Temporary Assistance/Case Management Manual

0205.025.00 Relationship of Payee to Child

IM-77 July 15, 2021; IM-28 March 22, 2017; IM-52 April 26, 2002

13 CSR 40-2.310(5)(D) states that Temporary Assistance may be granted to children living with their father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, brother, sister, stepfather, stepmother (but not their parents i.e. stepgrandparents), stepbrother, stepsister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, first cousin of a parent, nephew or niece. Persons of preceding generations, as indicated by the prefix “great” are also eligible caretakers.

This regulation also stipulates that a legal guardian may receive Temporary Assistance for a child who lives in their home.

This is interpreted to include children living with the following relatives:

  1. any blood relative including those of half-blood and including first cousins, first cousins of parents, nephews, or nieces.  Relationships to persons of preceding generations as denoted by prefixes of grand, great, or great-great are within this definition;
  2. stepfather, stepmother, stepbrother, and stepsister;
    NOTE: In the event of a divorce, the relationship between a step parent and a step child is severed.
  3. persons legally adopting a child or adopting the parent of a child, and other relatives by adoption meeting the criteria established for blood relatives (biological relatives of an adopted child remain eligible payees, but adoption will sever all biological relationships for purposes of mandatory assistance group members);
  4. unrelated legal guardians are eligible payees and may qualify for a cash payment if otherwise eligible (legal guardians related to the child should not be considered unrelated legal guardians). Unrelated legal guardian cases are paid from state-only funds. Carefully enter information into the system to identify them as unrelated legal guardian cases. i.e. if a biological parent and step parent divorce but the step parent has legal guardianship of the child he/she may be an eligible payee due to legal guardianship status making them an unrelated guardian. A legal guardian is also defined as an unrelated person given legal custody by the Juvenile Court.  However, such a person is not eligible if the child is eligible for alternative care payments through Children’s Services.

NOTE: The state of Missouri does not acknowledge marriages unless there is a valid marriage license. However, D.L.H v. J.D.H., 521 S.W.3d 324, 326 (Mo.App.2017) states a person is considered legally married in Missouri if they are considered legally married in another state. Therefore, while civil unions and domestic partnerships are not legally recognized as marriages in Missouri, common law marriages created in other states that legally establish common law marriage will be recognized in the state of Missouri.

Documentation of a common law marriage could include, but is not limited to, tax records, marriage agreements, wills, proof of joint ownership of property, or proof of co-habitation. If the validation of a common law marriage is needed to determine relationship for a Temporary Assistance payee or child, go through proper supervisory channels to submit an IM-14 for clarification.