OLR Bill Analysis

HB 5290

AN ACT INCREASING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR GRANDPARENTS AND OTHER NONPARENT RELATIVES WHO ARE RAISING CHILDREN.

SUMMARY:

This bill generally increases the Temporary Family Assistance (TFA) payment to certain families. To receive the new rate, a family's head of household must be a nonparent caretaker relative (e.g., grandparent or aunt) and the child's legal guardian.

TFA payments vary by family size and region, while foster care rates vary by a child's age and medical condition. The bill changes the TFA payment to 75% of the applicable monthly foster care rate a family would receive from the Department of Children and Families for fostering the same child or children. As a result, the bill eliminates regional variation in payments to these families.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2016

BACKGROUND

TFA

TFA is administered by the Department of Social Services (DSS) and provides cash payments and other assistance to families meeting specific income and other requirements. Generally, DSS calculates TFA benefit amounts by subtracting total countable income (e.g., unearned income) from payment standards. (DSS may increase the payment standards for families with special needs.) DSS disregards earned income for purposes of benefit calculation up to 100% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Once earnings reach the FPL, the family becomes ineligible for assistance.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Aging Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

13

Nay

0

(03/08/2016)