A caretaker relative must be related to the child by blood, adoption, or marriage. Relatives by blood or adoption must be within the 5th degree of kinship. See WAG 03-05-01-e for specific kinship definitions (e.g., first cousin once removed) and a list of items to prove relative status. A person who is or was married to a relative within the 5th degree of kinship can be a caretaker relative. A step-sibling can be a caretaker relative.
For Family Health Plans, a child can qualify for All Kids benefits through age 18. However, to meet the definition of 'caretaker relative', the relative must live with a 'dependent child'. A dependent child is defined as a child less than 18 years old. For example, a parent whose only child is 18 years old would not qualify for the FamilyCare program as a parent/caretaker relative. Rather, that parent may qualify for the ACA Adult program.
A caretaker relative must be one of these:
Adopted children are related to their adoptive parents and their relatives. The degree of kinship for adoptive parents and relatives is the same as blood relatives. A biological relative of an adopted child can be a caretaker relative. Filing unit policy applies only to the adoptive parents and siblings of the child.
The spouse of a blood, step, or adoptive relative is the same degree of kinship as the relative. The spouse can be a caretaker relative even if the marriage has ended by death or divorce.
To count a man as a child's father, he must be the legal father. He is the legal father if he was married to the child's mother, or in a civil union with the child's other parent when the child was conceived or born, unless there is a court order saying he is not the father.
If the mother was unmarried or not in a civil union when the child was conceived and born, the man is not the legal father unless one of the following things has happened:
Once a man becomes a child's legal father, his relatives are the child's blood relatives. Their degree of kinship is the same as other blood relatives.
If the alleged father of a child applies for TANF and the mother is not in the home, the case may be presumed eligible while the legal relationship (paternity) is being established.
The alleged father must cooperate with the Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) in establishing paternity. If he fails to cooperate, his status as the child's father can no longer be presumed, and he and the child are ineligible.
As long as the alleged father is cooperating with DCSE, there is no time limit on how long the case can stay in presumed status.
Policy used to say that a man could be considered a father if he signed a statement saying that he was the father of the child. Since March 4, 1991, this is no longer true. But if a man has continuously been in an AFDC/TANF case since before March 4, 1991, by signing a statement, he still qualifies. If he becomes ineligible for AFDC/TANF for another reason, the alleged father can only apply for TANF on a presumed basis and must cooperate with DCSE in establishing paternity.
When a child has no legal father, a relative of the alleged father may qualify as the child's caretaker relative if the alleged father is not in the home. The alleged father's relative must show that they are related to him. They also must show that he is more than likely the natural father by one of the following:
See WAG 03-05-01-c for more about how the alleged father's relatives can show they are related to the child.
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