45 CFR 233.90 - Factors specific to AFDC.
(a) State plan requirements. A State plan under title IV-A of the Social Security Act shall provide that:
(1) The determination whether a child has been deprived of parental support or care by reason of the death, continued absence from the home, or physical or mental incapacity of a parent, or (if the State plan includes such cases) the unemployment of his or her parent who is the principal earner will be made only in relation to the child's natural or adoptive parent, or in relation to the child's stepparent who is married, under State law, to the child's natural or adoptive parent and is legally obligated to support the child under State law of general applicability which requires stepparents to support stepchildren to the same extent that natural or adoptive parents are required to support their children. Under this requirement, the inclusion in the family, or the presence in the home, of a “substitute parent” or “man-in-the-house” or any individual other than one described in this paragraph is not an acceptable basis for a finding of ineligibility or for assuming the availability of income by the State; and
(2) Where it has reason to believe that a child receiving aid is in an unsuitable environment because of known or suspected instances of physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or exploitation, or negligent treatment or maltreatment of such child, under circumstances which indicate the child's health or welfare is threatened, the State or local agency will:
(i) Bring such condition to the attention of a court, law-enforcement agency, or other appropriate agency in the State, providing whatever data it has with respect to the situation;
(ii) In reporting such conditions, use the same criteria as are used in the State for all other parents and children; and
(iii) Cooperate with the court or other agency in planning and implementing action in the best interest of the child.
(b) Conditions for plan approval. (1) A child may not be denied AFDC either initially or subsequently “because of the conditions of the home in which the child resides”, or because the home is considered “unsuitable”, unless “provision is otherwise made pursuant to a State statute for adequate care and assistance with respect to such child”. (Section 404(b) of the Social Security Act.)
(2) An otherwise eligible child who is under the age of 18 years may not be denied AFDC, regardless of whether she attends school (unless she is required to participate in the JOBS program pursuant to § 250.30 and she is assigned to educational activities) or makes satisfactory grades.
(3) A state may elect to include in its AFDC program children age 18 who are full-time students in a secondary school, or in the equivalent level of vocational or technical training, and who may reasonably be expected to complete the program before reaching age 19.
(i) A child may not be denied AFDC either initially or subsequently because a parent or other caretaker relative fails to cooperate with the child support agency in performing any of the activities needed to:
(A) Establish the paternity of a child born out of wedlock; or
(B) Obtain support from a person having a legal duty to support the child.
(ii) Any parent or caretaker relative who fails to so cooperate shall be treated in accordance with § 232.12 of this chapter.
(6) An otherwise eligible child may not be denied AFDC if a parent is mentally or physically incapacitated as defined in paragraph (c)(1)(iv) of this section.
(c) Federal financial participation. (1) Federal financial participation under title IV-A of the Social Security Act in payments with respect to a “dependent child,” as defined in section 406(a) of the Act, is available within the following interpretations:
(i) Needy child deprived by reason of. The phrase “needy child * * * deprived * * * by reason of” requires that both need and deprivation of parental support or care exist in the individual case. The phrase encompasses the situation of any child who is in need and otherwise eligible, and whose parent - father or mother - either has died, has a physical or mental incapacity, or is continually absent from the home. This interpretation is equally applicable whether the parent was the chief bread winner or devoted himself or herself primarily to the care of the child, and whether or not the parents were married to each other. The determination whether a child has been deprived of parental support or care is made in relation to the child's natural parent or, as appropriate, the adoptive parent or stepparent described in paragraph (a) of this section.
(ii) Death of a parent. If either parent of a child is deceased, the child is deprived of parental support or care, and may, if he is in need and otherwise eligible, be included within the scope of the program.
