Are there any disability and Social Security benefits for youth in foster care to receive?
There are several types of Social Security benefit programs for which you may be eligible. Some of these programs are administered by the federal government while others are administered by the state with federal participation.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the largest provider of benefits to children. Benefits, for which a child may be eligible, as the result of a parent having been previously determined eligible, include: Social Security benefits (i.e., Retirement, Survivor’s Benefits, Disability and Health Insurance), Veterans Administration (VA) benefits, and Railroad Retirement benefits.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are available to children based on their own disability and limited financial resources.
When a child returns home, leaves out-of-home placement, is adopted, or when a Kinship Legal Guardianship order is signed, the assigned CP&P Worker advises the child’s parent or caregiver to file a claim for the SSA or SSI benefits on the child‘s behalf.
For more information see the DCF policy on federal benefits.
Please note that these are often determined on a case by case basis and you may need to try more than one option below:
- If you have an open CP&P case, check with your assigned worker, who should advise you or your caregiver on how to file a claim for the SSA or SSI benefits.
- Disability Benefits 101 gives New Jersey residents tools and information on health coverage, benefits, and employment. There is section dedicated to benefits for young people.
- To apply for Supplemental Security Income go to the SSI For People Ages 18 To 64
- You can also use the Social Security website to access benefits.
For information on how to obtain a social security card, birth certificate state ID or license make sure to check out Important Documents (nj.gov).