California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1809


Introduced by Assembly Member Lopez

February 8, 2016


An act to amend Section 95504 of the Government Code, and to amend Sections 11151, 11257.5, 11322.5, 11375, 11450, 11450.5, 14140, and 18923 of, and to repeal Sections 11155, 11155.1, 11155.2, 11155.6, 11157.5, 11257, and 11260 of, the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to CalWORKs.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1809, as introduced, Lopez. CalWORKs eligibility: asset limits.

Existing federal law provides for allocation of federal funds through the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant program to eligible states, with California’s version of this program being known as the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program. Under the CalWORKs program, each county provides cash assistance and other benefits to qualified low-income families and individuals who meet specified eligibility criteria, including limitations on income and assets generally applicable to public assistance programs. Existing law continuously appropriates money from the General Fund to pay for a share of aid grant costs under the CalWORKs program.

This bill would repeal those limitations on assets with regard to eligibility for CalWORKs, thereby, eliminating the consideration of an individual’s or family’s assets as a condition of eligibility for CalWORKs. The bill would also make conforming changes. By increasing the duties of counties administering the CalWORKs program, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would declare that no appropriation would be made for purposes of the bill pursuant to the provision continuously appropriating funds for the CalWORKs program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the
2following:

3(a) In 1996, the United States Congress passed the Personal
4Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act
5(PRWORA), known as welfare reform, which created the
6Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. TANF
7gives states power to design their own programs, including
8establishing asset limits. The California Work Opportunity and
9Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program is California’s
10program that implements federal welfare reform provisions.

11(b) In California, to qualify for public assistance under
12CalWORKs, impoverished families must demonstrate that they
13are both income- and asset- poor. Under current law, a low-income
14family will not qualify for assistance if the family has savings or
15other assets, excluding a home and a vehicle of a specific value,
16exceeding the asset limit of $2,000. The asset test has been
17removed for both CalFresh and Medi-Cal.

18(c) Research published in 2015 shows that very few families
19(0.1 percent) applying for or receiving CalWORKs assistance are
20found to exceed the vehicle and cash asset test.

21(d) Other states, realizing that very few families had assets over
22the limit, have removed the limit with the goal of streamlining the
23eligibility process and cutting down on administrative costs. In
24Virginia, this decision has saved the state an estimated $400,000
25annually, and to date, the State of Virginia has reported no negative
P3    1impacts. A study published in 2015 has estimated that if California
2were to repeal the CalWORKs asset limit, there would be minimal
3to no increase in caseloads and an annual $6.4 million in
4administrative savings allowing county case workers to spend less
5time reviewing the value of vehicles and savings and more time
6helping people get the resources they need to get back to work.

7(e) Asset limits were intended to ensure that public assistance
8programs provide benefits only to those with too few resources to
9support themselves. But years of research and practitioner
10experience has proven that personal savings and assets are precisely
11the kinds of resources that allow people to move off public benefits
12programs. Without being able to maintain or build up a small
13savings cushion, these families are highly vulnerable to falling
14into debt in the event of an emergency or other unexpected expense.

15(f) It is the intent of the Legislature to repeal the asset test for
16the CalWORKs program, thereby aligning program rules with
17Medi-Cal and CalFresh, making the program more efficient, and
18increasing the capacity of poor families to exit poverty.

19

SEC. 2.  

Section 95504 of the Government Code is amended
20to read:

21

95504.  

(a) The nonprofit facilitator shall subcontract with
22service providers to implement the project around the state. The
23nonprofit facilitator shall make an attempt to select service
24providers for programs of different size, geographical distribution,
25and target population to be served. Additionally, the nonprofit
26facilitator may consider giving special consideration to service
27providers that demonstrate partnerships with local public agencies.

28(b) The service providers shall perform all of the following
29duties in implementing the project:

30(1) Recruit and select participants who meet the following
31criteria:

32(A) The individual is at least 18 years of age.

33(B) The individual is a member of a household with an income
34of not more than 80 percent of the area median income based on
35United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
36guidelines at the time of program enrollment.

37(C) The individual is not a dependent of another person for
38federal income tax purposes.

39(D) The individual is not a debtor for a judgment resulting from
40nonpayment of a court-ordered child support obligation.

P4    1(E) The individual meets eligibility criteria as defined by the
2funding source for the program created under this title.

3(2) Develop and sign contracts with each participant, to include
4all program requirements and policies governing the participant’s
5account.

6(3) Assist participants in opening individual development
7accounts.begin delete CalWORKs recipients participating in the project may
8consider using a restricted account as described in Section 11155.2
9of the Welfare and Institutions Code. Otherwise, theend delete
begin insert Theend insert accounts
10shall be established usingbegin delete a parallelend deletebegin insert anend insert account structurebegin insert parallel
11to a restricted account as described in former Section 11155.2 of
12the Welfare and Institutions Codeend insert
that meets both of the following
13requirements:

14(A) One separate account shall be established for each
15participant in a federally or state insured financial institution,
16community development financial institution, any financial
17institution eligible to hold an individual retirement account, or
18community development credit union, in which each participant’s
19savings are deposited and maintained. The program participant
20may withdraw his or her own savings at any time.

21(B) Another separate, parallel account shall be established and
22maintained by service providers in which the matching funds from
23state, federal, and private donations are kept. The parallel account
24may contain all matching funds for a pool of any service provider’s
25participants.

