Several types of financial subsidies are available to help families meet the special needs of their adopted children:
- Adoption Assistance Program – The Adoption Assistance Program allows states to provide monthly subsidies to eligible families that adopt children with special needs or circumstances. This subsidy is paid for with a combination of federal, state and, in some instances, local funds. Children receiving this benefit may be entitled to additional assistance, including Medicaid coverage.
- State Adoption Subsidy Program – The State Adoption Subsidy Program is a financial assistance program funded entirely by the state of Ohio. It provides monthly subsidies to families that adopt children with special needs who are ineligible for the Adoption Assistance Program. Children who qualify also may be eligible for Medicaid coverage.
- Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance Program – The Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance Program is an agreement between member states that ensures continued medical assistance and subsidies for adopted children with special needs who move across state lines. Nearly all states, including Ohio, participate in this program.
- Post Adoption Special Services Subsidy Program (PASS)– The subsidy is available to all adoptive families, with the exception of step parent adoptions, regardless of the type of adoption (international, attorney, public or private agency). The child does not have to meet either the federal or state definition of special needs. Each child may be eligible for up to $10,000 per year ($15,000 if residential treatment is recommended by a qualified professional). In order to qualify for PASSS the following criteria must be met:
- The child must have a special need consisting of a physical, developmental, mental, or emotional condition.
- The child’s special need must have existed before the adoption was finalized or can be attributed to a pre-adoptive condition.
- The child is less than 18 years of age (or is less than 21 years of age and mentally or physically handicapped).
- The family has explored other sources of assistance, but the resources are inadequate or are not available to meet the needs of the child
- The expenses are beyond the economic resources of the adoptive family
- The child is not in the custody of a Public Children Services Agency (PCSA).
- The family resides in the state of Ohio.
There is no fixed income limit for PASSS. The main concern is if the service your child requires is beyond the family’s ability to provide. Therefore, even if you have a good income, if the cost of service is beyond your economic resources, you may be able to receive assistance. PASSS is intended to pay for services not covered under other adoption subsidy programs, insurance programs or Medicaid. PASSS funds may be used to cover medical or psychological services that are deemed necessary to meet the needs of the child. Respite care and the maintenance costs of residential treatment programs may also be covered under the PASSS program. PASSS will not cover educational services, camps, or dental services/orthodontia.
Each Public Children Services Agency (PCSA) has a PASSS committee which reviews each application that is submitted. If the committee requires more information you may be asked to submit additional documentation. The PASSS committee makes a recommendation to the public children services agency director who then approves or denies the application. The family is notified in writing of the decision. If you are not in agreement with the decision regarding your PASSS application you may apply for a state hearing.
All agencies that provide adoption programs are licensed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.