a “back‐up” plan as detailed in the NMD’s TILP, in order to ensure  that a NMD has multiple paths to eligibility during any six‐month period.

Source: Welf. & Inst. Code § 11403(b); Welf. & Inst. Code § 11403(i); All County Letter 11‐69

AB 12 Direct Payments and their impact on financial aid eligibility

Q: A youth on my caseload was in a Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP) last year and received his foster care payments directly. He’s now completing financial aid forms for college and isn’t sure whether this income will impact his eligibility for financial aid. What should I tell him?

A: The U.S. Department of Education Dear Colleague Letter GEN-13-18 (2013) clarified that extended foster care payments made directly to foster youth are to be excluded when determining Title IV federal student aid eligibility. This determination states: “Extended foster care payments paid under the authority of Title IV –Part E of the Social Security Act are excluded from income for purposes of the calculation of a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and thus not reported on the FAFSA.” The determination further clarifies that these payments are also not considered to be Estimated Financial Assistance. Click here for a more detailed summary of the clarification.

Options for parenting youth residing with non-federally eligible relative caregivers

Q: I am the relative caregiver for my granddaughter, age 18. When she was removed at age 8, it was determined she was not federally eligible for foster care. Instead of a foster care payment, I receive a monthly CalWORKs grant on her behalf. My granddaughter recently became pregnant. When the baby is born, will I receive an “infant supplement” or an increase in the CalWORKs grant?

A: No, you will not receive an infant supplement. The $441 infant supplement payment is not available to non-federally eligible youth living with relatives. If your niece were living with a non-relative, she would receive it. Or, if she were federally-eligible and living with you (a relative), she would receive it. As for CalWORKs, the grant will increase incrementally once the baby is born because the size of the Assistance Unit will grow from one (your granddaughter) to two (your granddaughter and great granddaughter). However, CalWORKs payments do not increase per person – so the amount of the grant will not double.

One option to consider is to have your niece placed in a Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP) in your home. That is, rather than being placed with you, she would be renting a room from you and be placed in a SILP.  Under this arrangement, she would be eligible for a higher foster care rate and also receive the infant supplement.

Does Immigration Status Affect Eligibility for Extended Foster Care?

Q: I am the CASA for a youth in foster care who is an undocumented immigrant, who came to the U.S. with her parents as a small child. She will soon turn 18 years-old. As an undocumented immigrant, will be she eligible for extended foster care?

 

A: Yes, children and youth in foster care are considered qualified aliens. Provided she meets all other eligibility requirements, her immigration status does not disqualify her from participating in extended foster care.

However, it is important that this individual applies for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), if she has not already. This is a special process that allows individuals under age 21, who cannot be reunited with a parent due to abuse, neglect or abandonment, to apply for a green card and remain in the United States legally. To get started, the youth should contact her social worker and attorney. Additional information about SIJS can be found at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Source: Social Security Act- sections 472(a)(4) and 473(a)(2)(B); The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PL 104-193)