Amended in Assembly April 6, 2016

Amended in Assembly March 28, 2016

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1809


Introduced by Assembly Member Lopez

(Coauthors: Assembly Members Gipson and Mullin)

(Coauthors: Senators Hertzberg and Mitchell)

February 8, 2016


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

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1809, as amended, 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.

P3    1(c) Research published in 2015 shows that very few families
2(0.1 percent) applying for or receiving CalWORKs assistance are
3found to exceed the vehicle and cash asset test.

4(d) Other states, realizing that very few families had assets over
5the limit, have removed the limit with the goal of streamlining the
6eligibility process and cutting down on administrative costs. In
7Virginia, this decision has saved the state an estimated $400,000
8annually, and to date, the State of Virginia has reported no negative
9impacts. A study published in 2015 has estimated that if California
10were to repeal the CalWORKs asset limit, there would be minimal
11to no increase in caseloads and an annual $6.4 million in
12administrative savings allowing county case workers to spend less
13time reviewing the value of vehicles and savings and more time
14helping people get the resources they need to get back to work.

15(e) Asset limits were intended to ensure that public assistance
16programs provide benefits only to those with too few resources to
17support themselves. But years of research and practitioner
18experience has proven that personal savings and assets are precisely
19the kinds of resources that allow people to move off public benefits
20programs. Without being able to maintain or build up a small
21savings cushion, these families are highly vulnerable to falling
22into debt in the event of an emergency or other unexpected expense.

23(f) It is the intent of the Legislature to repeal the asset test for
24the CalWORKs program, thereby aligning program rules with
25Medi-Cal and CalFresh, making the program more efficient, and
26increasing the capacity of poor families to exit poverty.

27

SEC. 2.  

Section 95504 of the Government Code is amended
28to read:

29

95504.  

(a) The nonprofit facilitator shall subcontract with
30service providers to implement the project around the state. The
31nonprofit facilitator shall make an attempt to select service
32providers for programs of different size, geographical distribution,
33and target population to be served. Additionally, the nonprofit
34facilitator may consider giving special consideration to service
35providers that demonstrate partnerships with local public agencies.

36(b) The service providers shall perform all of the following
37duties in implementing the project:

38(1) Recruit and select participants who meet the following
39criteria:

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

P4    1(B) The individual is a member of a household with an income
2of not more than 80 percent of the area median income based on
3United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
4guidelines at the time of program enrollment.

5(C) The individual is not a dependent of another person for
6federal income tax purposes.

7(D) The individual is not a debtor for a judgment resulting from
8nonpayment of a court-ordered child support obligation.

9(E) The individual meets eligibility criteria as defined by the
10funding source for the program created under this title.

11(2) Develop and sign contracts with each participant, to include
12all program requirements and policies governing the participant’s
13account.

14(3) Assist participants in opening individual development
15accounts. The accounts shall be established using an account
16structure parallel to a restricted account as described in former
17Section 11155.2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code that meets
18both of the following requirements:

19(A) One separate account shall be established for each
20participant in a federally or state insured financial institution,
21community development financial institution, any financial
22institution eligible to hold an individual retirement account, or
23community development credit union, in which each participant’s
24savings are deposited and maintained. The program participant
25may withdraw his or her own savings at any time.

26(B) Another separate, parallel account shall be established and
27maintained by service providers in which the matching funds from
28state, federal, and private donations are kept. The parallel account
29may contain all matching funds for a pool of any service provider’s
30participants.

31(4) Help individuals receive their matching funds at the
32conclusion of the program.

33(5) Provide participants with a minimum of 12 hours of financial
34education and training. The education and training shall include,
35but need not be limited to, all of the following:

36(A) Household and personal budget management.

37(B) Economic literacy.

38(C) Credit repair.

P5    1(6) Develop a program dismissal process for participants who
2do not fulfill program participation requirements, and seek to
3ensure that matching funds are used for their intended purposes.

4(7) Collect and maintain information about their programs, in
5a manner that provides the capacity to report semiannually all of
6the following information to the department:

7(A) The number and demographic characteristics of participants
8enrolled in the program.

9(B) The number of accounts established.

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

11(D) The number of participants who closed accounts and the
12amount of associated savings.

13(E) The actual and proposed program budget.

14(F) The size and origin of matching pool funds received,
15obligated, and paid to participants.

16(G) The program achievements and obstacles.

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

18(I) At least one participant profile.

19

SEC. 3.  

Section 11151 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is
20amended to read:

21

11151.  

An applicant or recipient shall be ineligible to receive
22public assistance unless the property he or she owns is held for the
23following purposes:

24(a) The property is used to provide the applicant or recipient
25with a home and conforms to the provisions of Section 11152.