26(4) Help individuals receive their matching funds at the
27conclusion of the program.

28(5) Provide participants with a minimum of 12 hours of financial
29education and training. The education and training shall include,
30but need not be limited to, all of the following:

31(A) Household and personal budget management.

32(B) Economic literacy.

33(C) Credit repair.

34(6) Develop a program dismissal process for participants who
35do not fulfill program participation requirements, and seek to
36ensure that matching funds are used for their intended purposes.

37(7) Collect and maintain information about their programs, in
38a manner that provides the capacity to report semiannually all of
39the following information to the department:

P5    1(A) The number and demographic characteristics of participants
2enrolled in the program.

3(B) The number of accounts established.

4(C) The individual and aggregate savings level of participants.

5(D) The number of participants who closed accounts and the
6amount of associated savings.

7(E) The actual and proposed program budget.

8(F) The size and origin of matching pool funds received,
9obligated, and paid to participants.

10(G) The program achievements and obstacles.

11(H) Twelve-month program and financial projections.

12(I) At least one participant profile.

13

SEC. 3.  

Section 11151 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is
14amended to read:

15

11151.  

An applicant or recipient shall be ineligible to receive
16public assistance unless the property he owns is held for the
17following purposes:

begin delete

181.

end delete

19begin insert(a)end insert The property is used to provide the applicant or recipient
20with a home and conforms to the provisions of Section 11152begin delete of
21this codeend delete
.

begin delete

222.

end delete

23begin insert(b)end insert The property is producing income for the support of the
24applicant or recipient and conforms to the provisions of Section
2511153.7begin delete of this codeend delete.

begin delete

263.

end delete

27begin insert(c)end insert The property is held as a reserve to meet a contingent need,
28not included within the standard of assistance for which an aid
29payment is made, and conforms to the provisions of Section 11154 begin delete30 of this codeend delete .

begin delete

314.

end delete

32begin insert(d)end insert The property is personal in nature, or meets a special need
33of the applicant or recipient, or is part of a self-care or rehabilitation
34plan, or is not available for expenditure or disposition by the
35applicant or recipientbegin delete and conforms to provisions of Section 11155
36of this codeend delete
.

37

SEC. 4.  

Section 11155 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is
38repealed.

begin delete
39

11155.  

(a) Notwithstanding Section 11257, in addition to the
40personal property or resources permitted by other provisions of
P6    1this part, and to the extent permitted by federal law, an applicant
2or recipient for aid under this chapter including an applicant or
3recipient under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) may
4retain countable resources in an amount equal to the amount
5permitted under federal law for qualification for the federal
6Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, administered in
7California as CalFresh.

8(b) The county shall determine the value of exempt personal
9property other than motor vehicles in conformance with methods
10established under CalFresh.

11(c) (1) (A) The value of each motor vehicle that is not exempt
12under paragraph (4) shall be the equity value of the vehicle, which
13shall be the fair market value less encumbrances.

14(B) Any motor vehicle with an equity value of nine thousand
15five hundred dollars ($9,500) or less shall not be attributed to the
16family’s resource level.

17(C) For each motor vehicle with an equity value of more than
18nine thousand five hundred dollars ($9,500), the equity value that
19exceeds nine thousand five hundred dollars ($9,500) shall be
20attributed to the family’s resource level.

21(2) The equity threshold described in paragraph (1) of nine
22thousand five hundred dollars ($9,500) shall be adjusted upward
23annually by the increase, if any, in the United States Transportation
24Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the
25United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

26(3) The county shall determine the fair market value of the
27vehicle in accordance with a methodology determined by the
28department. The applicant or recipient shall self-certify the amount
29of encumbrance, if any.

30(4) The entire value of any motor vehicle shall be exempt if any
31of the following apply:

32(A) It is used primarily for income-producing purposes.

33(B) It annually produces income that is consistent with its fair
34market value, even if used on a seasonal basis.

35(C) It is necessary for long distance travel, other than daily
36commuting, that is essential for the employment of a family
37member.

38(D) It is used as the family’s residence.

P7    1(E) It is necessary to transport a physically disabled family
2member, including an excluded disabled family member, regardless
3of the purpose of the transportation.

4(F) It would be exempted under any of subparagraphs (A) to
5(D), inclusive, but the vehicle is not in use because of temporary
6unemployment.

7(G) It is used to carry fuel for heating for home use, when the
8transported fuel or water is the primary source of fuel or water for
9the family.

10(H) Ownership of the vehicle was transferred through a gift,
11donation, or family transfer, as defined by the Department of Motor
12Vehicles.

13(d) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2014.

end delete
14

SEC. 5.  

Section 11155.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
15 is repealed.

begin delete
16

11155.1.  

(a) Notwithstanding Sections 11155 and 11257, the
17department shall seek any federal approvals necessary to conduct
18a demonstration program increasing the value of personal property
19that may be retained by a recipient of aid under Chapter 2
20(commencing with Section 11200) to two thousand dollars ($2,000)
21and increasing the value of the exemption for an automobile to
22four thousand five hundred dollars ($4,500). The increased property
23limits shall not apply to applicants.

24(b) This section shall be implemented only if the director
25executes a declaration, that shall be retained by the director, stating
26that federal approval for the implementation of this section has
27been obtained and specifying the duration of that approval.

end delete
28

SEC. 6.  

