Back to Top ^

Adoption > Completion and Finalization > AAP and Medi-Cal Benefits

Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) Benefits and Medi-Cal Benefits

0200-511.05 | Revision Date: 10/16/14

Overview

This policy guide provides information on Adoption Assistance Program (AAP)A mandatory statewide program that provides financial support to families in order to facilitate the adoption of children who would otherwise be in long-term foster care. The intent of this program is to remove limited financial resources as a barrier to adoption. benefits, including what to do when determining eligibility, negotiating payment rates, when an adoptive parent(s) disagrees with a benefit amount, initiating AAP, and conducting the AAP Reassessment. It also details how AAP benefits impact public assistance programs.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Policy

Adoption Assistance Program (AAP)

AAP Benefit

Information to Explain to Adoptive Parents

Eligibility

Duration of Eligibility

Impact on Public Assistance Programs

Medi-Cal for Children Receiving SSI/SSP

Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) Reassessments

Procedure

Providing Information about AAP Benefits

APRD CSW Responsibilities

Responding when AAP Eligibility is Determined

APRD Filing Team Clerk Responsibilities

APRD CSW Responsibilities

Negotiating the AAP Benefit

APRD CSW Responsibilities

Responding to Adoptive Parent(s) who Disagree with an AAP Benefit Amount

APRD CSW Responsibilities

APRD SCSW Responsibilities

APRD ARA Responsibilities

Initiating AAP and Medi-Cal Benefits

APRD CSW Responsibilities

APRD SCSW Responsibilities

APRD ARA Responsibilities

Initiating AAP Benefits for a Cooperative ICPC Adoptive Placement

APRD CSW Responsibilities

APRD SCSW Responsibilities

APRD ARA Responsibilities

Responding to a Request for a Child/Youth to be Placed in a Group Home or Residential Care Facility

APRD CSW Responsibilities

Responding to a Returned AAP 3

AAP Reassessment Unit Responsibilities

Responding to Requests to Change the AAP Benefit

APRD Responsibilities

APRD CSW Responsibilities

APRD SCSW Responsibilities

APRD ARA Responsibilities

Approvals

Helpful Links

Attachments

Forms

Referenced Policy Guides

Statutes

Version Summary

This policy guide was updated from the 07/01/14 version, to include information for determining a Non-Minor Dependent's eligibility for Adoption Assistance Payments (AAP).

POLICY

Adoption Assistance Program (AAP)

The Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) provides financial assistance to families who adopt special needs children or Non-Minor Dependents (NMDs)A current dependent child or ward of the juvenile court, or a nonminor under the transition jurisdiction of the juvenile court, who: has attained 18 years of age while under an order of foster care placement by the juvenile court; is in foster care under the placement and care responsibility of the county welfare department, county probation department, Indian tribe, consortium of tribes, or tribal organization; is participating in a transitional independent living case. Defined by WIC 11400(v)..  AAP removes the financial barriers for families to adopt. When initially applying and immediately prior to the finalization of the adoption, prospective adoptive parent(s) must, by law, be provided with written information regarding the availability of AAP benefits and the differences between those benefits and foster care benefits.

AAP Benefit

The AAP benefit is negotiated by the CSW with the adoptive parent(s). The CSW makes the final determination of the amount of the AAP benefit, which is based upon:

 

For an initial AAP agreement signed before January 1, 2010, the adoptive family is paid an amount of aid based on the child/youth's needs and on the circumstances of the adopting parent(s).

 

For an initial AAP agreement signed on or after January 1, 2010, the adoptive family is paid an amount of aid based on the child's needs and the circumstances of the adopting parent(s).

 

If an AAP benefit adjustments need to be made to the AAP benefit, CSWs can renegotiate the adoption assistance agreement and reduce the benefit only with the agreement of the adoptive parent(s).The benefit cannot exceed the foster care payment and any applicable specialized care increment (SCI) that the child would have been eligible for in a licensed or approved family home. An income means test cannot be used to determine an adoptive family's eligibility for or the amount of AAP payments.

 

DCFS must inform the adopting parent(s) that the family will continue to receive benefits at the agreed upon amount unless DCFS determines that one (1) of the following occurs:

 

In cases where an otherwise eligible child does not require a cash benefit, medical benefits can be established through Medi-CalCalifornia's federal Medicaid program., as needed.

Information to Explain to Adoptive Parents

Explain all of the following information to adoptive parents who are considering AAP for their child/youth:

 

 

Back to Policy

Eligibility

To be eligible for Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) benefits, a child/NMD must first be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or holder of special refugee or asylum status.

 

Additionally, the child must also meet all the conditions specified below:

 

  1. The child cannot not be returned to the home of his/her parents as evidenced by one (1) of the following:

 

  1. In the case of a nonminor dependent (NMD), the court has dismissed dependency or transitional jurisdiction subsequent to the approval of the NMD adoption petition.

 

  1. The child has at least one (1) of the barriers to his/her adoption without financial assistance:

 

  1. There is an evidenced need for an adoption subsidy that is documented in the child's case file and that is based on unsuccessful search for an adoptive home to take the child without financial assistance. The search is not required for the current foster parents, or other persons with whom the child has been living, when:

 

  1. The child satisfies any of the following criteria:

 

  1. The adoptive family must meet all of the following criteria:

 

  1. The prospective adoptive parent(s) or any adult living in the home of the prospective adoptive parent(s) has completed the criminal background check requirements.

