Some Florida families are getting checks in the mail from Gov. Ron DeSantis.
On July 15, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced that nearly 59,000 Florida families will receive a one-time payment of $450 per child. This one-time payment assists families who are being affected by rising inflation and preparing to send their children back to school.
News4JAX received information from the Florida Department of Children and Families, the agency administering the program, on Wednesday.
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Here are some answers to frequently asked questions:
Who is eligible to receive the check?
In order to receive a check, Floridians must fall into one of the eligible categories below at the time enrolled populations were captured for this payment on July 1, 2022.
Eligible recipients include:
- Foster parents
- Relative caregivers
- Non-relative caregivers
- Families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance (Note: Eligibility is based on federal TANF requirements and the state’s TANF Plan.)
- Guardianship Assistance Program participants
Do you have to apply to receive a check?
No. You don’t have to apply for this one-time payment and the checks are mailed directly to the recipients.
News4JAX was told those eligible would receive a check within the next seven days.
Who may I contact if I am eligible and feel like I should have received a check?
DCF is setting up a hotline specifically for the payment where Floridians can call and ask about their eligibility if they feel they should be included, or if they were supposed to receive a check but didn’t, Vanessa Brito, Director and Owner of Myami Marketing Inc., a Miami based full- service Political Consulting firm, told News4JAX.
How is the money from the governor’s budget broken up to help these families?
It will support nearly 59,000 Florida families and that includes foster families. First Lady Casey DeSantis held a roundtable discussion in Tampa on Friday and said that foster families, adoptive families, and single mothers are eligible for the checks.
“... You know, the governor signed his budget, and obviously we’re putting a lot into that,” she said. “Making sure that we’re doing everything we can on behalf of Florida families. ... So $35 million within that budget will then go to support our foster and adoptive families -- our single moms across the state -- so they will get a one-time payment of $450. "
We asked DCF why single mothers and fathers weren’t mentioned in the news release and how the agency chooses the family. We’re still waiting to hear back.
The American Rescue Plan Act created a $1 billion fund to assist needy families affected by the pandemic within the TANF program, according to the release. The one-time payments ensured that $35.5 million would be received by Florida families. Had these awards not been made, the funding would have otherwise reverted back to the federal government.
(Note: Eligibility is based on federal TANF requirements and the state’s TANF Plan.)
Is this the only effort the governor’s office has made to help foster families?
No. The Freedom First Budget gives $133.9 million for services for those in the child welfare system. It also has an increase of $300 per month to the child care subsidy for foster parents which covers the cost of early education and childcare.
We are still waiting to have a few questions answered by DCF. We will update this article with that information when it becomes available.
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