More than 2.6 million children in the U.S. are under the care of their grandparents, relatives, or family friends. Grandparents care for grandkids when their children cannot assume their responsibilities because of addiction, mental problems, death, or other reasons. Of course, raising children as a grandparent can be rewarding. But it is also challenging, especially if you don’t have enough funds to cater to your grandchildren’s needs. Apart from financial challenges, navigating through the welfare system and establishing legal guardianship can also be a problem for grandparents. You don’t have to worry though. There are programs and institutions in the U.S. to help you with grants and support to care for your grandchildren. Keep reading this article for more.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
TANF provides financial support to low-income families. It was created through block grants issued to each state, and its services vary, depending on your state of residence. You may qualify for TANF benefits to raise your grandchildren. Qualified grandparents may be eligible for other benefits as well. If your income exceeds the U.S. poverty guidelines, you may receive a child-only grant, specifically designed for children. Please visit https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ofa/programs/tanf/about for more information.
Family Assistance Program
Grandparents taking care of their children’s kids can receive cash, Medicaid. When determining eligible grandparents, the caregivers’ incomes are not taken into account. The number of children under the grandparent’s care determines the amount of cash you will receive. To apply for the program assistance, you must reach out to the Department of Health and Human Services. Please visit https://nheasy.nh.gov to get started.
Social Security Benefits (Survivor Benefits)
If your children can’t take care of your grandkids because they are no more, the grandchildren are eligible for social security benefits to provide for their needs. You can receive the survivor benefits on behalf of your grandchildren. Read more at https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
The purpose of this program is to provide funding support to grandparents raising their grandchildren. The U.S. Social Security Administration administers this program. Visit https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/dib to apply for assistance.
National Committee of Grandparents Grandparents for Children’s Rights, Inc.
This is a nationwide network of grandparents, professionals, and community members that work together to promote and provide education, support, and advocacy for children and grandparents. The goal of this organization is to enhance healthy and stable relationships between children and their grandparents. See more at https://www.guidestar.org/profile/01-0746973.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
This program provides financial support to grandparents raising grandchildren to enable them to buy food. You must meet the low-income threshold for your family to be considered. Read more at https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program.
Guardianship Assistance Program
The program is run at the state level to provide financial assistance to grandparents who have assumed the legal guardianship of their children’s kids. You must have cared for the mentioned kids before to qualify for the payment. You will receive the grants in your state. See more at http://www.grandfamilies.org/Portals/0/GAP%20state%20policies%20and%20laws.pdf.
Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)
The purpose of this program is to provide school services to children under the care of their grandparents. You can apply for the program assistance through your local office of the Department of Human Services.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
If you have grandchildren living with disabilities, you can apply for SSI. The form of the children’s disability must limit them from performing their normal daily tasks. The purpose of the funding support is to help grandparents meet the basic needs of their grandchildren, including clothing, shelter, and food. You can apply for Supplemental Security Income at the Social Security Administration office in your location. https://www.ssa.gov.ssi provides more information.
The Kinship Navigator Program
Old age comes with a lot of problems, stress being one of the main ones. Becoming a parent to your grandkids is difficult and can bring additional stress to the caregivers. Do you know why? Because you are not only a caregiver but also a mentor for your grandchildrento help them avoid pitfalls in life. You should contact the Kinship Navigator Program in your state to receive the guidance you need. They will show you the services you can use to support your grandchildren. Visit https://kinnav.dhs.ga.gov/#referral-form to apply for the program support.
Why Seek Grants to Raise Your Grandkids?
Obtaining child custody or guardianship involves a complex legal process that most grandparents find difficult to understand. Legal processes are also involved when admitting grandchildren to school and accessing Medicare. Grandparents may get involved in custody disputes with other grandparents or parents to their grandkids. They may need finance to cover all the costs of obtaining legal help. They also need funding to obtain adequate housing, clothing, and food for their grandchildren. Grandparents with no income can experience difficulty in meeting the child’s needs. Raising children to become more challenging when grandparents are undergoing physical and mental health problems. Some grandparents end up neglecting their health because of lack of funding or because they have to care for their grandkids. It is therefore vital to have enough money to raise your grandchildren.