Section 11155.2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
29 is repealed.

begin delete
30

11155.2.  

(a) In addition to the personal property permitted by
31this part, recipients of aid under CalWORKs shall be permitted to
32retain savings and interest thereon for specified purposes. Interest
33earned from these savings and deposited into a restricted account
34shall be considered exempt as income for purposes of determining
35eligibility for aid and grant amounts if the interest is retained in
36the account. If the interest is not deposited by the financial
37institution into the account, the interest shall be treated as a
38nonqualifying withdrawal of funds from the account as specified
39in subdivision (b). This section shall not apply to applicants. Funds
40may be used by the family for education or job training expenses
P8    1for the accountholder or his or her dependents, for starting a
2business, for the purchase of a home, or for costs associated with
3securing permanent rental housing or to make rent payments to
4overcome an episode of homelessness. Recipients who wish to
5retain savings for these purposes shall enter into a written
6agreement with the county to establish a separate account with a
7financial institution, with the account to be used solely for the
8purpose of accumulating funds for later withdrawal for a qualifying
9expenditure. A qualifying expenditure shall be defined by
10department regulations and shall be verified by the recipient. The
11recipient shall agree to provide periodic verification of account
12activity, as required by department regulations. The agreement
13shall notify the recipient of the penalty for nonqualifying
14withdrawal of funds.

15(b) Any nonqualifying withdrawal of funds from the account
16shall result in a calculation of a period of ineligibility for all persons
17in the assistance unit, to be determined by dividing the balance in
18the account immediately prior to the withdrawal by the minimum
19basic standard of adequate care for the members of the assistance
20unit, as set forth in Section 11452. The resulting whole number
21shall be the number of months of ineligibility. The period of
22ineligibility may be reduced when the minimum basic standard of
23adequate care of the assistance unit, including special needs,
24increases.

25(c) If the California Savings and Asset Project is established
26pursuant to Chapter 17 (commencing with Section 50897) of Part
272 of Division 31 of the Health and Safety Code, then to the extent
28permitted by federal law, a recipient shall be eligible to receive
29matching funds derived from federal contributions for the purpose
30of establishing an individual account in an amount not to exceed
31three thousand dollars ($3,000) in addition to the amounts specified
32in subdivision (a) and a fiduciary organization may provide
33amounts in excess of the first three thousand dollars ($3,000)
34limitation if contributed solely through private sources.

end delete
35

SEC. 7.  

Section 11155.6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
36 is repealed.

begin delete
37

11155.6.  

(a) (1) The principal and interest in a 401(k) plan,
38403(b) plan, or 457 plan shall be excluded from consideration as
39property when determining eligibility and the amount of assistance
P9    1with respect to an applicant for benefits who is not a recipient of
2CalWORKs benefits.

3(2) The principal and interest in a 401(k) plan, 403(b) plan, IRA,
4457 plan, 529 college savings plan, or Coverdell ESA, shall be
5excluded from consideration as property when redetermining
6 eligibility and the amount of assistance for recipients of
7CalWORKs benefits.

8(b) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the
9following meanings:

10(1) “401(k) plan” means a deferred compensation plan that
11satisfies the requirements of Section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue
12Code.

13(2) “403(b) plan” means a qualified annuity plan that satisfies
14the requirements of Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code.

15(3) “IRA” means an individual retirement account that satisfies
16the requirements of Section 408 of the Internal Revenue Code.

17(4) “457 plan” means a deferred compensation plan that satisfies
18the requirements of Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code.

19(5) “529 college savings plan” means a qualified tuition program
20that satisfies the requirements of Section 529 of the Internal
21Revenue Code.

22(6) “Coverdell ESA” means an education savings account that
23satisfies the requirements of Section 530 of the Internal Revenue
24Code.

end delete
25

SEC. 8.  

Section 11157.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
26 is repealed.

begin delete
27

11157.5.  

The receipt of aid under Chapter 2 (commencing with
28Section 11200) shall not impose any limitation or restriction upon
29a recipient’s right to sell, exchange, or change, the form of property
30holdings. However, a gift or any other transfer of assets, including
31income and resources, by a recipient for less than fair market value
32shall result in a period of ineligibility for aid under Chapter 2
33(commencing with Section 11200) for the number of months,
34rounded down to the nearest whole number, that equals the quotient
35of the difference between the fair market value of the asset and
36the amount received for the asset divided by the standard of need
37applicable to the family under Section 11452. This section shall
38only apply to transfer of income or resources that would otherwise
39affect a recipient’s eligibility for benefits or the amount of benefits
40to which he or she would be entitled.

end delete
P10   1

SEC. 9.  

Section 11257 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is
2repealed.

begin delete
3

11257.  

(a) To the extent not inconsistent with Sections
411265.1, 11265.2, 11265.3, and 11004.1, no aid under this chapter
5shall be granted or paid for any child who has real or personal
6property, the combined market value reduced by any obligations
7or debts with respect to this property of which exceeds one
8thousand dollars ($1,000), or for any child or children in one family
9who have, or whose parents have, or the child or children and
10parents have, real and personal property the combined market
11value reduced by any obligations or debts with respect to this
12property which exceeds one thousand dollars ($1,000).

