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1540 Foster Care Assistance Eligibility Requirements for Young Adults Formerly in DFPS Conservatorship

1541 Extended Foster Care Assistance

CPS March 2012

Young adults ages 18-22 who remain in or return to Extended Foster Care may be eligible for Extended Foster Care assistance. To be eligible, the young adult must meet the requirements found in DFPS’s Rule 40 TAC §700.316. In particular, the young adult must sign Form 2540 Voluntary Extended Foster Care Agreement (VEFCA), and meet at least one of the educational and work-related eligibility criteria. These requirements, and acceptable documentation for the requirements, are described in section 10400 Extending Foster Care for Young Adults Who Are 18 or Older and its subitems.

The eligibility specialist performs an annual review of eligibility for all young adults who are receiving Extended Foster Care assistance. Although the caseworker is responsible for verifying that the young adult participates in one of the permissible educational and work-related activities throughout the year, the eligibility specialist annually reviews the documentation provided by the caseworker to ensure that the young adult remains eligible following all applicable requirements and guidance in section 10400 Extending Foster Care for Young Adults Who Are 18 or Older and its subitems. See 10423 Monitoring Continued Participation and Annual Eligibility Review.

The eligibility of young adults between the ages of 21 and 22 who are meeting the extended assistance requirement – “regularly attending high school or enrolled in a program leading toward a high school diploma or high school equivalence certificate” – must be changed from Title IV-E to state-paid eligible. In addition, the young adult’s Medicaid eligibility type is changed to “State-Paid” coverage as well. The effective date of these eligibility changes are the 1st of the month after the month the young adult turns 21. The eligibility specialist makes these changes after the annual review of eligibility due at the young adult’s 21st birthday.

For additional policies about the Form 2540 Voluntary Extended Foster Care Agreement (VEFCA) see 1543.1 Youth Age 18 or Older in Voluntary Foster Care: Signing Over SSI and RSDI Benefits.

1542 Return for Extended Foster Care

CPS March 2012

Young adults age 18-21 who have aged out of CPS foster care at age 18 or later and desire to return for extended foster care may do so under the conditions described in 10500 Trial Independence and Return for Extended Foster Care.

Texas Administrative Code §700.346

1543 Payment for Long-Term Care in Adulthood

CPS December 2011

When a youth who is aging out of DFPS-paid substitute care still needs care and supervision in adulthood as the result of a disability, the youth’s caseworker arranges for the care and supervision to begin as soon as the youth ages out of substitute care. (See 10340 Preparation for Long-Term Care or Support in Adulthood for Youth with Disabilities.) If an existing source of income is available to pay for the youth’s continuing care in adulthood, the caseworker arranges for the income to be used for the cost of that care.

Youths with disabilities retain their Social Security Administration disability determinations when they turn 18, and their eligibility for supplemental security income (SSI); Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (RSDI); and Veterans Administration (VA) benefits usually continues. The Social Security Administration is responsible for assigning a protective payee for a youth’s benefits when the youth turns 18. If the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) assumes guardianship of a youth who is in extended foster care, DFPS continues to be the representative payee of the youth’s SSA benefit while the youth remains in extended foster care.

1543.1 Youth Age 18 or Older in Voluntary Foster Care: Signing Over SSI and RSDI Benefits

CPS December 2011

Youth who turned age 18 while in DFPS managing conservatorship and who meet certain eligibility requirements, may be eligible for extended foster care and continue receiving DFPS services. Youth sign the Voluntary Extended Foster Care Agreement (VEFCA, Form 2540) as an agreement to participate in an activity that allows them to remain eligible for extended foster care. Youth sign the VEFCA before his or her 18th birthday and upon returning to foster care from Trial Independence.

A youth receiving Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Retirement, Survivors, Disability Insurance (RSDI), or other monthly benefits to which they are entitled, must also sign the Voluntary Extended Foster Care Financial Agreement (VEFCA), which is an attachment to the VEFCA. The youth signs the VEFCA Financial Agreement on or after his or her 18th birthday which is a different time frame than when the VEFCA must be signed. The youth's CPS caseworker sends a copy of the signed Financial Agreement to the foster care eligibility specialist, the regional SSI coordinator and the regional CPS Children’s Income Accounting unit.

By signing the VEFCA Financial Agreement, the youth agrees to allow DFPS to use his or her monthly benefit for the youth's cost of care while they are in the extended foster care program. The youth further agrees to allow SSA or the issuing entity to name DFPS as the representative payee for his or her benefit. If SSA or the issuing entity allows the youth to be his or her own payee, the youth agrees to turn over his or her monthly benefits to the DFPS.

If SSA or the issuing entity names DFPS the payee, the monthly benefit is issued directly to DFPS. When SSA or the issuing entity names the youth to be his or her own payee, the monthly benefits are sent directly to the youth. Each month the youth turns over the benefit by signing the back of the check and sending it to the regional CPS Children’s Income Accounting unit. The unit deposits the check into the regional children's income account. Refusal to turn over the monthly benefit results in the termination of foster care eligibility.

