Monthly Archives: October 2017

Can a NMD receive the infant supplement if their child does not reside with them?

Q: A youth in our THP+FC program is providing 100% financial support for his child, however his child lives with the mother, who is not a non-minor dependent. Because the father is supporting the child, is he eligible to receive the monthly infant supplement even though the child does not reside with him?

A: No, the non-minor dependent (NMD) father will not be eligible to receive the infant supplement during the time the non-dependent child is not living with the father. The monthly infant supplement is specifically for the care and supervision of a non-dependent infant/child living with their parent(s) who are in foster care.  

Citations:

  • California Welfare & Institutions Code §11465(a)
  • California Department of Social Services. Manual of Policies and Procedures. Sections 11-415.1 – 11-415.12
  • California Department of Social Services. All County Letter 17-93 (September 8, 2017)
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Homeless Students Claimed on Parent’s Tax Return

Q: I’m helping an unaccompanied homeless youth with the FAFSA. I’m wondering how to advise him if someone is still claiming him as a dependent on their taxes, even though they are not supporting him.

A: The issue of tax claims is completely separate from the FAFSA independent student status. The FAFSA status is based on the student’s living situation. As long as the student is determined to be unaccompanied and homeless in the year in which he is submitting the application, he is considered an independent student for the FAFSA, regardless of whether someone else is fraudulently claiming him as a dependent on their taxes.

How are gift cards counted when applying for CalFresh?

Q: I understand that when applying for CalFresh, youth in my THP+FC program are to indicate the monthly stipend we provide them as their ‘unearned income’ on the application. What if we provide them gift cards in lieu of cash, such as gift cards for the grocery store or gas cards? Should they be counting the gift cards as unearned income?

A: No, gift cards that are specific to the grocery store or gas station would not be counted as income. A gift card is only counted as income when determining a household’s eligibility or benefit level if it is a credit card company prepaid gift card (i.e. American Express, MasterCard, Visa, etc.), and the gift card can be reasonably anticipated by the youth. Establishment-specific gift cards (i.e. Target, Walmart, Safeway, Chevron, etc.) are always excluded as income when determining a household’s eligibility or benefit level.

Citation: U.S. Department of Agriculture. Memorandum: Revised Treatment of Gift Cards in Determining SNAP. https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/snap/Revised_Gift_Card_Policy_Memo.pdf. California Department of Social Services. All County Information Notice I-68-17 (October 2, 2017). http://www.cdss.ca.gov/Portals/9/ACIN/2017/I-68-17.pdf?ver=2017-10-02-151226-987

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Residing in a SILP with biological parent or home of removal now allowable

Q: A social worker told me that there are new rules regarding the Supervised Independent Living Placement. He stated that non-minor dependents are now allowed to reside with the parent from which they were removed, including their biological parent. Is this true? If so, are there any sort of guidelines?

A: Yes, this is accurate. In light of recent guidance provided by the California Department of Social Services, non-minor dependents (NMDs) may now live in a Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP) with a parent, which is defined as a parent from whom the youth was removed or any non-custodial parent, including but not limited to a biological parent, guardian or adoptive parent.

As far as guidelines go, the social worker or probation officer must make a determination of whether it is safe for the NMD to reside in the same home as the parent(s) in the same way it would be made with regards to anyone else a NMD chooses to live with in a SILP. Also in line with the general guidelines associated with the SILP, the SILP readiness assessment tool must be utilized to determine if the NMD is making appropriate decisions with regards to the person(s) with whom they plan to reside.

One different guideline that applies when NMDs reside with a parent in a SILP is that the parent may not be the NMD’s payee for the foster care payment.

Citation: California Department of Social Services. All County Letter 17-83 (September 5, 2017). http://www.cdss.ca.gov/Portals/9/ACL/2017/17-83.pdf?ver=2017-09-07-111228-323

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Special Immigrant Juvenile Status – when to close the dependency case

Q: I’m working with a youth who is trying to get Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). Once the Department of Child and Family Services files for SIJS and it’s “pending” can we close the dependency case?

A: No, the dependency case must remain open until the child receives their green card, unless the court’s jurisdiction is terminated due to the youth’s age (for example, when the youth turns 18 or 21).

Citation: 8 C.F.R. § 204.11(c)(5)

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