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Quiz Yourself...(The Answers)

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1. Documents grandparents must provide in order to acquire most services or gain access to vital records include ALL of those listed:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Proof of Citizenship
  • Social Security Card
  • Medical Records / Proof of Immunization

These documents are required by most government agencies in order to access vital records, or apply for various programs.

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2. Custody / Guardianship:

  • NO. The grandparent may obtain a Social Security card for the grandchild without being the legal guardian. The grandparent will need a copy of the grandchild’s birth certificate, baptismal record, or proof of citizenship.
  • YES. In Illinois, only parents and guardians of children can obtain birth certificates. If the parent will not provide a birth certificate for the grandparent, the grandparent will need to get an order from a judge giving permission to obtain a birth certificate for the grandchild. This can be done through the guardianship process in Probate Court.

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3. General Assistance:

  • YES. TANF provides financial assistance in the form of a monthly check to help families care for children who need help. This program also provides help to children who have been deprived of parental support or care. Most grandchildren under a grandparent’s care are eligible to receive child-only grants under the TANF program. This means that the grandparent’s income and assets are not counted toward the child’s eligibility.
  • NO. Grandparents do not need to have legal custody of their grandchildren in order for the grandchildren to receive Medicaid. Grandparents will need to prove that they are the primary caregiver. They will also need to show that their grandchildren are deprived of parental care, proof of their grandchildren’s ages, their relationship to the grandparent, and the current living arrangement.
  • NO. In many cases, grandchildren being raised by grandparents qualify for Medicaid. Grandparents do not need to be receiving public assistance for their grandchildren to receive Medicaid under a child-only grant.
  • YES. Grandparents can apply for this service for their grandchildren. For more information on WIC services and the nearest agency, contact the Illinois Department of Public Health at 1-800-323-4769.
  • YES. Grandchildren who are eligible for TANF are also eligible for Medicaid health care assistance. For TANF information, contact the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) at 1-800-252-8635.

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4. School Enrollment:

  • YES. Under the federal McKinney-Vento Act, 42 U.S.C. 11431 et. Seq., youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian are considered "unaccompanied youth" and have a right to attend school. The homeless education laws require schools to enroll homeless students immediately. Each school has a McKinney-Vento laiason the relative should ask to speak with to enroll the child/youth as a "homeless" student. The relative does not have to be the guardian to enroll the child in school.

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Note: Grandparents do not need to be senior citizens to use these resources.

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