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The amount of
financial assistance that is available depends largely on
individual circumstances. Government aid varies from state to
state as well as local charities and local food banks. The
following is a list of possible sources for financial aid.
Check with your local Social Services Office about these
programs and well as any additional services that may be
available in your area.
- TANF: Temporary Assistance for
Needy Families -- This is a federal and state
combined program. It is a need-based program and the
amount and type of financial assistance available varies
from state to state. Low-income households can apply for
the entire family to receive benefits, which may include
cash assistance, food stamps, and daycare.
If the household income is too high to qualify for
assistance, a grandparent can still apply on behalf of the
children. This is called a Child-Only Grant. It is then based on the child's income. When
an entire household receives TANF benefits, there is a
time limit, which depends on individual state regulations.
However, if TANF benefits are received only for the
children, the time limit does not apply but the children's
income, if any, still does. When applying for TANF, a
grandparent may need to prove the grandparent/grandchild
relationship. This means that birth certificates for the
children as well as for your adult child may be needed to
prove that you are the grandparent. To apply for TANF,
contact your local Social Services Office.
-- This is also a federal and state combined program that is
need-based. When children are not living with their parent/s
but are in the care of a family member, the caregiver can
apply for Medicaid on behalf of the children. This is based
on the income of the children and whether or not they are
covered under private health insurance. To apply for
Medicaid, contact your local Social Services Office.
Security Benefits -- If the parent of your grandchild
has died, you can submit an application for your grandchild
to receive Social Security benefits. "Survivor Benefits" are
available to family members of certain deceased workers.
These benefits can help in meeting your grandchild's living
Security Income (SSI) -- SSI is a form of Social
Security that allows certain disabled persons to receive
monthly payments. SSI has certain new disability rules
written to cover children. Apply for SSI at the Social
Security Administration office in your region.
Guardianship -- Some states have a program that pays
subsidies to grandparents and kinship caregivers who are the
legal guardian of a child. This usually occurs when the
child has been in the state foster care system, and the
relative becomes the legal guardian. However, not all states provide
Foster Care -- When a child is in the custody of the
state and being placed in foster care, there is the
possibility of being placed with family members. When a
family member becomes the foster parent of a child in state
custody, he or she must meet the same licensing requirement
and receive the same foster care payment as non-kin foster
-- Free or low-cost daycare may be available for
grandparents raising their grandchildren. Contact your local
Social Services Office.
Churches and Organizations -- Many churches and
organizations help needy families with food, utilities,
rent, clothing, and Christmas and birthday gifts. Letting
others know that you have a specific need is the first step
in receiving help for yourself as well as your
Finding needed financial services for grandparents raising
grandchildren is a problem. Grandparents throughout the United
States, Canada, and the entire world face this same challenge.
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children, Child Daycare, Grandparent Rights, Grandparents with legal custody,
guardianship of grandchildren