Kinship Care Subsidy Program
child who resides with a qualified relative other than a parent.
Do I Qualify for KCSP?
A child may meet the eligibility requirements for both the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP) and Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP) but may only receive assistance in one program.
To receive KCSP for a child, the qualified relative must meet all the conditions listed below:
- The child must live in the home of one of the following qualified relatives (either biological or adoptive): grandfather or grandmother (extends to great-great-great), brother or sister (including half), uncle or aunt (extends to great-great), stepbrother, stepsister, first cousin, including first cousin once removed, and nephew or niece (extends to great-great), or the legal spouse of the above-listed relatives.
- The child must have income of less than $222 per month.
- The child must be under 18 years of age.
- The child must be a resident of Louisiana.
- The child must be a citizen of the United States or a qualified alien.
- The qualified relative must provide proof of immunity or immunization against vaccine-preventable disease for each child under 18 years of age.
- The qualified relative must possess or obtain within one year of certification, either legal custody or guardianship or provisional custody by mandate of the eligible child who is living in the home. Legal custody or guardianship must be granted by a court and verified through court records or other reliable documents. Provisional custody by mandate is a notarized authorization made by the child´s parent or parents to a person of legal age to provide care, custody, and control of a minor child. Certain requirements must be met for the execution of this document. Provisional Custody by Mandate is valid for one year or until ended by the parent.
- The family must have an annual income of less than 150% of the federal poverty threshold, in accordance with the qualified relative's family size. Income from all sources is considered in determination of eligibility. This includes income from Social Security, Veteran’s benefits, Railroad Retirement, wages and any other regular income.
- The qualified relative must assign to the state rights to child support from any other person and cooperate with Support Enforcement Services in obtaining child support for the child unless good cause is established.
- The qualified relative must not have been convicted of or released from incarceration for a felony of possession, use or distribution of a controlled substance within the past year.
- The qualified relative must furnish or apply for a social security number for the child.
- The parent(s) of the child must not live in the home of the qualified relative.
Applicants must be interviewed and provide proof of statements made on the application regarding eligibility. This proof may include a birth or baptismal record to show the child’s age, a copy of the court-awarded custody or guardianship documents or notarial statement, or other documents needed to establish the child’s relationship to the qualified relative.
What are My Rights?
As an applicant, you have certain rights. You have a right to:
- Receive an application the same day you ask for it.
- Turn in your application the same day you receive it.
- Receive your benefits (or be notified that you are not eligible for the program) within 30 days after you turn in your application.
- Have a fair hearing if you disagree with any action taken on your case.
If you believe that you have been discriminated against because of age, sex, color, race, handicap, religious creed, national origin, or political beliefs, it is your right to file a complaint either through your local Economic Stability parish office or directly to the Economic Stability Division or to the Federal Government. If you wish to file such a complaint, you may secure the complaint form from your local Economic Stability parish office.
How Are My Benefits Issued?
Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) is a method of delivering governmental benefits to recipients electronically. Louisiana uses magnetic stripe card technology. The card, which is referred to as the Louisiana Purchase Card enables recipients to access benefits at ATM’s and Point-of-Sale (POS) machines.
Cash benefits are posted to recipient accounts during the first five days of the month. Recipient benefits are accessible by 5:00 a.m. the morning after they are posted. Benefits are posted on the same date every month regardless of the day of the week. Holidays and weekends do not affect the date of benefit availability.
Benefits are secure and accessible only to persons authorized by the recipient. The Personal Identification Number (PIN) is selected by the recipient and must be correctly entered in order to successfully complete all electronic transactions. As purchases or cash withdrawals are made at grocery store checkout lanes and ATM’s, recipient accounts are debited and the recipient is given a receipt which provides the remaining account balance.
A surcharge is the amount some ATMs charge you each time you withdraw your cash benefits, and this surcharge is deducted from your available balance. The following list of surcharge-free ATM owners provide you access to your cash benefits without being surcharged by the ATM:
- ASI FEDERAL CREDIT UNION
- BANCORPSOUTH BANK
- WHITNEY BANK
- PROGRESSIVE BANK
- REGIONS BANK
Reporting the Misuse of the ebt card
Prohibition of Unauthorized Use or Purchases Made with the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Card:
Recipients of Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP) are prohibited from using their KCSP benefits in any Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) transaction in any liquor store, gambling casino or gaming establishment, in a retail establishment that provides adult oriented entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment purposes, or at an ATM in any of these establishments.
In addition, KCSP recipients are prohibited from using their EBT card for the purchase of an alcoholic beverage, a tobacco product, or a lottery ticket at any retailer.
Failure to comply with these prohibitions is considered an Intentional Program Violation (IPV) and the penalty is full case closure. The penalty time periods are:
- 12 months for the first offense,
- 24 months for the second offense, and
- Permanently for the third offense.
Reporting of Misuse of the EBT Card:
The agency will rely on retailers and the public to report the misuse of benefits. Individuals are encouraged to call DCFS' toll-free hotline at 1-888-LAHELP-U (1-888-524-3578) and select option 7 from the main menu or by visiting www.dcfs.la.gov/ReportFraud.
To report a complaint to the Fraud & Recovery Unit, retailers and the public may call the Fraud Hotline at 1 (800) 256-3150, email the complaint to DCFS.Fraud@LA.GOV, fax the complaint at (225) 219-1663 or mail the complaint to: Fraud and Recovery Unit, P.O. Box 91147, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-9147.
KCSP HistoryThe Department of Children & Family Services, Economic Stability Division implemented Louisiana's Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP) on March 1, 2000. This program is funded by Louisiana's Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Block Grant and was implemented as a result of legislation passed during the 1999 Louisiana State Legislature.