13For purposes of this subdivision, real and personal property shall
14be considered both when actually available and when the applicant
15or recipient has a legal interest in a liquidated sum and has the
16legal ability to make that sum available for support and
17maintenance.

18(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) above, an applicant or
19recipient may retain the following:

20(1) Personal or real property owned by him or her, or in
21combination with any other person, without reference to its value,
22if it serves to provide the applicant or recipient with a home. If the
23basic home is a unit in a multiple dwelling, then only that unit
24shall be exempt.

25For the purposes of paragraph (1), if an applicant has entered
26into a marital separation for the purpose of trial or legal separation
27or dissolution, real property which was the usual home of the
28applicant shall be exempt for three months following the end of
29the month in which aid begins. If the recipient was receiving aid
30when the marital separation occurred, the period of exemption
31shall be three months following the end of the month in which the
32separation occurs. To remain exempt following this three-month
33period, the home must be occupied by the recipient, or be
34unavailable for use, control, and possession due to legal
35proceedings affecting a property settlement or sale of the property.

36(2) Personal property consisting of one automobile with
37maximum equity value as permitted by federal law.

38(3) In addition to the foregoing, the director may at his or her
39discretion, and to the extent permitted by federal law, exempt other
40items of personal property not exempted under this section.

end delete
P11   1

SEC. 10.  

Section 11257.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
2 is amended to read:

3

11257.5.  

begin deleteNotwithstanding the property limitations in
4subdivision (a) of Section 11257, a end delete
begin insertA end insertfamily may retain, for nine
5months, real property if the family is making a good faith effort
6to sell the real property. However, any aid payable to the family
7for the nine-month period shall be conditioned upon the sale. At
8the time of the sale any aid payments made during the nine-month
9period shall be considered overpayments to the extent they would
10not have been made had the sale occurred at the beginning of the
11nine-month period. Notwithstanding Section 11004 overpayments
12shall be recouped from the proceeds of the sale. begin delete If the real property
13has not been sold at the end of the nine-month period, the family
14shall be ineligible for aid if the combined net value of the real and
15personal property owned by the family exceeds the one thousand
16dollar ($1,000) limitation in Section 11257.end delete

17Notwithstanding Section 11007 as a condition to the granting
18of aid pursuant to this section, the family shall grant the county a
19lien upon the real property as security for the aid to be paid. The
20lien shall be used to recoup any overpayments incurred pursuant
21to this section. Notwithstanding any otherbegin delete provision ofend delete law, the
22lien shall not be enforceable by the sale of the secured property
23by the county. The lien of the county shall be paid upon the sale
24of the property.

25The department shall define good faith effort in regulation.

26

SEC. 11.  

Section 11260 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
27 is repealed.

begin delete
28

11260.  

A child’s share of any estate, which share has not been
29distributed and of which he has no present economic use, does not
30constitute property for the purpose of this chapter.

end delete
31

SEC. 12.  

Section 11322.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
32 is amended to read:

33

11322.5.  

(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to do each of the
34following:

35(1) Maximize the ability of CalWORKs recipients to benefit
36from the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), including
37retroactive EITC credits and the Advance EITC, take advantage
38of the earned-income disregard to increase theirbegin delete federal Food Stampend delete
39begin insert CalFreshend insert Program benefits, and accumulate credit toward future
40social security income.

P12   1(2) Educate and empower all CalWORKs participants who
2receive the federal EITC to save or invest part or all of their credits
3in instruments such as individual development accounts, 401(k)
4plans, 403(b) plans, IRAs, 457 plans, Coverdell ESA plans,
5begin delete restricted accounts pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 11155.2,end delete
6 or 529 plans, and to take advantage of the federal Assets for
7Independence program and other matching funds, tools, and
8training available from public or private sources, in order to build
9their assets.

10(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that counties encourage
11CalWORKs recipients to participate in activities that will maximize
12their receipt of the EITC. To this end, counties may do all of the
13following:

14(1) Structure welfare-to-work activities pursuant to subdivisions
15(a) to (j), inclusive, of Section 11322.6 to give recipients the option
16of maximizing the portion of their CalWORKs benefits that meets
17the definition of “earned income” in Section 32(c)(2) of the Internal
18Revenue Code.

19(2) Inform CalWORKs recipients of each of the following:

20(A) That earned income, either previous or future, may make
21them eligible for the federal EITC, including retroactive EITC
22credits and the Advance EITC, increase theirbegin delete federal Food Stampend delete
23begin insert CalFreshend insert Program benefits, and accumulate credit toward future
24social security income.

25(B) That recipients, as part of their welfare-to-work plans, have
26the option of engaging in subsidized employment and grant-based
27on-the-job training, as specified in Section 11322.6, and that
28participating in these activities will increase their earned income
29to the extent that they meet the requirements of federal law.

30(C) That receipt of the federal EITC does not affect their
31CalWORKs grant and is additional tax-free income for them.

32(D) That a CalWORKs recipient who receives the federal EITC
33may invest these funds in an individual development account,
34401(k) plan, 403(b) plan, IRA, 457 plan, 529 college savings plan,
35begin insert orend insert Coverdell ESA,begin delete or restricted account,end delete and that investments in
36these accounts will not make the recipient ineligible for
37CalWORKs benefits or reduce the recipient’s CalWORKs benefits.

