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Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP)
What Is KCSP?
The Department of Children and Family Services’ Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP) provides cash assistance of $450 per month for each eligible child who resides with a qualified relative other than a parent.
Who Is Eligible?
To be eligible for KCSP, the family must meet ALL 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 even after the marriage is terminated by death or divorce.
- The child must have income of less than $450 per month.
- The child must be under 18 years of age.
- The child must be a resident of Louisiana.
- The qualified relative must have legal custody or obtain it within one year of certification. Legal custody may be through a court and verified through court records or other reliable
documents, or provisional custody by mandate. Provisional custody by mandate is a notarized authorization made by the person who has custodial rights of the child to a person of legal age to provide care, custody and control of a minor child.
- The qualified relative 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, except income for children receiving foster care payments or SSI, is considered a determination of eligibility. This includes income from Social Security, Veteran’s benefits, Railroad Retirement, wages and any other regular income.
- The child must not receive SSI or foster care payments.
- The qualified relative must assign to the state all rights to child support from any other person and cooperate with Child Support Enforcement in obtaining child support for the child unless good cause is established.
- 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.
How Do I Apply?
- Complete the application form.
- Be interviewed.
- Answer all questions completely and honestly.
- Provide proof of statements made in the application regarding eligibility. This proof may include documentation of income, birth, or baptismal record to show the child’s age/relationship, a copy of the court-awarded custody documents or notarized statement, or other documents needed to establish the child’s relationship to the qualified relative.
Visit www.dcfs.la.gov/cafe to apply online. If you require application assistance, go to a DCFS community partner in your area. To request an application by mail, call 1-888-LAHELP-U (1-888-524-3578).
Know Your Rights
As an applicant, you have certain rights.
You have a right to:
- Receive an application the same day you ask for it if the request is made in person.
- 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 or a discussion with a supervisor if you disagree with any action taken on your case.
If you believe that you have been discriminated against because of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, or on the basis of religion or political beliefs, you may email your complaint to DCFS. BureauofCivilRights@LA.GOV or obtain a Civil Rights Complaint form at any local DCFS Office. You may also write to Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Regional Office for Civil Rights, 1301 Young Street – Suite 1169, Dallas, TX 75202.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get personal assistance with my KCSP benefits?
- Call the LAHelpU Customer Service Center (888) 524-3578. The regular hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., M-F. or email the Customer Service Center at LAHelpU.DCFS@la.gov with a brief explanation of your reason for writing.
- If you are a current KCSP recipient, please include your full name as it appears in our records, all of your contact information and your case identification number (the smaller number below the 16-digit number on the front of your EBT card).
- If you are not a current KCSP recipient, please include your full name as it appears in our records, all of your contact information, your date of birth and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
Can I contact my caseworker through CAFE? How?
Yes, KCSP clients can contact their caseworkers through the upgraded CAFÉ Self-Service Portal at www.dcfs.la.gov/cafe.
- Log into your CAFÉ account
- Click on “Check My Cases” on your My Account page
- Click on the “Details” link next to the case you are asking about (for example, “KCSP Details” next to your KCSP case) under “Case Summary.” This will take you to the Case Details page.
- On the Case Details page, scroll down to the section labeled “Questions About Your Case?”
- Select your question or topic from the drop-down menu (for example, “I would like to reschedule my interview” or “Why did my case close or benefit amount change?”)
- Click the “Submit Now” button to notify your caseworker of your question
- A message will then be sent to your caseworker for a response. Please note that the response can take up to two business days.
- When your caseworker responds, you will receive a Notification in your CAFÉ account Inbox. Please check your CAFÉ account regularly.
NOTE: If you just need general information about CAFÉ, please use the HELP or FAQs section within CAFÉ. If you would like to request changes or the closure of your case, please complete and submit a Change Report. For other questions, use the “Questions About Your Case?” feature described above. If your question or concern does not appear in this section, you may contact our Customer Service Center at 1-888-LA-HELP-U (1-888-524-3578).
How can I report the misuse of KCSP benefits?
The agency relies 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 filling out the online form.
To report a complaint to the Fraud & Recovery Unit, retailers and the public may call the 1-888-LAHELP-U (1-888-524-3578), 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.