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Can I claim benefits for looking after my grandchild?

Are you a grandparent who recently took on the enormous responsibility of caring for your grandchildren on a day-to-day basis? This type of responsibility can be extremely overwhelming. Wow, you had anticipated your golden years where it is being spent pursuing your interests and needs. Your grandchildren's lives became challenging to put to the side if you knew that they were struggling in their home environment. As a result, you may have stepped in and taken on primary custody of them either on a legal or informal basis.

While doing so may have been second nature to you, the truth is that raising children for a second time can push you to your limits. For one, having kids in the home can be emotionally taxing. As we get older, our levels of patience may not be as significant as they once were. With that being said, the minor behavioral issues that your children may have had could be looked past on most occasions. However, when it comes to raising your grandchildren, you may not have the same patience with them as you did with your children. It can be easy to bite off more than you can chew from an emotional perspective when raising your grandchildren.

Next, we need to consider the physical ramifications of raising your grandchildren. When I talk about physical ramifications, raising children can be physically demanding for anyone. As a grandparent, you may have physical limitations of your own that you have acquired over the years. Getting up to care for a small child in the middle of the night can be even more demanding when you have a bad back or legs that don't seem to want to work as well now as they did when you were younger. These physical difficulties can manifest themselves similarly as mental frustrations with raising kids.

Next, we have the financial impact of raising your grandchildren. On the one hand, you may not have thought twice before jumping into the situation of raising your grandchildren. In your mind, you wouldn't have it any other way in terms of being able to play a primary role in increasing your grandchildren. You may even feel that you must step into the void and provide your grandchildren with some stability in their living arrangements. However, even if you have the best intentions for raising your grandchildren, that does not mean that you can make money appear out of nowhere or stretch your dollars thinner than they already are.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you have noticed that prices of everyday household items have skyrocketed over the past few months. Grocery bills have gone up a great deal which may not have made much of a difference for you if it is just you or you and your spouse living together in a home. However, if you take on the huge responsibility of raising children, you will surely notice that your grocery and household bills will increase as a result. As a result, you may be thinking twice about whether or not you can even afford to care for your grandchildren. After all, you can't work multiple jobs due to your grandchildren now living with you.

This is the backup by wardrobe set up regarding today's blog post. The state of Texas makes various programs available to grandparents as you have stepped into the responsibility of raising their grandchildren. In today's blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, I would like to share my thoughts on benefits that may be available to you as a grandparent who is raising your Grandchildren. As with any use, you can only take advantage of what you are aware of. My goal in writing today's blog post is to help you understand a little bit more about these benefits, what they are, and whether you will be able to take advantage of them given your circumstances.

TANF Benefits for Grandparents

The first type of benefit that I would like to make sure that you are aware of is temporary assistance for needy families. This benefit is a federal program that provides money and helps families with dependent children. Quick service for needy families allows mothers, fathers, grandparents, uncles, and aunts to raise children. The benefits received under this program are probably not sufficient to raise a household. As a result, you probably need to investigate working as you can during the week in addition to receiving these types of benefits.

If you have a grandchild living with you under the age of 18, your grandchild's parents must also not live with you, and your grandchild already receives the benefit, then you may be eligible to receive gifts like this. Next, if you are married, both you and your spouse must be over the age of 45 when you apply for benefits. The government will determine whether your family income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level and your resources are below the limit for this specific type of benefit.

If all the above is confirmed, you will be eligible to receive temporary assistance for needy family benefits. It can be a good idea to review the information on their website or to refer to the information contained in this blog before applying. The last thing you want to do is base a family budget on anticipated receipt of these benefits only to find out that you are not eligible based on your income or not meeting any of the other factors included.

Can you work and still receive benefits?

The answer to this question is yes, but you must understand that there are limits to how much income you can earn monthly based upon the size of your family. The larger your family is, the more money you can make per month and still be eligible for temporary assistance for needy families benefits. Additionally, you can own property and still be eligible to receive the benefits. Typically speaking, your countable resources cannot be worth more than $1000 for your entire household. However, you do not need to count your home and lot, your personal property, burial plots for you and your immediate family, resources that belong to people in your household who receive Supplemental Security Income benefits from the government, as well as vehicles that are valued at less than $5000.

How do you know if your grandchild will qualify as a dependent?

Several factors must be in place for your grandchild to be classified as your dependent. They must reside in Texas, and therefore you must also live in Texas. We have already covered this part, but your grandchild must also be under the age of 18 or at least enrolled in high school and under 19. Importantly, your grandchild must also not have enough income and resources to live a healthy and decent life. This should not be an issue for most children, as earning an income sufficient to live a proper lifestyle can be tricky even for adults.

Next, your grandchild can be a dependent of yours so long as they live with you or a close family member. Additionally, your grandchild's parents must be away from home, physically or mentally unable to care for your grandchild or deceased. Furthermore, to receive the one-time $1000 benefit as a grandparent of a child who is also receiving temporary assistance, you must live and plan to live in Texas for the foreseeable future. Next, you must also be a U.S. citizen or an eligible alien resident to provide your Social Security number.