26(b) The property is producing income for the support of the
27applicant or recipient and conforms to the provisions of Section
2811153.7.

29(c) The property is held as a reserve to meet a contingent need,
30not included within the standard of assistance for which an aid
31payment is made, and conforms to the provisions of Section 11154.

32(d) 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 recipient.

36

SEC. 4.  

Section 11155 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is
37repealed.

38

SEC. 5.  

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

P6    1

SEC. 6.  

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

3

SEC. 7.  

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

5

SEC. 8.  

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

7

SEC. 9.  

Section 11257 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is
8repealed.

begin delete
9

SEC. 10.  

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

11

11257.5.  

A family may retain, for nine months, real property
12if the family is making a good faith effort to sell the real property.
13However, any aid payable to the family for the nine-month period
14shall be conditioned upon the sale. At the time of the sale any aid
15payments made during the nine-month period shall be considered
16overpayments to the extent they would not have been made had
17the sale occurred at the beginning of the nine-month period.
18Notwithstanding Section 11004 overpayments shall be recouped
19from the proceeds of the sale.

20Notwithstanding Section 11007 as a condition to the granting
21of aid pursuant to this section, the family shall grant the county a
22lien upon the real property as security for the aid to be paid. The
23lien shall be used to recoup any overpayments incurred pursuant
24to this section. Notwithstanding any other law, the lien shall not
25be enforceable by the sale of the secured property by the county.
26The lien of the county shall be paid upon the sale of the property.

27The department shall define good faith effort in regulation.

end delete
28begin insert

begin insertSEC. 10.end insert  

end insert

begin insertSection 11257.5 of the end insertbegin insertWelfare and Institutions Codeend insert
29
begin insert is repealed.end insert

begin delete
30

11257.5.  

Notwithstanding the property limitations in
31subdivision (a) of Section 11257, a family may retain, for nine
32months, real property if the family is making a good faith effort
33to sell the real property. However, any aid payable to the family
34for the nine-month period shall be conditioned upon the sale. At
35the time of the sale any aid payments made during the nine-month
36period shall be considered overpayments to the extent they would
37not have been made had the sale occurred at the beginning of the
38nine-month period. Notwithstanding Section 11004 overpayments
39shall be recouped from the proceeds of the sale. If the real property
40has not been sold at the end of the nine-month period, the family
P7    1shall be ineligible for aid if the combined net value of the real and
2personal property owned by the family exceeds the one thousand
3dollar ($1,000) limitation in Section 11257.

4Notwithstanding Section 11007 as a condition to the granting
5of aid pursuant to this section, the family shall grant the county a
6lien upon the real property as security for the aid to be paid. The
7lien shall be used to recoup any overpayments incurred pursuant
8to this section. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the
9lien shall not be enforceable by the sale of the secured property
10by the county. The lien of the county shall be paid upon the sale
11of the property.

12The department shall define good faith effort in regulation.

end delete
13

SEC. 11.  

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

15

SEC. 12.  

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

17

11322.5.  

(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to do each of the
18following:

19(1) Maximize the ability of CalWORKs recipients to benefit
20from the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), including
21retroactive EITC credits and the Advance EITC, take advantage
22of the earned-income disregard to increase their CalFresh Program
23benefits, and accumulate credit toward future social security
24income.

25(2) Educate and empower all CalWORKs participants who
26receive the federal EITC to save or invest part or all of their credits
27in instruments such as individual development accounts, 401(k)
28plans, 403(b) plans, IRAs, 457 plans, Coverdell ESA plans, or 529
29plans, and to take advantage of the federal Assets for Independence
30program and other matching funds, tools, and training available
31from public or private sources, in order to build their assets.

32(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that counties encourage
33CalWORKs recipients to participate in activities that will maximize
34their receipt of the EITC. To this end, counties may do all of the
35following:

36(1) Structure welfare-to-work activities pursuant to subdivisions
37(a) to (j), inclusive, of Section 11322.6 to give recipients the option
38of maximizing the portion of their CalWORKs benefits that meets
39the definition of “earned income” in Section 32(c)(2) of the Internal
40Revenue Code.

P8    1(2) Inform CalWORKs recipients of each of the following:

2(A) That earned income, either previous or future, may make
3them eligible for the federal EITC, including retroactive EITC
4credits and the Advance EITC, increase their CalFresh Program
5benefits, and accumulate credit toward future social security
6income.

7(B) That recipients, as part of their welfare-to-work plans, have
8the option of engaging in subsidized employment and grant-based
9on-the-job training, as specified in Section 11322.6, and that
10participating in these activities will increase their earned income
11to the extent that they meet the requirements of federal law.

12(C) That receipt of the federal EITC does not affect their
13CalWORKs grant and is additional tax-free income for them.