 

  1. To be eligible for state funding, the child is the subject of an agency adoption and any of the following apply to him/her:

 

  1. To be eligible for federal funding, in the case of a child who is not an applicable child for the federal fiscal year, the child satisfies any of the following criteria:

 

  1. To be eligible for federal funding, an applicable child for the federal fiscal year, the child/NMD must meet any of the following criteria:

 

  1. A child/NMD is eligible if he/she received AAP benefits for a prior adoption and is again eligible for adoption because either:

Duration of Eligibility

Once a child/NMD is determined eligible to receive AAP benefits, he/she remains eligible and the subsidy continues unless or until:

Back to Policy

Impact on Public Assistance Programs

Prospective adoptive parent(s) must be provided with information regarding the impact of AAP benefits on other public assistance programs. The reduction of the AAP benefit amount based on any type of income the child receives from the birth parent(s)/relative(s) or adoptive parent(s) is prohibited. Refer to the following table for the impact that AAP benefits have upon a particular program:

 

Program

Impact

CalWORKs

  • AAP benefits must be disregarded when eligibility and cash aid amounts are calculated for CalWORKs.
  • The adopting parent(s) must inform the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) of the receipt of AAP and when the adoption is finalized.

CalFreshCalifornia's food stamp program

  • Before an adoption is finalized, AAP payments are not considered income when computing CalFresh eligibility for the household.
  • When an adoption is finalized, the adopted child is considered part of the household, and the AAP payment is treated as unearned income.
  • Any portion of the AAP payment designated for medical expenses and dependent care expenses are excluded from consideration as income.

Section 8 Housing Program

  • Annual income only includes the first $480 of AAP payments when determining a household's eligibility and rent amount.

Social Security Benefits

  • Social Security benefits are not impacted by the receipt of AAP benefits. The adopting parent(s) do not have to choose between Social Security Survivor's benefits and AAP payments; the child may receive both types of benefits concurrently.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)/Supplemental Security Payment (SSP)

  • The amount of AAP payment a child is eligible for is not impacted by SSI/SSP benefits. However, AAP benefits can be treated as income by the Social Security Administration (SSA) when determining the SSI/SSP grant amount.
  • Families with children receiving SSI/SSP must be advised that the SSI/SSP benefits may be affected and that it is their responsibility to inform the SSA of their receipt of an AAP benefit.
  • Families must be notified that failure to inform the SSA about the concurrent receipt of AAP and SSI benefits may result in overpayment and an obligation to repay over payments.
  • Families must be notified that if receipt of AAP reduces the SSI/SSP benefit to $0.00, medi-cal through SSA will be terminated. The prospective adoptive parent(s) will need to call the Foster Care/Adoption Assistance Hotline at (800) 697-4444 immediately to request medi-cal through AAP.
  • After an adoption is finalized, the adoptive parent(s)' income may be considered and used to determine the child's monthly SSI/SSP benefit amount. As a result, the SSI/SSP received may be reduced or terminated after the adoption is finalized.

Medi-Cal for Children Receiving SSI/SSP

CSWs do not need to request Medi-Cal for children receiving SSI/SSP, since the child is already receiving SSI-related Medi-Cal benefits through SSA. A family may opt to receive only SSI/SSP payments, and not AAP payments, if the payment is higher than AAP. In such a case, the CSW must submit AAP paperwork for Medi-Cal benefits only.

Back to Policy

Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) Reassessments

If an adoption has been final for more than six (6) months, the Postadoption Services (PAS) Unit is responsible for processing requests for reassessments and for changes to Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) benefits. The PAS Unit can receive a change request from the adoptive family, the AAP Reassessment Unit, or the Foster Care Hotline. Requests for reassessment made less than six (6) months since the adoption was finalized, or prior to the adoption being finalized, must be referred to the last case-carrying APRD CSW.

 

The AAP Reassessment Unit sends adoptive parents the AAP 3, Reassessment Information – Adoption Assistance Program, to complete and return approximately ninety (90) days before the current benefit period expires. The AAP 3 states that adoptive parents must keep DCFS informed of circumstances that may affect the family's receipt of AAP benefits. A complete AAP 3 form is due every two (2) years. If a family does not submit a reassessment form, AAP payments must continue at the rate reflected on the last AAP 2, Payment Instructions – Adoption Assistance Program.

Back to Policy

PROCEDURE

Providing Information about AAP Benefits

APRD CSW Responsibilities

  1. Advise the adopting parent(s) to consult with their tax accountant(s) and/or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding the impact of AAP benefits on their income.

 

  1. Inform the adopting parent(s) to contact the AAP Unit of any changes in their address change, name, or the child's Social Security number. Provide the adopting parent(s) with the following address to provide written notification of changes:

 

Department of Children and Family Services
AAP Section/Revenue Enhancement
725 S. Grand Ave. Glendora, CA 91740

 

  1. Share information regarding how AAP payments impact other public assistance programs with the adopting parent(s).
  1. If the child is receiving SSI/SSP and/or Social Security benefits and DCFS is the payee, advise the adopting parent(s) that the SSI Unit will notify the SSA office to stop the payment of the SSI/SSP and/or Social Security benefits on the date that AAP benefits start.
  1. Instruct the adopting parent(s) to apply for a change of payee benefits at the SSA office.
  1. If the child is receiving SSI/SSP benefits, advise the adopting parent(s) that if the child becomes ineligible for SSI/SSP and if SSI-related Medi-Cal benefits are terminated, the adopting family must call the Foster Care/Adoption Assistance Hotline at (800) 697-4444 to request Medi-Cal through AAP.
  1. Advise the adopting parent(s) to call the Foster Care/Adoption Assistance Hotline as soon as they receive the notification of termination of SSI/SSP benefits.
  1. Families must be notified that failure to inform the SSA about the concurrent receipt of AAP and SSI benefits may result in overpayment and an obligation to repay over payments.
  2. Refer to and give a copy of Adoption Assistance Program (AAP), Medi-Cal and Social Security Income/ Supplemental Security Payment (SSI/SSP) Benefits to the prospective adoptive parent(s) for further guidance.
  1. If the family is receiving CalWORKs, advise the adopting parent(s) of how AAP impacts this program.

