SI CHI00830.416 (MI) Michigan Adoption Subsidies (RTN 377 -- 10/2005)
The Michigan Department of Human Services (MDHS) administers the Adoption Support Subsidy and Adoption Medical Subsidy programs. The purpose of these programs is to make adoption possible for "hard to place" children who otherwise might not be adopted.
Adoption Support Subsidy provides a monthly payment to the parent(s) of an eligible adopted child. Adoption Medical Subsidy is a reimbursement program that assists with payment of out of pocket medical costs for an eligible adopted child's conditions that pre-existed the adoption.
Adoption Support Subsidy is funded with Title IV-E, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), or state funds.
The income of the adoptive parent(s) is not considered in determining eligibility for the program or the rate to be paid. However, if the child is not Title IV-E eligible, the adoptive parent(s) income is considered in determining the funding source.
Title IV-E funds are used if the child meets Michigan's Title IV-E criteria for adoption support subsidy. Title IV-E eligibility is only reassessed if the adoption support subsidy is extended beyond age 18.
If a child does not meet Title IV-E criteria, then either state or TANF funds are used depending on the adoptive parent(s) income. Adoptive parent(s) income is assessed at adoptive placement and annually thereafter to determine whether TANF funds can be used. If the family's income is above the TANF guidelines, then state funds are used.
Adoptive parent(s) file an Annual Report with MDHS at least once each year. Information on parental income is used to determine the funding source for that year.
SSI Treatment of State-Funded Adoption Subsidies
The Office of General counsel has determined that Michigan adoption subsidies are social services if they are entirely state-funded and, therefore, are not income to either the adopting parent(s) or child(ren), in accordance with SI 00815.050.
NOTE: The parents' income is subject to deeming, unless excluded under another provision.
SSI Treatment of TANF Funded Adoption Subsidies
TANF funded adoption subsidies are considered federally funded and cause a dollar-for-dollar reduction of the SSI payment.
SSI Treatment of Title IV-E Funded Adoption Subsidies
Unlike state-funded adoption subsidies, Title IV-E adoption assistance causes a dollar-for-dollar reduction of the SSI payment. See SI 00830.415 for instructions on Title IV-E payments.
Adoption Medical Subsidies are funded with TANF or State General Funds.
C. Adoption Support Subsidy
1. Application and Eligibility
Adoption Support Subsidy must be applied for and eligibility determined before the petition for adoption is filed; the adopting parent must request payment before the confirmation of the adoption. Adoption support subsidy is available without respect to the adopting parent(s) income.
MDHS determines a subsidy rate based on the child's foster care rate prior to adoptive placement.
The parent may request payment up to the rate determined by MDHS. MDHS deducts from the subsidy payment the amount of Social Security and Veteran's Administration benefits due the child through their birth parent's eligibility. Benefits that result from the adoptive parent(s) eligibility are not budgeted.
MDHS issues checks directly to the parent(s) on a monthly basis for the coming month. Adoption subsidy rates change in accordance with foster care rates.
The adoptive family receives a copy of the Adoption Support Subsidy/Nonrecurring Adoption Expenses Agreement. A check box on page 2 of the Agreement indicates whether the support subsidy is eligible for Title IV-E funding.
If a child does not meet Title IV-E criteria, then either state or TANF funds are used, depending on the adoptive parent(s) income. If the support subsidy is not funded under Title IV-E, the adoptive parent(s) income is assessed at adoptive placement and annually thereafter to determine whether TANF or state funding should be used.
The Agreement indicates the daily rate of the Adoption Support Subsidy at the time that eligibility was determined. Increases based on age or increases in the foster care rate are not reflected in the Agreement.
D. Medical Subsidy
Adoptive Medical Subsidy is a reimbursement program that assists adoptive parent(s) with payment of out of pocket medical costs for an eligible adopted child's physical, mental, or emotional conditions that pre-existed the adoption.
1. Application and Eligibility
Adoption Medical Subsidy may be requested either before or after the adoption by the adoptive parent. Eligibility may be determined up to the child's 18th birthday. After application, the MDHS certifies the specific physical, mental, or emotional condition(s) that are covered by the program.
2. Rate and Payment
Most services must be pre-approved by DHS. Rates are subject to DHS fee screens. This program only reimburses parent(s) for their out of pocket expenses for the treatment of physical, mental, or emotional conditions that MDHS has certified as pre-existing the adoption.
Other available public money (e.g., Medicaid, Children's Special Health Care Services, etc.) must be used first, when available. Families will be asked to use private health insurance before medical subsidy reimbursement is authorized.
Reimbursement can be made directly to vendors (a vendor can be a licensed and/or trained professional person or a licensed facility providing medical and/or related services) or to the adoptive parent(s).
The adoptive family receives a copy of an Adoption Medical Subsidy Agreement that specifies the specific physical, mental, or emotional conditions that have been certified by DHS.
4. Treatment for SSI Purposes
Adoption Medical subsidy payments constitute reimbursement to the parents for out-of-pocket medical expenses, and if funded with State General Funds, they are not income for SSI purposes. If the Adoption Medical Subsidy payments are funded with TANF funds, the payments are income, and cause a dollar-for-dollar reduction of the SSI payment.
All requests should be faxed to the Department of Human Services attention: Adoption Subsidy Program Office. Their fax number: 517-335-4019 and the turn around time is approximately 3-5 days.
The request should be sent on a field office specific fax cover sheet, addressed to “To Whom it May Concern.” The cover sheet should include the following information: First and last name of the person requesting the information along with their title; office phone and fax numbers clearly displayed; claimant’s name and SSN and the claimant’s mother’s/father’s name.