Many California residents are single parents who share custody of their children. Because many struggle financially, they receive public assistance. However, it’s fair to wonder what might happen to that assistance if you have shared custody with your ex.
What happens with public assistance if your child lives with you?
If you have primary child custody in California, it means your child is part of your household. As a result, you are entitled to list them on your application when applying for public assistance. Anyone who lives in your home can be listed on the application.
If your ex is the one who has primary custody of your child and the child lives with them, you cannot list them on an application for public assistance. However, if you and your ex have an agreement where you share the costs of raising your child, it counts toward your ability to get public assistance.
How does public assistance work?
If you need public assistance, all the income of people living in your home is counted toward your eligibility for it. When you have California child custody and your child lives with you, it can help you to receive public assistance even if your income is slightly higher than the national poverty level. Since 2011, that amount has been $903 per person for a single member household.
Applications for public assistance must include only true information. If you lie, your application can immediately be denied and you might not be able to apply again in the future. Always tell your caseworker if and when your situation changes. Whether those changes involve your income, your child’s living situation or expenses toward raising them, you must inform your caseworker.
What if you don’t have custody?
If you don’t have custody of your child, you are not legally allowed to claim them on your application for public assistance. Only the parent who has custody of the child can claim them.