 

  1. Refer the adopting parent(s) to the AAP Intake Unit at (213) 639-4745 for questions about notification responsibilities.

 

  1. If a child is being adopted at any point after his/her thirteenth (13th) birthday, inform the prospective adoptive parent(s) that their income will not be included in the calculations for determining the child's need for financial aid for college.

 

  1. Document all contacts with the adopting parent(s) in the Contact Notebook.

Back to Procedure

Responding when AAP Eligibility is Determined

APRD Filing Team Clerk Responsibilities

  1. Upon receipt of the AD 4333, Acknowledgment and Confirmation of Receipt of RelinquishmentThe action of a parent in which he or she surrenders custody, control and any responsibility for the care and support of the child. Currently, only an Adoption social worker or the court is qualified to process a relinquishment. Documents, complete and submit the Header Section and Section II of the AAP 4, Eligibility Certification – Adoption Assistance Program, in the child's CWS/CMS case file.

 

  1. Notify the AAP Eligibility Supervisor (ES) via email that the AAP 4 has been initiated in CWS/CMS and is awaiting the completion of Section III or IV by the Eligibility Worker (EW).

APRD CSW Responsibilities

  1. Upon receipt of the AAP 4, from the EW, complete Section I of the form.
  1. If the AAP 4 indicates that the child is not federally eligible (Section IV), ensure the flyer regarding state-only funded AAP is provided to the family at the time of the adoptive placement.
  1. Ensure that adoptive parents are informed of this information, especially if they may move out of state.

 

  1. Document the determination of the child's eligibility for AAP benefits in the child's Adoption case file.

 

  1. If the child is not eligible for AAP benefits, consult with the SCSW and the AAP Intake Supervisor before proceeding with the adoptive placement.

 

  1. If the child is AAP eligible, provide the prospective adoptive parent(s) with an AAP 7, Adoption Assistance Program Statement of Acknowledgment, and an AAP 1, Request for Adoption Assistance Program Benefits, to complete and sign.
  1. Encourage the family to describe on the AAP 1 how they plan to incorporate the adoptive child into their family and the impact, if any, this will have on their lifestyle and circumstances.
  1. If the family believes the child to have special needs, encourage them to describe these special needs and the required extra care and supervision the child may need, as the family may qualify for a specialized care increment (SCI).

 

  1. Provide the family with a copy of the DCFS 5620, Comparison of Legal and Financial Benefits Adoption, Legal Guardianship, and Planned Living Arrangement.

Back to Procedure

Negotiating the AAP Benefit

APRD CSW Responsibilities

  1. If the child is being placed with an approved family from a private adoption agency, hold meetings to negotiate the AAP benefits with a representative from the private agency, if possible.

 

  1. Prior to the child's adoptive placement, use the AAP 6, Adoption Assistance Program Negotiated Benefit Amount and Approval, to assess the child:
  1. Identify the child's care and supervision needs, including any special needs, for which a foster care maintenance payment could be authorized based on direct observation of the child. Assess:
  1. If the child is receiving a Specialized Care Increment (SCI) F-Rate, determine if the child is receiving the appropriate rate by requesting the Public Health Nurse's (PHN's) review of the child's medical records.

 

  1. Determine the maximum AAP benefit, for which the child is eligible, by determining the foster care maintenance payment that the child would have received if he/she had remained in foster care.
  1. Use the basic foster family home rate.
  1. Do not use the Foster Family Agency (FFA)A non-profit organization licensed by the State of California to recruit, certify, train, and provide professional support to foster parents. rate or a the amount of a payment made to a certified foster family by a FFA to calculate the maximum AAP benefit for which the child is eligible.
  1. Refer to Determination of Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) Benefits for how to determine a child's AAP benefit and for the steps that are required based on the child's special needs.

 

  1. Meet with the adoptive family and determine the circumstances of the family.
  1. Review the adoptive family's statement on the AAP 1, Request for Adoption Assistance Program Benefits.
  1. Encourage the adoptive parents to request the AAP benefit that will meet the child's needs.
  1. Advise the adoptive parent(s) of the following regarding the AAP benefit:
  1. Discuss with the adoptive family the benefit amount the child is presently receiving in foster care including the SCI rate, if appropriate.
  1. If the family agrees with the current benefit amount or would like a lesser amount, provide the family with the AAP 6, and obtain their signatures.
  1. If the family does not agree with the benefit amount, obtain any new information or records the adoptive family may have.
  1. Explain that you will reassess the needs of the child.
  1. Explain that once the reassessment is completed, you meet with him/her again to negotiate a new agreement.
  1. Advise the prospective adoptive parent(s) of their right to seek legal advice regarding the disputed AAP benefit.

