States Are Taking Social Security Checks From Orphans and Disabled Children

In the past, many states have taken the Social Security checks of children in foster care, even though these checks are meant to help orphans and disabled children. This practice has been criticized by child welfare advocates, who argue that it is unfair to make these children pay for their own care.

In recent years, there has been a growing movement to reform this practice. In 2021, NPR and The Marshall Project published an investigation that found that at least 49 states and the District of Columbia were taking Social Security checks from foster children. This investigation led to calls for reform, and now 15 states and cities have taken steps to preserve the money of foster youth.

One of these states is New Mexico. In July 2022, a lawmaker asked the state’s child welfare department if it was taking Social Security checks from foster children. The department initially said yes, but after further investigation, it reversed course and pledged to start putting aside the checks for foster children to have when they go back to their families or age out of foster care.

This Is Why You Should Care About the Social Security Checks of Foster Children

Justin Kasieta, a 22-year-old who was in foster care in Michigan, is one of the advocates who has been working to reform this practice. Kasieta’s father died when he was 13, and he and his four younger siblings relied on Social Security benefits to get by. When Kasieta went into foster care a few years later, the state took his checks to reimburse the cost of his care.

Kasieta believes that it is unfair to make children who are orphaned or disabled pay for their own foster care. He is advocating for a bill in the Michigan legislature that would prohibit the state from taking Social Security checks from foster children.

The movement to reform this practice is gaining momentum. With more and more states taking steps to preserve the money of foster youth, it is hoped that this practice will eventually be ended nationwide.

Foster Children Are Being Robbed of Their Financial Future

Here are some additional points that could be included in the rewritten content:

  • The amount of money that children in foster care receive from Social Security benefits varies depending on their individual circumstances.
  • In addition to Social Security benefits, children in foster care may also receive other forms of financial assistance, such as TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) or SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).
  • The cost of foster care varies depending on the child’s individual needs.
  • There are a number of challenges associated with preserving the money of foster youth, such as ensuring that the money is used in the child’s best interests and preventing it from being misused.

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