Monthly Archives: March 2015

EITC for Non-Parent who Is Missing W-2

Q: I am a CASA working with a Non-Minor Dependent who had part-time employment in 2014. He is not a parent and doesn’t have his W-2, either because it wasn’t sent to him or because he misplaced it.

As a non-parent, is he eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?  Should he go ahead and file his taxes without his W-2 or should we track it down and then file? Is there a special form that must be filed to claim the EITC?

A:  An individual does not have to be a parent to claim the EITC. An individual with no children qualifies if they earn less than $14,590 and a parent with one child qualifies if they earn less than $38,511.

If the youth does not have his W-2, he must file his taxes OR file for an extension by April 15th. To file his taxes, he must complete a form on which he reports his estimated wages. Or, he can complete a form and automatically get a six-month extension. During that time, you can help him contact the IRS and request his W-2.

With only 16 days until the filing deadline, it is likely too late to get a new W-2 and he should proceed with either filing using an estimate of his earnings or filing for an extension.

To claim the ETIC, an individual must complete Form 1040A or 1040. Even though it is shorter and easier to complete, do not use Form 1040 EZ. If you use this form, the youth will not be able claim the EITC and will potentially lose out on thousands of dollars.

While this process may appear cumbersome, it is extremely important to help the youth complete it.  A 2009 report by the New America Foundation found that 800,000 Californians failed to claim $1.2 billion in EITC refunds.

The IRS provides a list of providers that offer free electronic filing for low-income individuals. Take a moment and share this important resource with the youth in your care today.

Head Start Eligibility for Youth in a SILP

Q: I am a CASA working with a parenting Non-Minor Dependent (NMD) who lives in a Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP). I am working with her to enroll her child in Head Start. She has been asked to provide her income. Is the $838 she receives monthly through her SILP counted as income?

A: No.  The receipt of a foster care payment, including a SILP payment, is not counted as income for the purposes of determining her eligibility for Head Start. The Internal Revenue Service has specific criteria to determine if income a meets the definition of a welfare payment and therefore is not counted. Foster care payments made to a NMDs meet the criteria for the general welfare exception.

This case was made successfully to the U.S. Department of Education regarding the receipt of student financial aid. In July 2013, the U.S. Department of Education clarified that foster care payments are excluded as income for the calculation of student aid.

Loss of community college fee waiver

Q: I am working with a foster youth enrolled in extended foster care attending a community college. He struggled academically during his first year and as a result ended up on academic probation for two consecutive terms. He was told that he no longer qualifies for the Board of Governors (BOG) fee waiver as a result. Is this true?

A: No, this is not true. New requirements were put into effect this year that mandate that students become ineligible for the BOG fee waiver if the student is placed on academic or progress probation for two consecutive primary terms, however foster youth are exempt from this requirement.

 

Reference: Section 58621(a)(2) of subchapter 7 of chapter 9 of division 6 of title 5 of the California Code of Regulations

Is There an Upper Age for the Infant Supplement?

Q: I am a social worker in a THP+FC program and was told recently by a county social worker that the infant supplement ends when the child turns age 3. Is that the case?

A: No, there is no upper age for a youth in foster care to receive the infant supplement, either in statue or regulation.

The infant supplement for a youth living in a group home is $890 per month and the infant supplement for a youth living in other placement settings is $411 per month.

Source: WIC 11465,  All County Letter 14-44