 

  1. Review any new information provided by the adoptive parent(s) and determine the maximum AAP benefit for the child with special needs.
  1. If the child's special needs are based on a medical or developmental condition and if there is documentation from a health care provider who has examined the child within the past six (6) months, submit the additional documentation to the Public Health Nurse (PHN) for an evaluation and his/her recommendation so the child can be evaluated for the SCI F-Rate.
  1. If the child is receiving Regional Center services:
  1. Request a copy of the child's Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP), Individual Program Plan (IPP)The Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act requires that a person who receives services from a regional center have an Individual Program Plan (IPP). Person-centered individual program planning assists persons with developmental disabilities and their families to build their capacities and capabilities. The planning team decides what needs to be done, by whom, when, and how, if the individual is to begin (or continue) working toward the preferred future. The document known as the Individual Program Plan (IPP) is a record of the decisions made by the planning team., or Client Development and Evaluation Report (CDER).
  1. Call and verify that the child continues to be eligible for Regional Center services.
  1. If the special need is based on a severe emotional and/or behavioral problem, consult with the SCSW and submit the additional documentation for a SCI D-Rate assessment along with a completed AAP 6 to the ARA for review and approval.
  1. If a higher rate of care is recommended, complete a new AAP 6 and submit it with the recommendation from the PHN to the ARA for approval.
  1. Document each of the child's special needs by describing the need, including the underlying problem or condition in the child's Health and Education Notebook.

 

  1. Once a higher rate has been approved by the ARA, determine the exact benefit amount.

 

  1. If you are unable to reach an agreement with the adoptive family regarding the AAP benefit amount, refer to the next section, Responding to Adoptive Parent(s) who Disagree with AAP Benefit.

 

  1. Document a summary of the negotiations and discussions with the adoptive parent(s) in the Applicant folder.

Back to Procedure

Responding to an Adoptive Parent(s) who Disagree with the AAP Benefit Amount

APRD CSW Responsibilities

  1. Discuss with the adoptive parent(s) the barriers that are preventing agreement on the AAP amount.
  1. If the request is based on a medical condition or health problem, submit additional documentation to the Public Health Nurse (PHN) for evaluation to determine if the child qualifies for the Specialized Care Increment (SCI)A rate paid in addition to the basic care rate for the care of children/youth with special needs. F-Rate.
  1. If a higher rate of care is recommended, complete a new AAP 6, Adoption Assistance Program Negotiated Benefit Amount and Approval, and submit it with the recommendation from the PHN to the ARA for approval.
  1. If a higher rate of care is not recommended or if a decrease is recommended, consult with the SCSW for further direction.
  1. If the special need is based on a severe emotional and/or behavioral problem, consult with the SCSW and submit the additional documentation for the SCI D-Rate assessment, along with a complete AAP 6 to the ARA for review and approval.

 

  1. Discuss the recommendations of the PHN or ARA with the adoptive family.

 

  1. After receiving confirmation from the SCSW/ARA that additional AAP benefits are denied:
  1. Complete the AAP 2, Payment Instructions, Adoption Assistance Program.
  1. Instruct the Eligibility Worker (EW) to send a NA 791, Notice of Action, to the adoptive parent(s), indicating AAP benefits are being denied, the reason for denial, and, if an AAP reassessment is needed, that the AAP benefit will continue at the prior approved rate.
  1. Submit the AAP 2 to the SCSW for signature and review.
  1. Obtain the signature of the ARA on the AAP 2.
  1. Fax the request to the AAP Intake Unit.
  1. Fax or mail the AAP 2, as appropriate, to the AAP Intake Unit at (213) 742-7035 or the AAP Reassessment Unit at (626) 691-0964

 

  1. Document all actions in the child's case file and on the DCFS/A 15C, PAS, AAP/AAC Case History Sheet (if it is not an open case), or Case Notes (if it is an open case).

 

  1. For an initial adoptive placement, file separate copies of the AAP 2 in the child's case file and in the blue Adoptions folder.

 

  1. For an AAP reassessment, return the case to the archives or the AAP Reassessment Unit.

APRD SCSW Responsibilities

If the CSW has taken all required actions and if the CSW and the adoptive family are still unable to reach an agreement regarding the benefit amount:

 

  1. Contact the adoptive family and take all necessary steps to remove the barriers to reach an agreement.

 

  1. If still unable to resolve the disagreement, consult with the ARA for direction.

APRD ARA Responsibilities

  1. If the efforts of the CSW and SCSW fail to reach an agreement on the AAP benefit with the adoptive family, direct the CSW to notify the adoptive parent(s) that the AAP benefit will be denied and, for AAP reassessments, that the AAP benefit will continue at the prior approved rate.

 

  1. Sign the AAP 2 and return the packet to the CSW.

Back to Procedure

Initiating AAP and Medi-Cal Benefits

APRD CSW Responsibilities

  1. If the child is being placed with an approved family from a private adoption agency, a meeting must be held to sign the adoptive placement papers and AD 4320, Adoption Assistance Agreement, with the private agency representative, if possible. The private agency must provide this following:
  1. The adoptive family with information regarding AAP benefits vs. foster care/legal guardianship benefits.
  1. The private agency representative with a complete AAP 4, Eligibility Certification – Adoption Assistance Program.

