Financial resources for grandparents raising grandchildrenPublished 10:37am Friday, June 8, 2012
Dear Savvy Senior,
Are there any types of financial assistance programs that can help grandparents who are raising their grandkids? I have two grandchildren who are about to permanently move in with my husband and me, and we could use some help.
When it comes to raising grandkids, you definitely have plenty of company. Across the country about 5.8 million children are living with their grandparents, as the parents struggle with a variety of problems such as financial hardship, drug and alcohol addiction, prison time, domestic violence, divorce and more.
To help with the day-to-day expenses of raising grandkids, there are a variety of government programs and tax benefits that can make a big difference in stretching your budget. Here’s where to look for help.
For starters, find out whether your family qualifies for your state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which may include cash assistance, food stamps and free or low-cost daycare. Or, if your household income is too high to qualify as a family, ask about the “child-only grant” for just the grandchild’s support alone. Also, find out if your state offers any additional programs like guardianship subsidies, non-parent grants or kinship care. Contact your state TANF program (see www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa for contact information), or call your county social services office for more information.
You also need to find out if your grandkids are eligible for Social Security, including benefits for children, survivor benefits or SSI. You can find this out at your local Social Security office, or call 800-772-1213 or see www.ssa.gov.
And finally, use benefitscheckup.org, a comprehensive web resource that helps you search for additional financial assistance programs that you may be eligible for, such as lower energy bills, discounts on prescription medications and more.