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New Bill Seeks to Ensure Foster Children Retain Survivor and Disability Payments

A new bill seeks to pass legislation to keep the Department of Human Resources from taking benefits from foster children. Advocates state that foster children are entitled to this money and that it should be utilized to provide that child with savings that will act as a jumping-off point when they leave the foster care system. Those who support the bill state that the funds from the child's benefits and property should be used for that individual child. They claim that taking these benefits is a roundabout way in which the state intends to create savings for the state's general fund.

Those who oppose the bill claim that the state of Maryland needs this money to benefit those very children within the foster system. The money is taken and used to cover the cost of care, including medical expenses, even for those with extensive medical needs. They claim that if the new bill is passed, the services provided to those within the system will be cut.

The Court of Appeals recently determined that the state of Maryland is forbidden to apply to collect the Social Security benefits without notification to the foster child from which it took these benefits. This notification is required alongside a detailed summary of how the money was used. This means that, as for now, at least foster child can make attempts to fight the action and set up a fund of their own in which the benefits can be deposited.