Thursday, April 02, 2009


Tell me what you know about them. How do I get one? What do I have to do to qualify for one? Is a few seriously mentally ill children enough? Who do I call? Summer is coming and Rosa will be in the police academy and I will be alone with 11 children, 2 of them require intense supervision for the safety of the others.

What about SSI? I was told that Patches should qualify for it. I know I will have to fight to get it but will be in addition to her AA or replace it? I have 3 psychological evaluations scheduled this weekend and 3 in 2 weekends. I need to pursue the services available for them. I have been very slack in the past. Any suggestions are welcomed, I won't post your comment if you ask me not to.


Sheri said...

It depends on your state. In Indiana we do not PCA care, we can apply for benefits (such as respite and aides) through a program called The BDD (Bureau of Developmental Disabilities) but the wait list is about 12-13 years. Crazy huh?

We did not qualify for SSI even though I am the only one working. (Even crazier) My husband is a stay at home dad due to Dustin's disabilities. They included his AAP (Adoption Assistance Program) funds in so we made too much for SSI. He will qualify when he is 18 on his own even if he lives at home.

His AAP automatically comes with Medicaid which in Indiana is FABULOUS. It covers everything, no questions asked! A major bonus for us!

Maybe you could get extended school year services due to the disabilities. Worth a shot.

I haven't been reading for that long, so if this doesn't apply to any of your kids, ignore me! :)

Torina said...

OK. So I am sure every state is different because no one would want to make anything easy for us. But up here in MN, this is what happens. You adopt a disabled kid. You are not told about services or how to obtain them. Kid nearly takes your family down. Time to get services. So, you call your local county disability office. There are intake workers. These are the ones that will assess your family's needs. They will need all the medical and psych information and sometimes send out a public health nurse to make observations. Or else they do it themselves. At that point, they will refer you to whatever unit is responsible, such as children's mental health or developmental disabilities or whatever and you will be assigned a worker who you get to scrap with for services. They will want to know about your adoption stipend and any SSI you get. This should not affect your services legally. They will also tell you how many hours your kids are eligible for. Some counties (if yours is done centrally through the state, good luck) have their own PCA staff, others work with private agencies and pay the private agencies for services...then you just deal with the private agency. You will set up an individualized service plan or risk care management plan or something with big words that will require to go over everthing for the 8 billionth time. Then they will "process" everything and assign you a PCA which will get the cpy of your care plan, not read it, and you will have to go over everything with them for the billionth time. We are able to hire family if they are willing to be trained and follow the risk care plan. But mostly we hire agency staff who have a LOT of experience. It is a total pain to set up but a lifesaver once it is done. Ours took 4 months to negotiate the process and Tara had services before she ever came to us. Good luck.

And as for SSI and AA, I have been wondering the same thing and have asked a few times but usually get varying answers. Tara is eligible as well but I am not ready to fight that battle yet.

Mom2Boo_n_Cole said...

First let me say I enjoy following your blog:) On to my answers:

My knowledge on pca's is minimal. I know every state is different. Here in our state there are many different types of staffing you would qualify for. We have always gotten our help by calling our MH/MR office.

To the best of my knowledge I DO know the answer to your AA and SSI question as I assume it would be nationally universal for the most part. I was told by our county and by SS office that you CAN get both. BUT AA is "primary" if you will and it would be subtracted from the SSI. Here SSI is approx $600 per month. If your AA is less than that for that particular child - it may be worth applying for. If AA is more than that - you wouldn't get anything anyway.

Lisa said...

In MI, where I've adopted six children, we do not have a PCA program - you are encouraged to do "whatever is best for your family" on your dime - GOOD LUCK!

As for SSI, I have one child that probably would qualify for it, but here your adoption subsidy is decreased by the exact amount of SSI you're awarded so what's the point if all you're doing is getting two checks (and another government agency to mess it up) for the exact same amount you were getting to begin with with one check? Also, SSI requires your family to financially qualify for it and you're supposed to tell them EVERY.SINGLE.DIME you get. If your child gets money for their birthday? You're supposed to report it. If your husband changes his exemptions and his take-home pay increases, you have to report it, tax refund? report it. Now, I'm sure most people don't report everything they're supposed to, but wouldn't it be the foster/adoptive parent who would get nailed for it - OF COURSE! I do plan on pursuing the SSI when the adoption subsidy ends because my son will undoubtably need some type of income when he runs away at 18 and is living on the streets (his plan, not mine), but until then we're leaving things as is. We have a home-based therapist through our countys' mental health program who is "supposed" to advocate for any and all programs my son qualifies for, but so far I'm not seeing that happening. Apparently, they don't think anyone needs "real" services until they're adults.

Ekie said...

I am a PCA myself and have helped several families apply for/ go through the PCA process. Please email me and I will you email you back much more than you ever wanted to know.

Anonymous said...

I am a social worker and often help clients apply for SSI benefits. I have never worked with someone with Adoption Assistance benefits but my guess is it will count as income when they are determining eligibility. SSI benefits are determined on the person's needs based on their income, so it might be that it will just make the amount of SSI she receives less. It is definitely worth looking into. The application for SSI can be found on-line on the social security website. Hope this helps.

evil social worker said...

I always encourage the families to apply for SSI. It might or might not be anymore then the AA, but it belongs to the child so that when they turn 18 it is already in place. It takes a long time and most people have to appeal denials, a couple of times which is why its best to do it way before the kid turns 18.

Not sure what PCA (Post Crazy Adoption?)is so guess my state doesn't have it.