Benefits for your grandchild only.

As a grandparent, you might also be able to get temporary assistance for needy families benefits for your grandchild without your income or resources being reviewed first-period income that your grandchild receives from child support for survivors’ benefits will be inspected, however. As a grandparent, you might be able to get temporary assistance for needy families benefits for yourself and your grandchild if your monthly income and resource amounts along with your grandchild's meet the threshold limits of the program.

SNAP benefits

SNAP food benefits can help you and your grandchild to buy healthy food. The essential requirement to be eligible for this program would be to have a low enough income. Your resources, assets, and payment would be looked at in terms of being eligible for these food benefits. The amount of money you stand to receive would vary depending on the number of people living in your household. The more people who live in the home, the more benefits you could receive.

Medicaid benefits

Medicaid is a government program for persons 65 and older, persons who are disabled, or children. You and your grandchild could get Medicaid if your income and resources meet the program rules for Medicaid. Medicaid allows for persons who otherwise could not purchase private health insurance or do not qualify for employer-provided health insurance to see the doctor and receive medication that they may need. Medicaid also covers hospital and dental care, although you will need to verify which providers accept the insurance through Medicaid to pay for your visits.

Another important area covered by Medicaid is mental health care. This can be very important for you and your grandchild, especially if your grandchild has gone through a lot of trauma or disruption to their lives because of having to leave their household and move into yours. Many people would struggle with this degree of change in their lives. However, consider that it is a child that we are talking about in terms of altered daily habits, and you have a greater propensity for significant mental issues.

The Children's Health insurance program, or CHIP, is a health care benefit for your grandchild under the age of 18. If your grandchild does not qualify otherwise for Medicaid and does not have health insurance, then this program is available under any circumstances. Like Medicaid, CHIP covers doctors’ visits and medicines prescribed by a doctor. If your grandchild has not been able to see a doctor or receive prescription medication for an extended period, this truly is a great benefit that you may be able to take advantage of.

What other benefits may be available to you and your grandchild?

These are some of the more well-known government programs that may be available to you and your family because of your grandchild living with you. It would make a lot of sense for you to contact each place and determine eligibility. You may be in a situation where if you are receiving one benefit, you would be unable to accept another or vice versa. However, when resources are tight at home, any help you may receive would be welcome in your household.

Otherwise, there are local resources that are not affiliated with state or federal government programs that might help you. Some of these are probably well known to you and other people living in your community. However, others may be less well known, and you may have to perform some research for your local area to determine what programs exist, if any. You may be surprised to learn that some programs are available even on the hyper-local level, such as in your area or a local church.

Food pantries are probably the best example of a hyper-local program that you may be able to take advantage of depending upon where you live. For those of you who live near the central core of Houston, the Houston food bank is an excellent example of a food pantry that may assist you and your grandchild. Likewise, local churches may offer you and your grandchild the opportunity to pick up groceries on a weekly or monthly basis. Your local church may provide the help that can assist you with finding employment or services available in your area that can assist the family.

You should also check with your grandchild's school to determine if there are after-school programs where your grandchild can stay after school while you finish off a day's work. If your grandchild is old enough to come home after school and abide by him or herself, then that gives you more options. However, in other circumstances, you may have to pay for childcare. Rather than pay for childcare, it would be great if the child school offered free care transportation was provided home each day.

Next, you should inquire whether you can obtain housing at a reduced cost through any county or city programs. Without knowing exactly where you live or your circumstances, I couldn't tell you what might be available to you. Most of us have heard of programs like Section 8 or similar opportunities for people to live and reduced or no rent situations. You may be able to take advantage of similar programs based on your income or asset level. However, you likely need to seek out these programs on your own and perform whatever research you need to find out about their availability.

Another benefit that might be useful to you is receiving assistance in paying for items like rent, utilities, or even your prescription medicines. Often, word water, electrical, gas, or another utility provider will offer deferred or reduced payments based on your specific circumstances. Likewise, you may be able to receive reduced amounts of things like your prescription drugs simply by asking what benefits may be available. The bottom line is that you may be surprised to find out that various services and benefits are available to you, bearing in mind your circumstances. However, it would help if you took the initiative to ask about the benefits of receiving them.

The reality of the situation is that there are available programs for you and your grandchild to take advantage of in your area. Some are offered by state, federal, and local governments, and others are provided through the private sector. The key to understanding these benefits and which of them may be available to you is to take the initiative and start looking on your own. The more you put yourself out there, the more likely you will find a benefit that suits you and your family.

Questions about the material contained in today's blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

If you have any questions about the material contained in today's blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are an excellent way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law and how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.


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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Spring Divorce Lawyer

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's essential to speak with ar Spring, TX Divorce Lawyer right away to protect your rights.

A divorce lawyer in Spring, T, X is skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, and Waller County.

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