 

  1. Complete the DCFS/A 23, Request for Notice of Placement.

 

  1. Attach the DCFS/A 23 and the signed AAP 6, Adoption Assistance Program Negotiated Benefit Amount and Approval, to the DCFS/A 65B, Adoptive Placement Approval/Checklist, and submit them to the SCSW for approval.

 

  1. Complete the AD 4320.
  1. If the child is receiving Early Start services from a Regional Center and will be receiving a dual agency rate, enter on Section I on the AD 4320 the last day of the month of the child's third (3rd) birthday as the first assessment date, if this time is less than two (2) years from when an reassessment would take place.
  1. Inform the adoptive parent(s) that:

 

  1. At the time of adoptive placement, sign the completed original and two (2) copies of the AD 4320 and AAP 1.
  1. Obtain each adoptive parent's signature(s) on the original and two (2) copies and leave the original AD 4320 and AAP 1 with the adoptive family.
  1. If the child is not eligible for AAP benefits, submit an AAP 2, which indicates that AAP eligibility is denied, the specific reason(s) the denial including relevant regulatory or statutory citations, and the effective date.
  1. If the prospective adoptive parent(s) choose not to receive AAP benefits, encourage them to complete and sign a deferred request for AAP benefits, using the AD 4320 and AAP 1, and checking the box indicating deferment. Inform the prospective adoptive parent(s) that they will not be able to receive AAP payments in the future if a deferred agreement is not signed prior to the finalization of the adoption.
  1. If the prospective adoptive parent(s) choose to apply for Medi-Cal benefits only, complete the AAP 1 showing “0” as the amount paid.
  1. Check the box on #3 to indicate that the prospective adoptive parent(s) are deferring AAP benefits and are applying for Medi-Cal only.

 

  1. Explain that failure to report any of the changes listed on the AD 4320 can result in overpayment that may be recoverable by a direct charge or a reduction in current and future AAP benefits.

 

  1. Explain the following to the prospective adoptive parent(s):

 

  1. If the adoptive parent(s) have private health insurance and there is no cost associated with adding the child to their health care plan (i.e., there is no premium), explain that the child must be added to their own health care plan as soon as the child becomes eligible. Explain that this carrier will be billed first and then Medi-Cal as the secondary carrier. Explain that if there is a cost associated with enrolling the child, the adoptive parent(s) are not required to add their child to their health care plan after the adoption. Instead, they can maintain medi-cal as the child's primary insurance.

 

  1. If the family plans to move out-of-state, explain that:

 

State Department of Health Services
San Francisco Medi-Cal Field Office
Out-of-State Claims Unit
P.O. Box 193704, San Francisco, CA 94119
(415) 904-9600

 

  1. If the family has concerns regarding the impact of AAP benefits on federal tax levies or any other public assistance programs, tell them to consult with their tax consultant, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or the program administrator for the benefit they are receiving.

 

  1. If the child is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), explain to the prospective adoptive parent(s) that they must report AAP benefits to the Social Security Administration (SSA).

 

  1. Inform the adoptive parent(s) that if they receive both an AAP and a foster care check for the same time period, they must return the foster care check to avoid an overpayment:

 

Department of Children and Family Services
425 Shatto Pl. Room 304
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Attention: Overpayment Unit

 

  1. Complete the AAP 2, Payment Instructions, Adoption Assistance Program.

 

  1. Within five (5) business days of placement, submit one (1) copy of the signed AD 4320, AAP 1, AAP 2, AAP 4, AAP 6, AAP 7, and the DCFS/A 23 to the SCSW for approval.

 

  1. File one (1) copy of the AAP related documents (AD 4320, AAP 1, AAP2, AAP 4, AAP 6, AAP 7 and the DCFS/A 23) in the applicant folder.

APRD SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review the AD 4320, AAP 1, AAP 2, AAP 4, AAP 6, AAP 7, and the DCFS/A 23.
  1. If approved, sign the AAP 6 and return it to the CSW.
  1. Forward the AD 4320, AAP 1, AAP 2, AAP 4, and DCFS/A 23 to the AAP Unit Clerk to fax to the AAP Intake Unit at (213) 742-7035.
  1. If the AAP has a SCI rate, forward the AD 4320, AAP 2, and all supporting documents to the ARA for approval.
  1. Once the ARA has signed the AAP 2, forward it, along with the AD 4320, DCFS/A 23, AAP 1, and AAP 4 to the Unit Clerk to fax to the AAP Intake Unit.
  1. If not approved, return the documents to the CSW for corrective action.

 

  1. If the child is not eligible for AAP benefits, review the AAP 2.
  1. If approved, sign the AAP 2 and forward it to the ARA.
  1. Obtain the ARA's signature and fax the request to the AAP Intake Unit at (213) 742-7035.
  1. If not approved, return the AAP 2 to the CSW for corrective action.

APRD ARA Responsibilities

  1. Review the AD 4320, AAP 1, AAP 2, AAP 4, AAP 6 and any documentation supporting an SCI rate.
  1. If approved, sign the AAP 2 and forward it along with the AD 4320, AAP 1, AAP 4, AAP 6 and supporting documents to the SCSW.
  1. If not approved, return the documents to the SCSW for corrective action.

 

  1. If the child is not eligible for AAP benefits, review the AAP 2.
  1. If approved, sign the AAP 2 and forward it to the SCSW.
  1. If not approved, return the AAP 2 to the SCSW for corrective action.

