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8.5C  Guardianship Assistance Program, Payments


1.May a title IV-E agency operating a Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP) set a different payment ceiling for payments under the GAP than it sets for the Adoption Assistance Program?

2.For the Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP), does a title IV-E agency have the flexibility to establish a cap on specific components (e.g., attorney fees) of the nonrecurring expenses that it must pay in connection with obtaining legal guardianship of the child?

3.If a relative guardian moves to another country on a temporary or permanent basis with the child for whom he/she is the guardian, would the relative guardian still be eligible to receive title IV-E Guardianship Assistance Program payments directly on behalf of the child?

4.May a title IV-E agency make a title IV-E guardianship assistance payment directly to a youth age 18 or older?

5.Must a title IV-E agency discontinue title IV-E guardianship assistance payments provided per section 475(8)(B) of the Act for a youth age 18 or older if the title IV-E agency determines that the youth is no longer meeting the education or employment criteria or is no longer incapable of meeting any of these criteria due to a medical condition, as elected by the title IV-E agency?


1. Question: May a title IV-E agency operating a Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP) set a different payment ceiling for payments under the GAP than it sets for the Adoption Assistance Program?

Answer: Yes. However, neither the GAP payment nor the adoption assistance payment can exceed the amount of the foster care maintenance payment which the child would have received had the child remained in a foster family home.

  • Source/Date: 05/29/09
  • Legal and Related References: Social Security Act section 473(d)(2)

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2. Question: For the Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP), does a title IV-E agency have the flexibility to establish a cap on specific components (e.g., attorney fees) of the nonrecurring expenses that it must pay in connection with obtaining legal guardianship of the child?

Answer: No. Section 473(d)(1)(B)(iv) of the Social Security Act provides that a GAP agreement must specify, among other things, that the title IV-E agency will pay the ?total cost of nonrecurring expenses associated with obtaining legal guardianship of the child, to the extent the total cost does not exceed $2,000.? Such language does not permit a title IV-E agency the discretion to establish such a cap on specific items that qualify as nonrecurring expenses.

  • Source/Date: 2/24/2011
  • Legal and Related References: Social Security Act Section 473(d)(1)(B)(iv)

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3. Question: If a relative guardian moves to another country on a temporary or permanent basis with the child for whom he/she is the guardian, would the relative guardian still be eligible to receive title IV-E Guardianship Assistance Program payments directly on behalf of the child?

Answer: Yes. The title IV-E agency may provide title IV-E payments to a relative guardian on behalf of the child when living outside of the U.S. The already established guardian must have entered into a guardianship agreement with the title IV-E agency on behalf of an eligible child.

  • Source/Date: 2/24/2011
  • Legal and Related References: Social Security Act Section 473(d)(1)

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4. Question: May a title IV-E agency make a title IV-E guardianship assistance payment directly to a youth age 18 or older?

Answer: No. A title IV-E agency must make the payments to the relative guardian(s) per section 473(d)(1)(A) of the Act which specifies that the guardianship assistance agreement is between the agency and the relative guardian(s).

  • Source/Date: 05/06/2013
  • Legal and Related References: Social Security Act section 473(d)

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5. Question: Must a title IV-E agency discontinue title IV-E guardianship assistance payments provided per section 475(8)(B) of the Act for a youth age 18 or older if the title IV-E agency determines that the youth is no longer meeting the education or employment criteria or is no longer incapable of meeting any of these criteria due to a medical condition, as elected by the title IV-E agency?

Answer: Yes. A title IV-E agency must ensure that a youth receiving a title IV-E guardianship assistance payment under section 475(8)(B) of the Act meets the education and employment criteria or is no longer incapable of meeting any of these criteria due to a medical condition, as elected by the title IV-E agency. Once a title IV-E agency determines that a youth no longer meets the criteria, the agency must discontinue title IV-E guardianship assistance payments for the youth. However, if the youth meets the criteria at a later time, the title IV-E agency may resume payments to the youth.

  • Source/Date: 05/06/2013
  • Legal and Related References: Social Security Act section 475(8)(B); ACYF-CB-PI-10-11

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