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Teen Parents and Public Assistance

A teen parentís eligibility for public assistance depends on her age and, in some cases, her living arrangement. Once a teen reaches 18 years of age she is considered an adult and, with one exception for food stamp benefits, can receive assistance on her own. A minor teen is any teen under the age of 18.

    W-2 Benefits
    • A minor teen parent is not eligible for a W-2 cash placement even if she is living apart from her parents.
    • A minor teen parent may receive case management services from a W-2 agency, this includes information about school to work preparation, family and employment planning and community resources.
    • An adult teen parent (18 or older) is eligible for a W-2 cash placement on her own even if she lives with her parents.
    • For 18 and 19 year teen parents who are in high school, high school attendance satisfies their W-2 participation requirements.

    Child Care
    • A minor teen parent is eligible to receive child care to attend school if she resides with her parent, a kinship relative, in a foster or group home, or in an independent living arrangement supervised by an adult.
    • The independent living arrangement can be informal and with any adult of the teenís choice who is willing to state that she supervises the teen.
    • The minor teen parent living with her parents, a kinship relative or in a foster home is only eligible for child care if the parent, relative or foster parent cooperates in the application process and is not available to take care of the teenís child while the teen attends school, because the parent, relative or foster parent works, participates in W-2 or attends school, or the parent, kinship relative or foster parent is physically or mentally unable to care for the teenís child.
    • In determining the minor teen parentís eligibility for child care the income of the teenís parents is counted unless the teen does not live with her parents.
    • A minor teen parent can receive child care in order to work regardless of who she lives with.
    • An adult teen parent (18 or older) can receive child care on her own to attend high school, work and/or participate in W-2 activities.
    • An adult teen parent can receive child care to attend post-secondary education or training for up to two years if she is also employed on a part-time basis. (The employment requirement is minimal, i.e. 5 hours a week, and includes work study.)
    • The income of the adult teenís parent is not counted in determining her eligibility for child care even if she lives in the same household.

    Medical Assistance
    • A minor teen parent is eligible for medical assistance whether she lives alone, with her parents or with relatives.
    • If a minor teen parent lives with her parents, their income is counted in determining eligibility for medical assistance. The income of a relative is only counted if the relative wants to be considered for medical assistance eligibility.
    • An adult teen parent (18 or older) is eligible for medical assistance on her own.
    • The income of an adult teenís parent is not counted even if they live in the same household except if the teen is 18, still in high school and expected to graduate by 19 and the parents want to be considered for medical assistance eligibility.

    Food Stamps
    • Food stamp receipt is not dependent on age or status as a parent. Individuals qualify as households based solely on need.
    • A minor teen parent living with her parents or under the supervision of an adult is considered part of the parentsí or other adultís household when determining eligibility for food stamp benefits. This means the entire householdís income is considered and they receive food stamps as a group.
    • A minor teen who is not living under the supervision of an adult can be her own food stamp household so long as she purchases food and prepares meals separately from the other adults in the home.
    • An adult teen parent (18 or older) cannot be her own food stamp household if she lives with her parents until she reaches 22 years of age.
    • An adult teen parent living on her own or with others can receive food stamp benefits on her own so long as she purchases food and prepares meals separately.

    Other benefits
    • Disabled teens, regardless of age, are eligible for SSI if they meet the disability requirements. If a teen receives SSI her child is eligible for Caretaker Supplement benefits.
    • Relatives caring for minor teens and teens 18 years of age who are in high school and reasonably expected to complete school, may be eligible to receive Kinship Care benefits if there is a need for the placement, the teen would be subject to, or at risk of, abuse or neglect if she remained in her own home and the relative passes a criminal background check.
Note:      Each of the above programs also has general income and/or other requirements that affect eligibility.

The above information is current as of June 15, 2006.
Prepared by: Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc., 230 West Wells Street, Room 800, Milwaukee, WI 53203




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Se trabaja en Wisconsin W-2

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April 2007 Changes in Child Care Payments

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Food Stamps/Food Share


Division of Vocational Rehabilition Services

Assistance for Teen Parents
 
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