Back to Procedure

Initiating AAP Benefits for a Cooperative ICPC Adoptive Placement

APRD CSW Responsibilities

  1. Confirm AAP eligibility.

 

  1. Contact the receiving state's social worker and inform him/her that a packet containing the following will be forwarded:

 

  1. Request that the social worker meet with the adoptive family to complete the AAP 1, and discuss the differences between AAP benefits and foster care benefits.

 

  1. Receive the completed AAP 1, AAP 6, and AAP 7.
  1. If the family is requesting a higher rate, request information from the social worker regarding the child's functioning.
  1. Proceed as directed in Responding to Adoptive Parent(s) who Disagree with a Determined AAP Benefit.
  1. Request that the social worker meet with the family again to negotiate the AAP amount.
  1. Request a summary of the negotiations from the social worker.

 

  1. Document a summary of the contacts with the social worker in the Contact Notebook.

 

  1. Once the AAP benefit is agreed upon, proceed with the adoptive placement.
  1. Complete the DCFS/A 23, Request for Notice of Placement.
  1. Attach the DCFS/A 23 and the signed AAP 6 to the DCFS/A 65B, Adoptive Placement Approval/Checklist, and submit them to the SCSW.
  1. Mail three (3) packets to the social worker containing the DCFS/A 226, DCFS/A 171, AD 4320, and copies of the signed AAP 6 and AAP 7.
  1. Request that the social worker make an appointment with the family for the purpose of adoptive placement.
  1. Request that the social worker review the points in Initiating AAP and Medi-Cal Benefits at the time of placement.

 

  1. Upon receipt of the signed adoptive placement packet, submit one (1) copy of the AD 4320, AAP 1, and AAP 2 to the SCSW for approval.
  1. Keep the other copy in the case file.
  1. Indicate on the AAP 2 that this case is an Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) case and that the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (ICAMA) forms must be completed.

 

  1. Submit the AD 4320, AAP 1, AAP 2, AAP 4, AAP 6, and DCFS/A 23 to the SCSW for approval.

APRD SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review the AD 4320, AAP 1, AAP 2, AAP 4, AAP 6, and the DCFS/A 23.
  1. If approved, sign the AAP 2 and forward it along with the AD 4320, AAP 1, AAP 4, AAP 6, and DCFS/A 23 to the AAP Unit Clerk.
  1. If the AAP has a SCI rate, forward the AD 4320, AAP 1, AAP 2, AAP 4, AAP6, and supporting documents to the ARA for approval.
  1. Once the ARA has signed the AAP 2, forward it, along with the AD 4320, DCFS/A 23, AAP 1, and AAP 4 to the Unit Clerk to fax to the AAP Intake Unit.
  1. If not approved, return the documents to the CSW for corrective action.

 

  1. If the child is not eligible for AAP benefits, review the AAP 2.
  1. If approved, sign the AAP 2 and forward it to the ARA.
  1. If not approved, return the AAP 2 to the CSW for corrective action.

APRD ARA Responsibilities

  1. Review the AD 4320, AAP 1, AAP 2, AAP 4, AAP 6 and any documentation supporting an SCI rate.
  1. If approved, sign the AAP 2 and forward it along with the AD 4320, AAP 1, AAP 4, AAP 6 and supporting documents to the SCSW.
  1. If not approved, return the documents to the SCSW for corrective action.

 

  1. If the child is not eligible for AAP benefits, review the AAP 2.
  1. If approved, sign the AAP 2 and forward it to the SCSW.
  1. If not approved, return the AAP 2 to the SCSW for corrective action.

Back to Procedure

Responding to a Request for a Child/Youth be Placed in a Group Home or Residential Care Facility

APRD CSW Responsibilities

  1. Review the child's Education and Health History Notebook and/or the closed case for documentation regarding any previous history of mental or emotional problems.

 

  1. Consult with the adoptive family and review any documentation provided by the family that provides medical documentation, regarding the need for out-of-home placement. This can include the appropriateness of a specific placement and the facility's rate classification level.

 

  1. Determine the Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) benefit rate needed to place the child in out-of-home care.

 

  1. Inform the adoptive family of all applicable required aspects of the AAP benefit.

 

  1. Once the adoptive parent(s) agree on the AAP benefit:
  1. On the AD 4320, Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) Agreement, state that the APA benefit is intended for the child's out-of-home placement.
  1. Obtain each adoptive parent's signature on the new, original AD 4320 and on two (2) copies.
  1. Sign the completed original and the two (2) copies.
  1. Give the AAP 3, Reassessment Information – Adoption Assistance Program, and the AAP 6, Adoption Assistance Program Negotiated Benefit Amount and Approval, to the adoptive parent(s) to complete.
  1. Obtain each adoptive parent's signature on the AAP 3 and AAP 6 and two (2) copies.
  1. Leave a copy of the AD 4320, AAP 3, and AAP 6, with the adoptive parent(s).
  1. Complete the AAP 2, Payment Instructions – Adoption Assistance Program, and instruct the AAP Reassessment Unit to send the adoptive parents a NA 791, Notice of Action.

 

  1. Fax or mail the AD 4320, AAP 2, and AAP 3 to the AAP Reassessment Unit at:

 

AAP Reassessment Unit
725 South Grand Avenue
Glendora, CA 81740
(626) 691-1475
Fax: (626) 691-0964

 

  1. Upon the child's return to the adoptive parents home, ensure that a new AAP Agreement is signed to reflect the new AAP benefit amount.

