Fee Waiver

What is a fee waiver?

If you want to access the money in your master trust account to use for something you want or need, you have a right to request this through a form called a “fee waiver.”  

Can I request a fee waiver?

Any child who has a master trust account and is in DCF care is able to ask for a fee waiver.

Who can request a fee waiver for me?

You can start the process to ask for a fee waiver by asking your case manager, attorney, or Guardian Ad Litem to help you prepare an “Application for Review of Assessed Fee or Change in Allowance.” This application is with the Notice of Fee Assessment that you are supposed to be given at each judicial review. Click here for a copy of the form.

Do I need to wait to request a fee waiver?

No. You can ask for a fee waiver at any time. Your case manager must give you notice of your ability to ask for a fee waiver at every judicial review. The notice must also be given to the court and your guardian ad litem, attorney, parents, foster parents, and case manager. However, you do not have to wait until a judicial review to request a fee waiver.

What do I use the fee waiver form for?

You can use the application to ask the State not to take some or all of the “cost of care” from your account, freeing up the money to be used for something else you want. 

Are there any tips on filling out the form?

As you get ready to fill out the form you should think about what you need to use the money for. Your request will not be accepted if you don’t have a good reason. Your application should say what you plan to do with the money and why the request is important.

Think: Do you need one big sum of money for a one-time expense (like a musical instrument or summer camp) or an increase in your monthly amount (like music lessons or club membership)?

Adding details show you have a plan and is more likely to be accepted  than a general or unclear request. Keep in mind the goal is to show that the money will be better spent if used for the reason you are asking.

A group of at least three people will decide whether to approve your request. When you submit your “Application For Review of Assessed Fee or Change In Allowance”, you can ask to meet with the group (Committee) so you can explain your reasons.

What are some reasons to ask for a fee waiver?  

  • You are a parent – so you need the money to support your child. 
  • You have a hobby or talent that you need financial help with – so you need the money for private music or sports lessons, summer camps, or special equipment. 
  • You are turning 18 – so you need the money to get ready to live on your own, for example you need to save in order to pay rent, utility deposits, or buy furniture. 
  • You need tutoring to catch up on some subjects or to prepare for tests. 
  • You have a disability and need equipment or services not covered by Medicaid or the school. 

Remember, you will need to give your reason in writing for why you want the money. The more details you can give, the better. 

How do I fill out the form?

The Application for Review of Assessed Fee or Change in Allowance is the “fee waiver” form that you must use to ask the State/CBC to let you keep more money. Click here to access a copy of the form online. You can ask for three different things: 

  •  Request for monthly re-assessment (1) if you need a large amount of money every month to be available to you — for example to take care of a child or (2) if you need to save money for two or more months to buy an expensive item, such as furniture or rental deposits before you turn 18. 
  •  Request for “one time” credit You may ask for a one-time credit when you want to buy an item or service. 
  • Request for change in allowance Ask for a change in allowance if there is an amount of money you need every month, such as for music lessons or tutoring. It is also a way to save money for a larger purchase, or to have cash on hand when you turn 18. The term “allowance” used here does not mean the money you get every month from your placement; instead, it is the money that stays in the account when your cost of care is subtracted. 

What if my request for a fee waiver is denied?

If the Committee denies your request for a fee waiver or change of allowance you can file an appeal. You can have an attorney help you with an appeal and should be given a list of attorneys to help you do this. Ask your case manager, guardian ad litem or attorney if you have one, or the judge at your next court hearing if you were not given a list of lawyers to help you appeal.

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