38(3) At each regular eligibility redetermination, the county shall
39ask a recipient whether the recipient is eligible for and takes
40advantage of the EITC. If the recipient may be eligible and does
P13   1not participate, the county shall give the recipient the federal EITC
2form and encourage and assist the recipient to take advantage of
3it.

begin delete

4(c) (1) No later than December 1, 2008, the State Department
5of Social Services shall develop guidelines that counties may adopt
6to carry out the intent of this section and shall present options to
7the Governor and Legislature for any legislation necessary to
8further carry out the intent of this section.

9(2) In developing the guidelines and legislative options, the
10department shall consult and convene at least one meeting of
11subject-matter experts, including representatives from the
12Assembly and Senate Committees on Human Services, Assets for
13All Alliance, Asset Policy Initiative of California, California
14Budget Project, California Catholic Conference, California Council
15of Churches, California Family Resource Association, California
16State Association of Counties, CFED, County Welfare Directors
17Association of California, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco,
18Legislative Analyst’s Office, Lifetime, National Council of
19Churches, Insight Center for Community Economic Development,
20New America Foundation, Public Policy Institute of California,
21University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, United
22States Internal Revenue Service, and Western Center on Law and
23Poverty. Nothing in this section requires the department to
24compensate or pay expenses for any person it consults or invites
25to the meeting or meetings.

end delete
26

SEC. 13.  

Section 11375 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
27 is amended to read:

28

11375.  

The following shall apply to any child or nonminor in
29receipt of state-funded Kin-GAP benefits:

30(a) He or she is eligible to request and receive independent living
31services pursuant to Section 10609.3.

32(b) He or she may retain cash savings, not to exceed ten
33thousand dollars ($10,000), including interest, in addition to any
34other property accumulated pursuant tobegin insert formerend insert Section 11257 or
35begin insert Sectionend insert 11257.5.

36(c) He or she shall have earned income disregarded pursuant to
37Section 11008.15.

38

SEC. 14.  

Section 11450 of the Welfare and Institutions Code,
39as added by Section 4 of Chapter 632 of the Statutes of 2014, is
40amended to read:

P14   1

11450.  

(a) (1) (A) Aid shall be paid for each needy family,
2which shall include all eligible brothers and sisters of each eligible
3applicant or recipient child and the parents of the children, but
4shall not include unborn children, or recipients of aid under Chapter
53 (commencing with Section 12000), qualified for aid under this
6chapter. In determining the amount of aid paid, and notwithstanding
7the minimum basic standards of adequate care specified in Section
811452, the family’s income, exclusive of any amounts considered
9exempt as income or paid pursuant to subdivision (e) or Section
1011453.1, determined for the prospective semiannual period
11pursuant to Sections 11265.1, 11265.2, and 11265.3, and then
12calculated pursuant to Section 11451.5, shall be deducted from
13the sum specified in the following table, as adjusted for
14cost-of-living increases pursuant to Section 11453 and paragraph
15(2). In no case shall the amount of aid paid for each month exceed
16the sum specified in the following table, as adjusted for
17cost-of-living increases pursuant to Section 11453 and paragraph
18(2), plus any special needs, as specified in subdivisions (c), (e),
19and (f):


20

 

 Number of
 eligible needy
 persons in
the same home

Maximum
aid

1   

$  326

2   

   535

3   

   663

4   

   788

5   

   899

6   

 1,010

7   

 1,109

8   

 1,209

9   

 1,306

10 or more   

 1,403

P14  35

 

36(B) If, when, and during those times that the United States
37government increases or decreases its contributions in assistance
38of needy children in this state above or below the amount paid on
39July 1, 1972, the amounts specified in the above table shall be
40increased or decreased by an amount equal to that increase or
P15   1decrease by the United States government, provided that no
2increase or decrease shall be subject to subsequent adjustment
3pursuant to Section 11453.

4(2) The sums specified in paragraph (1) shall not be adjusted
5for cost of living for the 1990-91, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94,
61994-95, 1995-96, 1996-97, and 1997-98 fiscal years, and through
7October 31, 1998, nor shall that amount be included in the base
8for calculating any cost-of-living increases for any fiscal year
9thereafter. Elimination of the cost-of-living adjustment pursuant
10to this paragraph shall satisfy the requirements ofbegin insert formerend insert Section
1111453.05, and no further reduction shall be made pursuant to that
12section.

13(b) (1) When the family does not include a needy child qualified
14for aid under this chapter, aid shall be paid to a pregnant child who
15is 18 years of age or younger at any time after verification of
16pregnancy, in the amount that would otherwise be paid to one
17person, as specified in subdivision (a), if the child and her child,
18if born, would have qualified for aid under this chapter. Verification
19of pregnancy shall be required as a condition of eligibility for aid
20under this subdivision.

21(2)  Notwithstanding paragraph (1), when the family does not
22include a needy child qualified for aid under this chapter, aid shall
23be paid to a pregnant woman for the month in which the birth is
24anticipated and for the six-month period immediately prior to the
25month in which the birth is anticipated, in the amount that would
26otherwise be paid to one person, as specified in subdivision (a), if
27the woman and child, if born, would have qualified for aid under
28this chapter. Verification of pregnancy shall be required as a
29condition of eligibility for aid under this subdivision.

30(3) Paragraph (1) shall apply only when the Cal-Learn Program
31is operative.

