Erroneous confirmation of adoption-assistance eligibility cannot justify awarding of benefits

Topic: Public Assistance, Decided by: Judge Fry 
Docket Number: 0000000 , Decision Date: September 11, 2023 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

An adoptive mother challenged the termination of adoption-assistance benefits, claiming that a Division of Family and Children Services worker verbally confirmed to her that the adopted child would remain eligible even after she turned 18. The Court ultimately ruled against the mother, both because there was no credible evidence that the caseworker had made such a statement, and because any purported misinformation would not justify awarding benefits to otherwise ineligible individuals.  The controlling law and policy dictate that private adoptions, like the one in this case, do not qualify for assistance once the adoptee has reached age 18.

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