Financial Support Services

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) program provides monthly benefits to low-income households to help pay for the cost of food. A household may be one person living alone, a family, or several; unrelated individuals living together who routinely purchase and prepare meals together. Anyone may apply for SNAP benefits. The program helps households that have limited income and resources. For more information contact The Department of Family and Children Services call 1-877-423-4746 or locate you county Department of Family and Children Services office

Temporary Assistance for needy Families (TANF) provides cash assistance to needy families. The amount of payment depends of the number of children and their income. TANF provides about $5.16 per child per day. Payments are made on a monthly basis. It may take up to 45 days to be certified for this benefit. You may not receive TANF for a related child in your home if you receive a Foster Care payment.

Earned Income Tax Credit are for persons currently employed and for grandparents who work and are raising their grandchildren, this tax credit on your income tax return will be based on your income and the number of grandchildren you are raising. It requires a special schedule EIC attachment to your income tax return.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Emergency/Crisis Intervention Services help pay the cost of emergency needs, such as shelter, utilities, school expenses, furniture, legal expenses associated with gaining formal custody, and other additional expenses incurred by grandparents (age 60 and older or disabled) when a child or children comes to live with them. These grandparents must demonstrate a need for emergency services and have income of less than 160% of the federal poverty level. This benefit will provide a maximum of three months of TANF benefits in a one-time, lump-sum payment.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Subsidy Payment is a payment of $50 per child per month available at the choice of the grandparent(s) (age 60 and older or disabled) to cover additional expenses associated with rearing their grandchildren.

Relative Foster Care is for children in the custody of DFCS due to a substantiated allegation of abuse or neglect. Grandparents/relatives of children in DFCS custody who are interested in becoming a foster parent must meet the minimum standards requirement. Foster home minimum standards include 20 hours of IMPACT pre-service training and a family assessment involving a criminal, medical, financial, etc., background check. The current basic family foster care payment rate of $13.68, $15.50, or $17.75 a day is based on the age of the child.

Relative Care Subsidy (RCS) provides financial assistance to approved grandparent/relative resources for a child formerly in the custody of DFCS. Grandparents/relatives eligible for RCS must be related to the child by blood, marriage, or adoption. The court transfers legal custody from DFCS to the grandparent/relative.

Subsidized Guardianship and Enhanced Subsidized Guardianship Rates (SG or ESG) may be considered for a grandparent/relative caregiver for a child formerly in the custody of DFCS for a minimum of 12 months. The grandparent/relative guardian may be eligible to receive a payment of 80% of the current basic family foster care rates if requirements are met. If the grandparent/relative is not eligible for the ESG payment, then they may be eligible to receive $10.00 per day Subsidized Guardianship rate.

Right from the Start Medicaid Program provides Medicaid coverage for pregnant women and children under the age of 19. Working families may be eligible even if both parents live in the home or if other insurance coverage is in place. For more information or to apply call Right from the Start Medicaid at 1-800-809-7276 or visit RSM Services.

Child Support is a regular payment provided by the child’s parents that can be used to help cover a child’s living expenses. It can also include other benefits, such as health or dental insurance coverage. Determining the amount of child support to be paid is based on the Child Support Guidelines, a formula driven application taking all related expenses and incomes into account.

Grandparents, who have legal custody of their grandchildren, may be eligible to receive child support on behalf of the children they are raising. Grandparents and other relatives may qualify for one or more of the following services for the children in their care:

  • Locate - Locate services are provided to determine the whereabouts of either non-custodial parent, whether local or interstate.
  • Paternity Establishment - Paternity establishment services are provided through no cost genetic testing so that a legal relationship can be established between the child and the child’s father. Genetic testing can be provided in the absence of the natural mother of the child or children.
  • Order Establishment - Child support orders are established to enhance the well being of children by ensuring financial and medical support are available on a regular basis. Child support orders may be established upon application for services by the grandparent custodian, or other relative.
  • Order Enforcement - Enforcement services are provided when a parent does not pay child support as ordered so that support payments can be collected. Enforcement actions include, but are not limited to, contempt actions filed with the court, income deductions and withholding unemployment benefits, suspension or revocation of drivers license, filing liens against property, seizing bank accounts, intercepting lottery winnings and federal and/or state tax refunds to pay towards child support arrears.
  • Redirection of Child Support Payments - Redirection services are provided when there is an existing court order for child support so that support payments can be redirected from the custodial parent to the relative caring for the child. Child support payments in these situations will be redirected, upon receipt of an application or a referral from the Division of Aging, Services or the Division of Family and Children Services.
  • Child Support Collection and Distribution - Collection and distribution services are provided so that a child’s support payment is collected and distributed to the child’s caregiver in a timely manner. Child support arrears payments are also collected and distributed. Payments are collected through a centralized payment location and distributed to debit cards or through direct deposit into personal bank accounts.

For further information,

  • Contact any local location of Office of Child Support Services. For a complete list of offices, go to Office Locations.

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