32(c) The amount of forty-seven dollars ($47) per month shall be
33paid to pregnant women qualified for aid under subdivision (a) or
34(b) to meet special needs resulting from pregnancy if the woman
35and child, if born, would have qualified for aid under this chapter.
36County welfare departments shall refer all recipients of aid under
37this subdivision to a local provider of the Women, Infants, and
38Children program. If that payment to pregnant women qualified
39for aid under subdivision (a) is considered income under federal
40law in the first five months of pregnancy, payments under this
P16   1subdivision shall not apply to persons eligible under subdivision
2(a), except for the month in which birth is anticipated and for the
3three-month period immediately prior to the month in which
4delivery is anticipated, if the woman and child, if born, would have
5qualified for aid under this chapter.

6(d) For children receiving AFDC-FC under this chapter, there
7shall be paid, exclusive of any amount considered exempt as
8income, an amount of aid each month that, when added to the
9child’s income, is equal to the rate specified in Section 11460,
1011461, 11462, 11462.1, or 11463. In addition, the child shall be
11eligible for special needs, as specified in departmental regulations.

12(e) In addition to the amounts payable under subdivision (a)
13and Section 11453.1, a family shall be entitled to receive an
14allowance for recurring special needs not common to a majority
15of recipients. These recurring special needs shall include, but not
16be limited to, special diets upon the recommendation of a physician
17for circumstances other than pregnancy, and unusual costs of
18transportation, laundry, housekeeping services, telephone, and
19utilities. The recurring special needs allowance for each family
20per month shall not exceed that amount resulting from multiplying
21the sum of ten dollars ($10) by the number of recipients in the
22family who are eligible for assistance.

23(f) After a family has used all available liquid resources, both
24exempt and nonexempt, in excess of one hundred dollars ($100),
25begin delete with the exception of funds deposited in a restricted account
26described in subdivision (a) of Section 11155.2,end delete
the family shall
27also be entitled to receive an allowance for nonrecurring special
28needs.

29(1) An allowance for nonrecurring special needs shall be granted
30for replacement of clothing and household equipment and for
31emergency housing needs other than those needs addressed by
32paragraph (2). These needs shall be caused by sudden and unusual
33circumstances beyond the control of the needy family. The
34department shall establish the allowance for each of the
35nonrecurring special needs items. The sum of all nonrecurring
36special needs provided by this subdivision shall not exceed six
37hundred dollars ($600) per event.

38(2) (A) Homeless assistance is available to a homeless family
39seeking shelter when the family is eligible for aid under this
40chapter. Homeless assistance for temporary shelter is also available
P17   1to homeless families that are apparently eligible for aid under this
2chapter. Apparent eligibility exists when evidence presented by
3the applicant, or that is otherwise available to the county welfare
4department, and the information provided on the application
5documents indicate that there would be eligibility for aid under
6this chapter if the evidence and information were verified.
7However, an alien applicant who does not provide verification of
8his or her eligible alien status, or a woman with no eligible children
9who does not provide medical verification of pregnancy, is not
10apparently eligible for purposes of this section.

11(B) A family is considered homeless, for the purpose of this
12section, when the family lacks a fixed and regular nighttime
13residence; or the family has a primary nighttime residence that is
14a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to
15provide temporary living accommodations; or the family is residing
16in a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as,
17a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. A family is
18also considered homeless for the purpose of this section if the
19family has received a notice to pay rent or quit. The family shall
20demonstrate that the eviction is the result of a verified financial
21hardship as a result of extraordinary circumstances beyond their
22control, and not other lease or rental violations, and that the family
23is experiencing a financial crisis that could result in homelessness
24if preventative assistance is not provided.

begin delete

25(A)

end delete

26begin insert(end insertbegin insertC)end insert (i) A nonrecurring special needs benefit of sixty-five dollars
27($65) a day shall be available to families of up to four members
28for the costs of temporary shelter, subject to the requirements of
29this paragraph. The fifth and additional members of the family
30shall each receive fifteen dollars ($15) per day, up to a daily
31maximum of one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125). County
32welfare departments may increase the daily amount available for
33temporary shelter as necessary to secure the additional bedspace
34needed by the family.

35(ii) This special needs benefit shall be granted or denied
36immediately upon the family’s application for homeless assistance,
37and benefits shall be available for up to three working days. The
38county welfare department shall verify the family’s homelessness
39within the first three working days and if the family meets the
40criteria of questionable homelessness established by the
P18   1department, the county welfare department shall refer the family
2to its early fraud prevention and detection unit, if the county has
3such a unit, for assistance in the verification of homelessness within
4this period.

5(iii) After homelessness has been verified, the three-day limit
6shall be extended for a period of time which, when added to the
7initial benefits provided, does not exceed a total of 16 calendar
8days. This extension of benefits shall be done in increments of one
9week and shall be based upon searching for permanent housing
10which shall be documented on a housing search form, good cause,
11or other circumstances defined by the department. Documentation
12of a housing search shall be required for the initial extension of
13benefits beyond the three-day limit and on a weekly basis thereafter
14as long as the family is receiving temporary shelter benefits. Good
15cause shall include, but is not limited to, situations in which the
16county welfare department has determined that the family, to the
17extent it is capable, has made a good faith but unsuccessful effort
18to secure permanent housing while receiving temporary shelter
19benefits.

begin delete

20(B)

end delete

21begin insert(D)end insert (i) A nonrecurring special needs benefit for permanent
22housing assistance is available to pay for last month’s rent and
23security deposits when these payments are reasonable conditions
24of securing a residence, or to pay for up to two months of rent
25arrearages, when these payments are a reasonable condition of
26preventing eviction.

