DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

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Handbook 18: Financial Eligibility
18-5.1 SSI Screening of All Foster Care Youth Prior to Emancipation


Financial Eligibility
18-5.1 SSI Screening of All Foster Care Youth Prior to Emancipation
Reference Points
SSI Screening Process
Consultation with the Child's Social Worker
Timing the Process
Other References

Reference Points
Effective Date: 8/1/09
Last Updated: 4/1/10
 Legal Basis:
PDF California Assembly Bill (AB)1633
PDF All County Letter (ACL) 07-09: Implementation of Assembly Bill 1633
Popup Window California Welfare and Institutions Code § 391
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
MS Word

SSI Screening Guide (FC1633A)

 CWS/CMS Forms:
bullet Case Management Section: Case Plan

Overview   Assembly Bill (AB) 1331 and the subsequent All County Letter (ACL) 08-12 requires counties to screen all youth who are in foster care between the ages of 16.5 and 17.5 for a physical or mental disability and submit a Social Security Income (SSI) application on behalf of those youth who are determined likely eligible for benefits. This is part of the continuing effort to assure better outcomes for youth emancipating from foster care by securing supportive services and funding resources before exiting from care.

Though most youth in foster care will not qualify for SSI benefits, all foster care youth between the ages of 16.5 and 17.5 must have a completed “SSI Screening Guide Section A – Disability Screening” form (FC 1633A) in their service and eligibility file.  The child’s social worker completes the FC 1633A for all youth aged 16.5 and older at the time of their Foster Care Intake and/or the yearly Reinvestigation (RRR) formerly known as the RV. The child’s eligibility worker reviews the FC 1633A and forwards this form to the SSI Advocacy Coordinator, Hieu Tran, for further review of all children who appear potentially eligible for SSI.  The SSI Coordinator follows through with preparing and submitting a SSI application, in collaboration with the child’s social worker, if the child is determined to appear eligible for SSI. 

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SSI Screening Process  

The screening process for social workers, eligibility workers and the SSI Advocacy Coordinator are as follows:





Notifies the social worker of a pending RRR that will require the social worker to complete the FC 1633A.

Eligibility Worker


Completes all required RRR forms, including the FC1633A, within 30 days.

Social Worker


Reviews the FC 1633 to determine if the child is potentially eligible for SSI and notes in the eligibility file if a copy of the FC 1633 is forwarded to the SSI Advocacy Coordinator or not.  Retains an original copy of the form in the eligibility file.

Eligibility Worker


Reviews the FC 1633A to determine if  the application for SSI application is appropriate. Requests further information from the social worker to make an in depth assessment.

SSI Advocacy Coordinator



Then the SSI Coordinator...

SSI Advocacy Coordinator

application is appropriate

  • works with the social worker to prepare the application and
  • works with the eligibility worker to time the submission of the application in relation to AFDC-FC eligibility, which is suspended during the month of application

application is not appropriate

Returns the copy of the FC 1633A to the eligibility worker with a notation that “Application Inappropriate.”

6. For the month in which the the SSA application is submitted, the aid type must be changed to an all state aid code. This change is compulsory due to the need to reflect Federal funding is not being collected during the month of application.

Eligibility Worker

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Consultation with the Child's Social Worker  

The SSI Advocacy Coordinator is responsible for an in depth assessment of potential SSI eligibility for foster youth by consulting with the child’s social worker and reviewing supportive documentation.

The following indicators are reviewed to ascertain SSI eligibility:

  • School Records, such as IEP’s, 504 Plans,
  • Special Needs Requests of any kind
  • Group Home Reports
  • Psychological/Psychiatric Evaluations and Testing
  • Other Mental health records and reports
  • Physician and hospital records and records
  • Shelter/placement incident reports,
  • Prescribed Medications
  • Any other pertinent reports related to the functioning of the child 

Functional limitations include, but are not limited to:

  • Learning
  • Speaking
  • Communicating with others
  • Social disabilities
  • Personal care difficulties
  • Inability to perform daily activities without absences due to chronic illness or impairments
  • Inability to concentrate
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Timing the Process  

It can take 6 months to a year for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to process and/or approve an SSI application. The timing of the application is crucial to assure SSI benefit eligibility at emancipation. The Eligibility Worker and the SSI Advocacy Coordinator must carefully plan to target the time period the benefits will need to be activated. Once the supporting documentation has been gathered by the Social Worker and the date of application has been decided, the SSI Advocacy Coordinator will submit the SSI Application at the beginning of the calendar month. Special legislation has been enacted to enable AFDC-FC funding to be suspended for 30 days to allow for the filing of the SSI application. Foster care for this month only will be paid out of All County Funds, by the social worker determining the monthly placement cost with the eligibility worker and then submitting a Placement SCZ 414Z for caregiver payment. No Clothing Allowance or Special Care Increment can be issued during this month. AFDC-FC benefits will resume the following month.

Should SSI eligibility be approved, SSI benefits will be suspended until the youth’s case is dismissed and the placement has ended. Benefits may not be suspended for longer than 12 months from the date of application. The youth will exit foster care with SSI funding in place.

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Hieu T. Tran, SSI Advocacy Coordinator

Tel: 408- 271-7445

Fax: 408-271-7403



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Other References  
PDF SSI Publication For Transitioning Foster Youth .
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