Young adults in DADS guardianship and in DFPS paid placements are not considered in the DFPS Extended Foster Care program, as DFPS does not have case management responsibility for these individuals. Instead a Guardianship Extended Foster Home Placement agreement is signed by the DADS guardian for these young adults. The agreement includes a Financial Agreement and is signed by the DADS guardian for youth who are receiving SSI, RSDI or other monthly benefits to which the youth is entitled. By signing the Financial Agreement, the DADS guardian agrees to have DFPS apply the young adult's benefits to pay for his or her placement as long as the guardianship client remains in the DFPS paid placement. The DADS guardian also agrees to allow the Social Security Administration or the issuing entity to name DFPS as the representative payee to receive any SSI, RSDI or other monthly benefits to which the guardianship client is entitled.

For further information on foster care eligibility requirements for the Extended Care program see:

1530 Foster Care Assistance Eligibility Requirements for Children and Youth Who Are in DFPS Conservatorship

10400 Extending Foster Care for Young Adults Who Are 18 or Older

1544 Medicaid for Young Adults Who Age Out of Foster Care

CPS June 2014

A young adult who ages out of foster care may be eligible for Medicaid under either the Former Foster Care Children (FFCC) program or the Medicaid for Transitioning Foster Care Youth (MTFCY), provided that he or she meets the eligibility requirements.

A young adult age 18 through 25 may be eligible for healthcare coverage through the FFCC program.

A young adult age 18 through 20 may be eligible for healthcare coverage through the MTFCY program.

DFPS initiates the coverage by sending an automated referral through the IMPACT system to HHSC as the young adult ages out of foster care.

Upon receiving the referral, HHSC determines which program the young adult qualifies for.

For details, see:

10140 Overview of Healthcare Coverage for Youth and Young Adults Who Age Out of Foster Care

DFPS’s Medicaid handout (Form 1014), which includes a flow chart on page 2 explaining how to get help by calling 2-1-1.

1550 DFPS Accounting Staff Information and Responsibilities

1551 Foster Care Maintenance Payments

CPS May 2016

To receive foster care maintenance payments, private child care facilities must be approved by DFPS for participation. Foster care maintenance payments are intended to cover a child’s basic needs, not the needs of the provider.

1551.1 Rates for DFPS Foster Care Maintenance Payments

CPS May 2016

DFPS’s foster care rates are determined by the service level that the child needs, subject to adjustments based on the extent to which other services provided by outside parties meet the child’s needs or on other factors consistent with the child’s needs.

In the rate structure, rates are based on analysis of cost reports and other pertinent financial and statistical information including statistics published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the expenditures on a child by families. DFPS determines a child’s service level based on the child’s characteristics, as described in DFPS’s application form, and the descriptions of service levels. The Health and Human Services Commission approves the rates for foster care payments.

DFPS Rules, 1 TAC §355.7103

1551.2 Participation in the Paid Foster Care Program

CPS May 2016

To receive foster care maintenance payments for a DFPS child, all DFPS and non-DFPS families and private, nonprofit, and for-profit facilities, group homes, and child-placing agencies must complete a contract or agreement with DFPS. The foster care provider and DFPS must sign the contract or agreement and it will be in effect for a designated period stated in writing in the contract or agreement.

When this period expires, the contract continues according to its then-current terms until either party terminates the contract, or until DFPS notifies the provider of a change. At this point, the contract ends, and a new contract begins if the provider agrees in writing to the new terms.

1551.3 Effective Dates of Foster-Care Maintenance Payments

CPS May 2016

The effective date for beginning foster care maintenance payments is the date the child meets all eligibility requirements for foster care assistance. DFPS pays for the calendar day on which a child is placed, but not for the calendar day the child is discharged. DFPS does not pay two different facilities for foster care assistance for the same child on the same date. As a result, the conservatorship worker must record in the case record the date the child enters and leaves each facility.

DFPS Rules, 40 TAC §700.329

1552 Payment for Foster Care

CPS May 2016

If a child is in a placement paid for by DFPS the child’s cost of care is paid for with both federal and state funds, and payments designated or designed to be used for the child’s care, such as child support funds. When a federal benefit is the source of payment, such as monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Retirement Survivors Disability Income (RSDI) payments, DFPS follows federal law and policy.

Texas Family Code §264.109

20 C.F.R. §416.640; 20 C.F.R. §404.2040

Other sources of payments, settlements, gifts, inheritance, certificates of deposits, stocks, bonds, and insurance policy pay-outs are normally not used for cost of care. If a caseworker or other party is requesting that these funds be used for cost of care, or for any other reason, state office accounting staff contacts the Office of General Counsel or the Regional Attorney before approving any expenditure.

SSA Payments

Social Security Administration (SSA) monthly benefits are deposited in one month and are used to pay the cost of care the following month. This ensures that if a placement breaks down the provider is not reimbursed for the cost of care when the child is no longer in that placement. Normally, the cost of care will exceed the monthly payment; however, in cases where it does not, the excess amount is conserved for the child and placed in the child’s savings account.

For SSI children, SSI and RSDI lump sums are managed as set out in 1580 Managing a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Lump Sum or Retirement, Survivors, and Disability (RSDI) Lump Sum for a SSI Child.

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