27(ii) The last month’s rent or monthly arrearage portion of the
28payment (I) shall not exceed 80 percent of the family’s total
29 monthly household income without the value of CalFresh benefits
30or special needs benefit for a family of that size and (II) shall only
31be made to families that have found permanent housing costing
32no more than 80 percent of the family’s total monthly household
33income without the value of CalFresh benefits or special needs
34benefit for a family of that size.

35(iii) However, if the county welfare department determines that
36a family intends to reside with individuals who will be sharing
37housing costs, the county welfare department shall, in appropriate
38circumstances, set aside the condition specified in subclause (II)
39of clause (ii).

begin delete

40(C)

end delete

P19   1begin insert(E)end insert The nonrecurring special needs benefit for permanent
2housing assistance is also available to cover the standard costs of
3deposits for utilities which are necessary for the health and safety
4of the family.

begin delete

5(D)

end delete

6begin insert(F)end insert A payment for or denial of permanent housing assistance
7shall be issued no later than one working day from the time that a
8family presents evidence of the availability of permanent housing.
9If an applicant family provides evidence of the availability of
10permanent housing before the county welfare department has
11established eligibility for aid under this chapter, the county welfare
12department shall complete the eligibility determination so that the
13denial of or payment for permanent housing assistance is issued
14within one working day from the submission of evidence of the
15availability of permanent housing, unless the family has failed to
16provide all of the verification necessary to establish eligibility for
17aid under this chapter.

begin delete

18(E)

end delete

19begin insert(G)end insert (i) Except as provided in clauses (ii) and (iii), eligibility
20for the temporary shelter assistance and the permanent housing
21assistance pursuant to this paragraph shall be limited to one period
22of up to 16 consecutive calendar days of temporary assistance and
23one payment of permanent assistance. Any family that includes a
24parent or nonparent caretaker relative living in the home who has
25previously received temporary or permanent homeless assistance
26at any time on behalf of an eligible child shall not be eligible for
27further homeless assistance. Any person who applies for homeless
28assistance benefits shall be informed that the temporary shelter
29benefit of up to 16 consecutive days is available only once in a
30lifetime, with certain exceptions, and that a break in the consecutive
31use of the benefit constitutes permanent exhaustion of the
32temporary benefit.

33(ii) A family that becomes homeless as a direct and primary
34result of a state or federally declared natural disaster shall be
35eligible for temporary and permanent homeless assistance.

36(iii) A family shall be eligible for temporary and permanent
37homeless assistance when homelessness is a direct result of
38domestic violence by a spouse, partner, or roommate; physical or
39 mental illness that is medically verified that shall not include a
40diagnosis of alcoholism, drug addiction, or psychological stress;
P20   1or, the uninhabitability of the former residence caused by sudden
2and unusual circumstances beyond the control of the family
3including natural catastrophe, fire, or condemnation. These
4circumstances shall be verified by a third-party governmental or
5private health and human services agency, except that domestic
6violence may also be verified by a sworn statement by the victim,
7as provided under Section 11495.25. Homeless assistance payments
8based on these specific circumstances may not be received more
9often than once in any 12-month period. In addition, if the domestic
10violence is verified by a sworn statement by the victim, the
11homeless assistance payments shall be limited to two periods of
12not more than 16 consecutive calendar days of temporary assistance
13and two payments of permanent assistance. A county may require
14that a recipient of homeless assistance benefits who qualifies under
15this paragraph for a second time in a 24-month period participate
16in a homelessness avoidance case plan as a condition of eligibility
17for homeless assistance benefits. The county welfare department
18shall immediately inform recipients who verify domestic violence
19by a sworn statement of the availability of domestic violence
20counseling and services, and refer those recipients to services upon
21request.

22(iv) If a county requires a recipient who verifies domestic
23violence by a sworn statement to participate in a homelessness
24avoidance case plan pursuant to clause (iii), the plan shall include
25the provision of domestic violence services, if appropriate.

26(v) If a recipient seeking homeless assistance based on domestic
27violence pursuant to clause (iii) has previously received homeless
28avoidance services based on domestic violence, the county shall
29review whether services were offered to the recipient and consider
30what additional services would assist the recipient in leaving the
31domestic violence situation.

32(vi) The county welfare department shall report necessary data
33to the department through a statewide homeless assistance payment
34indicator system, as requested by the department, regarding all
35recipients of aid under this paragraph.

begin delete

36(F)

end delete

37begin insert(H)end insert The county welfare departments, and all other entities
38participating in the costs of the CalWORKs program, have the
39right in their share to any refunds resulting from payment of the
40permanent housing. However, if an emergency requires the family
P21   1to move within the 12-month period specified in subparagraph
2begin delete (E),end deletebegin insert (G),end insert the family shall be allowed to use any refunds received
3from its deposits to meet the costs of moving to another residence.

begin delete

4(G)

end delete

5begin insert(I)end insert Payments to providers for temporary shelter and permanent
6housing and utilities shall be made on behalf of families requesting
7these payments.

begin delete

8(H)

end delete

9begin insert(J)end insert The daily amount for the temporary shelter special needs
10benefit for homeless assistance may be increased if authorized by
11the current year’s Budget Act by specifying a different daily
12allowance and appropriating the funds therefor.

begin delete

13(I)

end delete

14begin insert(K)end insert No payment shall be made pursuant to this paragraph unless
15the provider of housing is a commercial establishment, shelter, or
16person in the business of renting properties who has a history of
17renting properties.