(iii) Continued absence of the parent from the home. Continued absence of the parent from the home constitutes the reason for deprivation of parental support or care when the parent is out of the home, the nature of the absence is such as either to interrupt or to terminate the parent's functioning as a provider of maintenance, physical care, or guidance for the child, and the known or indefinite duration of the absence precludes counting on the parent's performance of the function of planning for the present support or care of the child. If these conditions exist, the parent may be absent for any reason, and may have left only recently or some time previously; except that a parent whose absence is occasioned solely by reason of the performance of active duty in the uniformed services of the United States (as defined in section 101(3) of Title 37, United States code) is not considered absent from the home. A parent who is a convicted offender but is permitted to live at home while serving a court-imposed sentence by performing unpaid public work or unpaid community service during the workday is considered absent from the home.
(iv) “Physical or mental incapacity”. “Physical or mental incapacity” of a parent shall be deemed to exist when one parent has a physical or mental defect, illness, or impairment. The incapacity shall be supported by competent medical testimony and must be of such a debilitating nature as to reduce substantially or eliminate the parent's ability to support or care for the otherwise eligible child and be expected to last for a period of at least 30 days. In making the determination of ability to support, the agency shall take into account the limited employment opportunities of handicapped individuals.
(v) “Living with [a specified relative] in a place of residence maintained * * * as his * * * own home”. (A) A child may be considered to meet the requirement of living with one of the relatives specified in the Act if his home is with a parent or a person in one of the following groups:
( 1 ) Any blood relative, including those of half-blood, and including first cousins, nephews, or nieces, and persons of preceding generations as denoted by prefixes of grand, great, or great-great.
( 2 ) Stepfather, stepmother, stepbrother, and stepsister.
( 3 ) Person who legally adopt a child or his parent as well as the natural and other legally adopted children of such persons, and other relatives of the adoptive parents in accordance with State law.
( 4 ) Spouses of any persons named in the above groups even after the marriage is terminated by death or divorce.
(B) A home is the family setting maintained or in process of being established, as evidenced by assumption and continuation of responsibility for day to day care of the child by the relative with whom the child is living. A home exists so long as the relative exercises responsibility for the care and control of the child, even though either the child or the relative is temporarily absent from the customary family setting. Within this interpretation, the child is considered to be “living with” his relative even though:
( 1 ) He is under the jurisdiction of the court (e.g., receiving probation services or protective supervision); or
( 2 ) Legal custody is held by an agency that does not have physical possession of the child.
(2) Federal financial participation is available in:
(i) Initial payments made on behalf of a child who goes to live with a relative specified in section 406(a)(1) of the Social Security Act within 30 days of the receipt of the first payment, provided payments are not made for concurrent period for the same child in the home of another relative or as foster care under title IV-E;
(ii) Payments made for the entire month in the course of which a child leaves the home of a specified relative, provided payments are not made for a concurrent period for the same child in the home of another relative or as foster care under title IV-E; and
(iii) Payments made to persons acting for relatives specified in section 406(a)(1) of the Act in emergency situations that deprive the child of the care of the relative through whom he has been receiving aid, for a temporary period necessary to make and carry out plans for the child's continuing care and support.
(iv) At State option, (A) payments with respect to a pregnant woman with no other children receiving assistance, and additionally, at State option, (B) payments for the purpose of meeting special needs occasioned by or resulting from pregnancy both for the pregnant woman with no other children as well as for the pregnant woman receiving AFDC. However, for both paragraphs (c)(2)(iv) (A) and (B) of this section it must be medically verified that the child is expected to be born in the month such payments are made or within the three-month period following such month of payment, and who, if such child had been born and was living with her in the month of payment, would be eligible for aid to families with dependent children. Federal financial participation is not available to meet the needs of the unborn child. (Refer to Medicaid regulations at 42 CFR 435.115 for Medicaid coverage of pregnant women.)
(3) Federal financial participation (at the 50 percent rate) is available in any expenses incurred in establishing eligibility for AFDC, including expenses incident to obtaining necessary information to determine the existence of incapacity of a parent or pregnancy of a mother.