Do Unemployment Insurance payments impact foster care benefits?

Q: Some youth in foster care in our county are receiving unemployment insurance after losing their jobs or having their hours reduced as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Do these payments impact their foster care payment or their eligibility for placement or services at all?

A: No, the Unemployment Insurance being provided under the CARES Act does not have a bearing on foster care benefits. Unemployment Insurance is unearned income, which does count toward certain means-tested benefits, however the federal Children’s Bureau has advised the California Department of Social Services that CARES Act unemployment payments are not be considered income or resources when determining Title IV-E eligibility.

Citation: California Department of Social Services, All County Letter 20-81 (July 9, 2020). https://www.cdss.ca.gov/Portals/9/Additional-Resources/Letters-and-Notices/ACLs/2020/20-81.pdf

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