18(g) The department shall establish rules and regulations ensuring
19the uniform statewide application of this section.

20(h) The department shall notify all applicants and recipients of
21aid through the standardized application form that these benefits
22are available and shall provide an opportunity for recipients to
23apply for the funds quickly and efficiently.

24(i) begin delete(A)end deletebegin deleteend deletebegin insert(1)end insertbegin insertend insertExcept for the purposes of Section 15200, the
25amounts payable to recipients pursuant to Section 11453.1 shall
26not constitute part of the payment schedule set forth in subdivision
27(a).

begin delete

28(B)

end delete

29begin insert(2)end insert The amounts payable to recipients pursuant to Section
3011453.1 shall not constitute income to recipients of aid under this
31section.

32(j) For children receiving Kin-GAP pursuant to Article 4.5
33(commencing with Section 11360) or Article 4.7 (commencing
34with Section 11385) there shall be paid, exclusive of any amount
35considered exempt as income, an amount of aid each month, which,
36when added to the child’s income, is equal to the rate specified in
37Sections 11364 and 11387.

38(k) (1) A county shall implement the semiannual reporting
39requirements in accordance with Chapter 501 of the Statutes of
40begin delete 2011 no later than October 1, 2013.end deletebegin insert 2011.end insert

P22   1(2) Upon completion of the implementation described in
2paragraph (1), each county shall provide a certificate to the director
3certifying that semiannual reporting has been implemented in the
4county.

5(3) Upon filing the certificate described in paragraph (2), a
6county shall comply with the semiannual reporting provisions of
7this section.

begin delete

8(l) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2015.

end delete
9

SEC. 15.  

Section 11450.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
10 is amended to read:

11

11450.5.  

For purposes of computing and paying aid grants
12under this chapter, the director shall adopt regulations establishing
13a budgeting system consistent with Sections 11265.1, 11265.2,
14and 11265.3. Nothing in this section, or Sectionsbegin delete 11004, 11257end delete
15begin insert 11004end insert and 11450, or any other provision of this code, shall be
16interpreted as prohibiting the establishment of, or otherwise
17restricting the operation of, any budgeting system adopted by the
18director.

19

SEC. 16.  

Section 14140 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
20 is amended to read:

21

14140.  

The following definitions shall apply to the provisions
22of this article:

23(a) “Net worth” means:

24(1) Personal property, which consists of cash, savings accounts,
25securities, and similar items; notes, mortgages and deeds of trust;
26the cash surrender value of life insurance on the life of the applicant
27or beneficiary, on the life of the spouse or any member of the
28family, except as provided in Section 11158; motor vehicles, except
29one which meets the transportation needs of the person or family;
30any other property or equity other than real begin delete estate, except that
31property specified in subdivisions (1), (2) and (3) of Section 11155.end delete

32begin insert estate.end insert

33(2) Real property, including any interest in land of more than
34nominal interest which does not constitute the home of the
35applicant for aid under this chapter. The home of the applicant
36shall be exempt from consideration as net worth under this section
37to the extent of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in assessed
38valuation, as assessed by the county assessor.

39(3) “Income” which consists of the sum of adjusted gross income
40as used for purposes of the Federal Income Tax Law.

P23   1(b) “Family unit” means:

2(1) In the case of an unmarried patient under 21 years of age
3living with his parent or parents, the patient and his parents.

4(2) In the case of a married patient under 21 years of age, the
5patient and his spouse.

6(3) In the case of a patient over 21, the patient, and if married,
7the patient’s wife.

8

SEC. 17.  

Section 18923 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
9 is amended to read:

10

18923.  

(a) The State Department of Social Services shall
11submit a request to the United States Department of Agriculture
12for a waiver to permit a CalFresh household to retain funds in the
13restricted savings account as specified in subdivision (a) ofbegin insert formerend insert
14 Section 11155.2 and as accumulated while participating in the Aid
15to Families with Dependent Children program. The participation
16requirements for this specific savings account as specified in
17subdivision (a) ofbegin insert formerend insert Section 11155.2 shall apply to CalFresh.
18Penalties for nonqualifying withdrawal of these funds shall result
19in a calculation of a period of ineligibility for all persons in the
20CalFresh household, to be determined by dividing the balance in
21the account immediately prior to the withdrawal by the CalFresh
22allotment to which the household is entitled. The resulting whole
23number shall be the number of months of ineligibility. The period
24of ineligibility may be reduced when the divisor, which is the
25CalFresh allotment, increases as a result of a cost-of-living
26 adjustment.

27(b) The director may waive, with federal approval, the
28enforcement of specific federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
29Program requirements, regulations, and standards necessary to
30implement this provision.

31

SEC. 18.  

No appropriation pursuant to Section 15200 of
32Welfare and Institutions Code shall be made for the purposes of
33this act.

34

SEC. 19.  

If the Commission on State Mandates determines
35that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement
36to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made
37pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division
384 of Title 2 of the Government Code.



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