View Full Version : Financial assistance for children


NC_girl
10-15-2009, 09:51 AM
Is there any financial assistance available for children with parents in prison? Maybe Social Security?

KathleenTX
10-15-2009, 11:34 AM
To generic of a post. First questions that come to mind are:

How many?
How old?
Living with other parent or grandparent?
What kind of assistance? Food, Medical, Daycare, Clothing or what?

NC_girl
10-15-2009, 11:51 AM
I don't see how the number of children is relevant because I'm not asking about need-based assistance such as section 8. I know that children can receive social security if a parent dies, but I am wondering if there is any kind of financial assistance if the parent is in prison. Of course this would only be for minors and the assistance would be given to their legal guardian.

I hope that clears up my question. Thanks!! :)

Mommy4Two
10-15-2009, 12:12 PM
Having a parent in prison does not qualify children for any extra assistance... Now with that being said, if you are the legal guardian you may go and qualify for assistance through your state agencies... If your income is below the allowed limits, you can get medical assistance, food stamps, WIC, child care assistance, etc... All of these are income based though and none of them make exceptions simply because one parent is incarcerated.

Depending on the programs available in your area, you may also be able to qualify for FA (financial assistance) or TANF (temporary assistance for needy families) for a limited amount of time depending on if you are working or not. Although, in most states the financial assistance will come with strings attached... If you're working, they will generally disregard your first 6-12 months of wages, but once that period of time passes, you will no longer be eligible because they will begin using your previously disregarded wages and you'll make too much money. If you're not working, they may require you to go to programs for job assistance or GED classes, etc... Either way, with most financial assistance programs like these, once the father is released he will be held responsible for paying back any of this cash assistance you receive. And you will have to sign papers stating that you are aware of what you're doing and that you agree that he will pay the state back once released.

Now about the SS benefits... The answer is no... I myself called the SSA office and was told that although it was a nice thought, there is no such program available. They directed me to my local food stamp office...

KathleenTX
10-19-2009, 12:05 PM
I don't see how the number of children is relevant because I'm not asking about need-based assistance such as section 8. I know that children can receive social security if a parent dies, but I am wondering if there is any kind of financial assistance if the parent is in prison. Of course this would only be for minors and the assistance would be given to their legal guardian.

I hope that clears up my question. Thanks!! :)

Again it depends on what kind of assistance. No SS is out of the question. However, me as a grandmother does get free lunches for the kids. Just a thing the county where I live does. Has nothing to do with how many, their age or how much I make.

Daycare assistance is given to me as I took what is call a "child only grant". That means that the state is happy for me to raise them. They don't want anymore foster kids. So they will ignore my income and grant me help with daycare along with $108 per child per month to help with the child's expenses. They also give the children medicaid but food stamps would only come if I wanted to do the whole thing and bring my income into the picture - which I make to much to qualify for anything.

Now the daycare where I put the younger one gives me a scholarhsip for the amount that the state does not pay for the daycare and instead charges me $6 a week instead of the normal $150 a week. So when you take it all into account it is like I am getting $600 for daycare, $100 towards breakfast and lunch, $216 to clothe and house them and a bit more for after school care for the older.

Also the principal where the elder one goes has a discretionary fund from PTO which pays for any field trips for needy or grandparents rasing kids.

So my grandchildren receive about $1,000 a month in indirect money from several sources. And it is not a bill that the parents end up having to repay when they get out.

You have to really look for things whether you are a parent or grandparent to see if there are programs in your area.

Mommy4Two
10-19-2009, 06:32 PM
kderrick, it's a different situation when it's a grandparent raising the child... I work in the childcare industry and it's very common for the grandparents who are raising a grandchild to receive some type of assistance from the state. They figure it's cheaper to pay you a little and have you do a substantial amount of the care and support, rather than having them in foster care... You, as a grandparent, took on a burden you didn't have to, so they are gonna "reward" you slightly... Whereas, we are the parent and are the responsible party, regardless of the reasons behind the other parent not being there...

As a parent of children with a parent in prison, I can tell you that it's not much different than having a deadbeat for a dad... The state doesn't give special consideration just because he's in prison as opposed to running out on the family! It's very unfortunate, but it's the truth. There are programs, as we've both mentioned, but most of them are income based and some people still don't qualify because they make too much money for the household, even with one parent being absent!

I commend you for raising your grandchild though! It's awesome to see families being kept together because more grands are stepping up to the plate! You don't have to and it's really great that there are systems in place to help you as they can!

KathleenTX
10-19-2009, 07:42 PM
kderrick, it's a different situation when it's a grandparent raising the child... I work in the childcare industry and it's very common for the grandparents who are raising a grandchild to receive some type of assistance from the state. They figure it's cheaper to pay you a little and have you do a substantial amount of the care and support, rather than having them in foster care... You, as a grandparent, took on a burden you didn't have to, so they are gonna "reward" you slightly... Whereas, we are the parent and are the responsible party, regardless of the reasons behind the other parent not being there...

I agree but she stated Legal Guardian which does not mean parent. I am the legal guardian of my daughter's children. It does mean that I have physical custody and it is harder to dissolve than custody. So I assume that by legal guardian that she is not the parent.

And I am also the single Mom of a guy who was in and out of jail until he died a few years ago. Believe me I would have done many things for help from anyone but my income prohibited me from receiving anything. I was one of those middle class people who was silently drowning.

Mommy4Two
10-19-2009, 08:28 PM
I just assumed that since it's her boyfriend in prison that it was their children and she only used legal guardian to clarify further for you... When applying for assistance, even if you are the biological parent, they still classify you as the "legal guardian". My children are my husband's biological children, yet when I feel out any type of assistance papers, I still am classified as the "legal guardian". I'm sure it has to do with legalities, etc... but for state agencies, they will use LG to specify that you have custody of the children in question, whether they are your biological children or not.

I did not mean to insinuate anything negative toward either you or her. I was simply stating that as a grandparent the benefits are a little different... And I just assumed that she was the mother... :D