Florida TCA Relative Caregiver Program
The TCA Relative Caregiver Program, like standard Florida TCA, provides temporary cash assistance to low- or no-income residents. Florida Relative Caregiver benefits, however, differ from TCA since the monthly cash assistance is for the benefit of a child younger than 18 years of age, but granted to his or her court-ordered guardian. As such, the Relative Caregiver Program eligibility requirements pertain to the minor, not the custodian. To learn more about the Florida Relative Caregiver Program and how to apply, select from the topics below:
- Florida Relative Caregiver Program eligibility
- How do I apply for Relative Caregiver benefits in Florida?
- After applying to the Florida Relative Caregiver Program
Florida Relative Caregiver Program Eligibility
Unlike regular TCA determinations, Relative Caregiver Program eligibility only applies to the court-ordered dependent rather than the adult caregiver. Officials of the TCA Relative Caregiver Program will, however, verify that a Florida court legally placed the minor in the care of a relative. Likewise, the guardian's relationship to the child must be within a fifth degree relationship, such as a second cousin, half sibling or step-relatives by marriage.
The Florida Relative Caregiver Program looks at several aspects of the children's assets, income and technical requirements. Cash benefits from the TCA Relative Caregiver Program are available to U.S. citizens and qualified non-citizens with a Social Security Number, or who have applied for a SSN. To learn about non-citizens who qualify for government financial assistance, download our guide here. To receive Relative Caregiver benefits in Florida, children must reside within the state. If Child Welfare places the Florida minor with care givers in another state, they must apply for benefits within that jurisdiction.
Guardians with children who meet Relative Caregiver Program eligibility requirements must fully cooperate with child support agents and public policy. This includes:
- Identifying and locating the biological parents
- Furnishing evidence of relationship to children
- Children younger than five years of age 5 must be up-to-date on vaccinations
- Children between six and 18 years of age must attend school
Children applying to the Florida Relative Caregiver Program must also have assets and earn incomes less than the thresholds. While countable assets are set at no more than $2,000, income cannot exceed monthly Relative Caregiver benefits, which vary based on the child's age. Income includes Social Security benefits or compensation from other financial assistance programs. Click here for our free downloadable guide to find out about the specific TCA Relative Caregiver benefits in Florida.
How do I apply for Relative Caregiver benefits in Florida?
Guardians who want to apply to the TCA Relative Caregiver Program on behalf of an eligible dependent, can obtain an ACCESS Florida application from the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF). Florida Relative Caregiver Program applications are available online or in person at DCF and Social Security offices. Petitioners can apply for Relative Caregiver benefits by mailing or faxing the application as well as filling it out online and submitting it electronically. The Relative Caregiver Program eligibility application is the same form used to apply for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), TCA, food stamps and several other food and cash assistance programs available to Florida residents. It provides instructions for how to apply, explanations of the application process and the rights of the applicant and household members.
DCF will delay Relative Caregiver benefits if the information is inaccurate, so recheck the form before signing and submitting it. Look over the application form carefully and answer as many questions as are possible. Applying online is an easier option that allows petitioners to return to it if they were unable to finish completing it the first time. The online application prescreens for Relative Caregiver Program eligibility to see if the applicant meets each of the requirements in order to qualify for TCA benefits. It also provides additional features, such as allowing the applicant to choose payments through electronic transfers.
Likewise, delayed enrollment into the Florida Relative Caregiver Program occurs when the DCF is waiting for the applicant to provide supporting documents. Make certain to gather any documents like birth certificates, Social Security cards, bank statements and other financial documents required for enrollment into TCA.
After Applying to the Florida Relative Caregiver Program
DCF begins processing Relative Caregiver Program eligibility the day the agency receives the application. If the applicant meets the requirements for the TCA Relative Caregiver Program, the caseworker will schedule an interview that may occur in person or over the phone in certain circumstances. If the applicant meets all of the Florida Relative Caregiver Program requirements and DCF has validated all the information on the application, the caseworker will approve the application.
If the caseworker denies the Relative Caregiver benefits application, the petitioner will receive notification by mail. The letter of denial will explain why DCF denied benefits and include information about how to request a Fair Hearing. Denied applicants can also find out more about the Fair Hearing process for denied claims by downloading our guide here.