Extended Kin-GAP for Youth in Non-Related Legal Guardianships
Youth with a Non-Related Legal Guardian (NRLG) established by the juvenile court are eligible for AFDC-FC benefits until the youth turns 21, regardless of age of the youth when the guardianship was established.
These youth are referred to as “non-minor former dependents.”
A nonminor former dependent who wants to remain eligible for AFDC-FC benefits beyond the age of 18 must complete and sign the mutual agreement (SOC 162) prior to or within the month of turning 18 years old.
It is the responsibility of the guardian to request the extension of AFDC-FC benefits after the age of 18 and provide documentation that the nonminor former dependent meets one participation condition. The guardian is also responsible for notifying the county of changes in participation.
In most cases, AFDC-FC benefits are paid directly to the guardian. However, a nonminor former dependent does not have to be residing in the guardian’s home in order for the guardian to receive benefits as long as the guardian remains financially responsible for the care of the nonminor former dependent.
Definition of “relative” for federal Kin-GAP purposes:
- Relatives in the 5th degree of kinship
- An adult who meets the definition of an approved non-related extended family member (NREFM)
- An adult who is the current foster parent of a child under the juvenile court’s jurisdiction who has established a significant family-like relationship to the child
- An adult who is either a member of the Indian child’s tribe or an Indian custodian
Because of this expansive definition of relative, AB 1712 allows non-minor former dependents who started receiving Kin-GAP before turning 16 years old and who are in guardianship with one of the categories of individuals listed above, to then transfer from the federal Kin-GAP program and begin receiving AFDC-FC benefits as a non-related guardianship once the non-minor former dependent turns 18.
Re-entry for youth in non-related legal guardianships
If the nonminor former dependent stops participating, leaves the care and support of the guardian, or is otherwise ineligible for benefits, the benefits will be suspended. If the nonminor former dependent later wishes to return to the guardian’s care and support, the youth must sign the Voluntary Re-Entry Agreement (SOC 163) before benefits can resume.
The nonminor former dependent does not have to live with the former NRLG in order for benefits to resume. This process of re-entry does not involve court supervision or the appointment of an attorney for the nonminor former dependent.