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.