Back to Procedure

Responding to a Returned AAP 3

AAP Reassessment Unit Responsibilities

  1. Once the AAP 3, Reassessment Information – Adoption Assistance Program, is returned by the adoptive parent(s), complete the following steps depending on the adoptive parent(s)' request:

 

Adoptive Parent(s)' Request

Required Steps

Adoptive parent(s) no longer wish to receive AAP benefits for the child (Select Box 1.)

  • Follow the procedures for completing a NA 791, Notice of Action, to suspend benefits.
  • The adoptive family can request to restart benefits before the child turning eighteen (18) or twenty-one (21).

Adoptive parent(s) request the continuation of AAP benefits at the current level (Select Box 2.)

  • Process the reassessment at the current rate.

 

Adoptive parent(s) request an increase in the AAP benefit because the needs of the child have changed (Select Box 3.)

  • The adoptive parent(s) must provide written documentation of the child's special needs.
  • The case is sent to the Post Adoption Services (PAS) for reassessment.
  • If the documentation provided to justify the increase is sufficient and if the adoptive parent(s) are in agreement with the change, adjust AAP benefits.

Adoptive parent(s) request a decrease in the amount of the AAP benefit (Select Box 4.)

Provide the adoptive parent(s) with the following:

  • AAP 6, Adoption Assistance Program Negotiated Benefit Amount and Approval, to negotiate the new benefit; and
  • AD 4320, Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) Agreement, to amend the initial AD 4320

Back to Procedure

Responding to Requests to Change the AAP Benefit

APRD Responsibilities

The following procedures apply to cases where:

 

  1. If the adoption was finalized less than six (6) months from the date of the reassessment request, refer the adoptive family to the case-carrying CSW.

 

  1. Ensure that the case is cleared on the Adoption Integrated System (AIS).

 

  1. Request the PAS Adoption Assistant (AA) compile a “dummy” folder to work a case currently receiving benefits.
  1. If a deferred AAP agreement was signed and if the client has not previously received AAP benefits, complete a DCFS/A 43, Action Request, to obtain the case from archives.

APRD CSW Responsibilities

  1. Upon assignment of the AAP case, review the original AD 4320, Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) Agreement, and the adoptive parent(s) request.
  1. Contact the adoptive parent(s) by letter or by phone to inform them that you will be processing their reassessment request.
  1. Refer the adoptive parent(s) to available resources, as needed (e.g. Adoption Promotion and Support Services (APSS) Program).

 

  1. If the adoptive parent(s) request an increase in the AAP benefit, or if the adoptive family moves out-of-county, out-of-state, or out-of-country, take all appropriate, required actions, outlined in Determination of Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) Benefits.

 

  1. Determine the amount of the AAP benefit.
  1. If the case is not open, document the child's needs and the rationale for the proposed AAP benefit amount on the DCFS/A 15C, PAS, AAP/AAC, and Case History Sheet.
  1. If the case is open, document the child's needs and the rationale for the proposed AAP benefit amount in the child's Case Notes.

 

  1. Complete the AD 4320.

 

  1. Submit the AD 4320, DCFS/A 15C, or Case Notes and all supporting documentation to the SCSW for approval.

 

  1. Once the AAP benefit amount has been approved by the SCSW and the ARA, discuss the approved amount with the adoptive parent(s).
  1. If the adoptive parent(s) agree to the AAP benefit amount, obtain each adoptive parent's signature on the original and two (2) copies of the AAP 3, Reassessment Information – Adoption Assistance Program, and AAP 6, Adoption Assistance Program Negotiated Benefit Amount and Approval, and the new AD 4320.
  1. Sign the completed original and two (2) copies of each form.
  1. Leave the originals of each form with the adoptive parent(s).

 

  1. Complete the AAP 2 to instruct the AAP Reassessment Unit to send the adoptive parent(s) a NA 791, Notice of Action.

 

  1. Fax or mail the AD 4320, AAP 2, and AAP 3 to the AAP Reassessment Unit at (626) 691-0964.

 

  1. Return the case to the archives.

 

  1. If there is a change in payee: If there is a change in payee, the APRD CSW must take the following steps, as applicable:

 

Reason for Change in Payee

APRD Required Actions

Adoptive parents have separated and one (1) parent is requesting a change in payee.

  • Request that the parent obtains and provide the dissolution decree document, showing his/her legal custody of the child.

One (1) adoptive parent has died, and the other is requesting a change in payee.

  • Request that the parent obtains and provides a certified copy of the spouse's death certificate.

 

  1. If it is reported that both adoptive parent(s) are deceased:
  1. Submit an AAP 2, Payment Instructions – Adoption Assistance Program, to the AAP Reassessment Unit to stop the AAP payment.
  1. Discuss with the child's current caregiver(s) their ability to provide for the child.
  1. If the assessment reveals that the child is at risk of being in danger of abuse or neglect, contact the Child Protection Hotline as soon as possible.
  1. If they wish to pursue adoption, legal guardianship, foster care, financial benefits, etc., refer the caregiver(s) to appropriate resources and/or legal advisors.

APRD SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review the AD 4320, DCFS/A 15, or Case Notes and all supporting documentation.
  1. If approved, forward the AD 4320, Case Notes, and the supporting documentation to the ARA for approval.
  1. If not approved, return to the CSW for corrective action.

APRD ARA Responsibilities

  1. Review the AD 4320, DCFS/A 15, or Case Notes and all supporting documentation.
  1. If approved, sign the AD 4320 and return the packet to the CSW for processing.
  1. If not approved, return to the CSW for corrective action.

