Q: I have a few questions about the new infant supplement. First, what date is it effective? I am working with a youth and her AB12 worker told her she would not be paid the infant supplement increase until January 1, 2017. Second, I heard that the $900 infant supplement is a loan and that youth participating in Extended Foster Care will be billed by the IRS once they are “self sufficient.” Is that the case?
A: The effective date for the higher infant supplement rate of $900 is July 1, 2016. The California Department of Social Services has issued an All County Letter that states this effective date. The youth you are working with may experience a delay due to local administrative issues. If that is the case, the youth is entitled to receive the increased rate retroactive to July 1, 2016.
Second, the infant supplement is not a loan. It is a supplemental rate paid to the caregivers of parenting dependents for the purpose of paying for child-related expenses, including the food, child care, transportation, clothing and housing. Like other foster care rates, the infant supplement is not counted as income. No youth who receives the infant supplement will be accountable for its repayment.