Back to Procedure

APPROVALS

SCSW Approval

ARA Approval

HELPFUL LINKS

Attachments

Adoption Assistance Program (AAP), Medi-Cal and Social Security Income/ Supplemental Security Payment (SSI/SSP) Benefits

Determination of Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) Benefits

State Only Funded AAP Frequent Asked Questions

Forms

CWS/CMS

AAP 1, Request for Adoption Assistance Program Benefits

AAP 4, Eligibility Certification – Adoption Assistance Program

AD 4320, Adoption Assistance Agreement

LA Kids

AAP 1, Request for Adoption Assistance Program Benefit

AAP 2, Payment Instructions, Adoption Assistance Program

AAP 3, Reassessment Information – Adoption Assistance Program

AAP 6, Adoption Assistance Program Negotiated Benefit Amount and Approval

AAP 7, Adoption Assistance Program Statement of Acknowledgment

AD 4320, Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) Agreement

DCFS/A 23, Request for Notice of Placement

DCFS/A 65B, Adoptive Placement Approval/Checklist

DCFS/A 226, Interagency/ICPC Letter

DCFS 280, Technical Assistance Action Request

DCFS 5620, Comparison of Legal and Financial Benefits Adoption, Legal Guardianship, and Planned Living Arrangement

NA 791, Notice of Action

Hard Copy

AD 4333, Acknowledgment and Confirmation of Receipt of Relinquishment Documents

DCFS/A 43, Action Request

DCFS/A 171, Interagency Adoptive Placement Agreement

Referenced Policy Guides

0070-516.10, Assessing a Child's Development & Referring to a Regional Center

0200-506.20, Grievance ProceduresFor the purpose of the adoption home study, procedures initiated on behalf of the applicant, at the applicant's request, to appeal the Department's decision when the adoption home study has been denied by DCFS. The Grievance Review Process pamphlet outlines the specific action taken by the Department when the applicant requests a grievance review hearing. In addition, grievance procedures are in place for foster parents who want to challenge the Department's decision in regards to their care and supervision of a child(ren). Foster parents who want to challenge decisions regarding their license must follow grievance procedures from the State Department of Social Services. for Denial of Adoption Requests or Withdrawal of Approved Applicant Assessments

0200-509.20, Pre-Placement Process

0200-509.35, Adoptive Placements

0200-510.10, Postadoption Services

0200-513.01, Finalizing an Adoption

0700-504.20, Referring Children for Special Education or Early Intervention Services

0900-511.12, Dual Agency Rates

0900-522.10, Specialized Care Increment (SCI) – D-Rate

0900-522.11, Specialized Care Increment (SCI) – F-Rate

0900-523.10, Social Security (SS)/Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits for Children in Care

1200-500.05, Adopting and Serving Children Under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

Statutes

All County Information Notice (ACIN) No. I-05-92, Adoption Subsidies in the Food Stamp Program

 

All County Letter (ACL) No. 02-56, Dolores Yarbrough vs. Rita Saenz and California Department of Social Services – Instructs agencies to cease considering Supplemental Security Income (SS)I as unearned income for children receiving Title IV-E AAP benefits. Also states that DCFS must inform families that they must report any AAP benefits received on behalf of their federally eligible adopted child to Social Security Administration (SSA) and advise adoptive parent(s) that the SSA might deduct the AAP benefit from their SSI grant.

 

ACL 09-51, September 29, 2009 – California's Adoption Assistance Program and Title IV-E Federal Mandates.

 

ACL No. 90-101, Treatment of Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) Payments in AFDC, RCA, and RDP.

 

California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Manual of Policies and Procedures (MPP), Title 22, Div 2, Adoptions Manual, Subchapter 5, Section 35326-35341 – Summarizes the procedures for the reassessment of a child's needs.

 

CDSS MPP Title 22, Div 2, Adoptions Manual, Subchapter 5, Section 35342 – States that annual income does not include adoption assistance payments in excess of $480 per adopted child.

 

CDSS MPP, Title 24, Section 5.609(c) – States that annual income does not include adoption assistance payments in excess of $480 per adopted child.

 

CDSS Manual Letter No. EAS 11-01 – Instructs counties to disregard certain types of income excluded by federal law.

 

Family Code (FAM) Section 8506 – Defines an "agency adoption".

 

Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) Section 11464 – Sets forth the criteria, requirements, and rates for Regional Centers as well as supplemental rates.

 

WIC Section 16118 – Addresses the duties and responsibilities of the agency providing financial assistance through the AAP.

 

WIC Section 16119 – Summarizes the requirements for informing prospective adoptive parent(s) about the availability of AAP benefits and how AAP benefits are determined.

 

WIC Sections 16120-16120.1 – Summarizes eligibility for AAP benefits, requirements for the adoption assistance agreement, and reimbursement of nonrecurring expenses for a child eligible for AAP. WIC Section 16120(d)(1)(2)(3) states the specific conditions that must be met for eligibility.

 

WIC Section 16120(k)(n)(1)(E) and (I)(2)(3) – Provides the criteria to be considered an "applicable child" for federal funding. Also outlines, based on the fiscal year, what age a child must be to be considered an applicable child.

 

WIC Section 16121 – Summarizes: adoption assistance, benefit amounts, out-of-home placement requirements/amounts, maximum time, the application process, and adjustments to the adoption assistance payment rate structure.

Back to Helpful Links