14(D) That a CalWORKs recipient who receives the federal EITC
15may invest these funds in an individual development account,
16401(k) plan, 403(b) plan, IRA, 457 plan, 529 college savings plan,
17or Coverdell ESA, and that investments in these accounts will not
18make the recipient ineligible for CalWORKs benefits or reduce
19the recipient’s CalWORKs benefits.

20(3) At each regular eligibility redetermination, the county shall
21ask a recipient whether the recipient is eligible for and takes
22advantage of the EITC. If the recipient may be eligible and does
23not participate, the county shall give the recipient the federal EITC
24form and encourage and assist the recipient to take advantage of
25it.

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 to former Section 11257 or
35Section 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:

P9    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

P9   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
P10   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 of former 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
P11   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),
25 the family shall also be entitled to receive an allowance for
26nonrecurring special needs.

27(1) An allowance for nonrecurring special needs shall be granted
28for replacement of clothing and household equipment and for
29emergency housing needs other than those needs addressed by
30paragraph (2). These needs shall be caused by sudden and unusual
31circumstances beyond the control of the needy family. The
32department shall establish the allowance for each of the
33nonrecurring special needs items. The sum of all nonrecurring
34special needs provided by this subdivision shall not exceed six
35hundred dollars ($600) per event.

36(2) (A) Homeless assistance is available to a homeless family
37seeking shelter when the family is eligible for aid under this
38chapter. Homeless assistance for temporary shelter is also available
39to homeless families that are apparently eligible for aid under this
40chapter. Apparent eligibility exists when evidence presented by
P12   1the applicant, or that is otherwise available to the county welfare
2department, and the information provided on the application
3documents indicate that there would be eligibility for aid under
4this chapter if the evidence and information were verified.
5However, an alien applicant who does not provide verification of
6his or her eligible alien status, or a woman with no eligible children
7who does not provide medical verification of pregnancy, is not
8apparently eligible for purposes of this section.

9(B) A family is considered homeless, for the purpose of this
10section, when the family lacks a fixed and regular nighttime
11residence; or the family has a primary nighttime residence that is
12a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to
13provide temporary living accommodations; or the family is residing
14in a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as,
15a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. A family is
16also considered homeless for the purpose of this section if the
17family has received a notice to pay rent or quit. The family shall
18demonstrate that the eviction is the result of a verified financial
19hardship as a result of extraordinary circumstances beyond their
20control, and not other lease or rental violations, and that the family
21is experiencing a financial crisis that could result in homelessness
22if preventative assistance is not provided.

23(C) (i) A nonrecurring special needs benefit of sixty-five dollars
24($65) a day shall be available to families of up to four members
25for the costs of temporary shelter, subject to the requirements of
26this paragraph. The fifth and additional members of the family
27shall each receive fifteen dollars ($15) per day, up to a daily
28maximum of one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125). County
29welfare departments may increase the daily amount available for
30temporary shelter as necessary to secure the additional bedspace
31needed by the family.

32(ii) This special needs benefit shall be granted or denied
33immediately upon the family’s application for homeless assistance,
34and benefits shall be available for up to three working days. The
35county welfare department shall verify the family’s homelessness
36within the first three working days and if the family meets the
37criteria of questionable homelessness established by the
38department, the county welfare department shall refer the family
39to its early fraud prevention and detection unit, if the county has
P13   1such a unit, for assistance in the verification of homelessness within
2this period.

3(iii) After homelessness has been verified, the three-day limit
4shall be extended for a period of time, which when added to the
5initial benefits provided, does not exceed a total of 16 calendar
6days. This extension of benefits shall be done in increments of one
7week and shall be based upon searching for permanent housing,
8which shall be documented on a housing search form, good cause,
9or other circumstances defined by the department. Documentation
10of a housing search shall be required for the initial extension of
11benefits beyond the three-day limit and on a weekly basis thereafter
12as long as the family is receiving temporary shelter benefits. Good
13cause shall include, but is not limited to, situations in which the
14county welfare department has determined that the family, to the
15extent it is capable, has made a good faith but unsuccessful effort
16to secure permanent housing while receiving temporary shelter
17benefits.

18(D) (i) A nonrecurring special needs benefit for permanent
19housing assistance is available to pay for last month’s rent and
20security deposits when these payments are reasonable conditions
21of securing a residence, or to pay for up to two months of rent
22arrearages, when these payments are a reasonable condition of
23preventing eviction.

24(ii) The last month’s rent or monthly arrearage portion of the
25payment (I) shall not exceed 80 percent of the family’s total
26 monthly household income without the value of CalFresh benefits
27or special needs benefit for a family of that size and (II) shall only
28be made to families that have found permanent housing costing
29no more than 80 percent of the family’s total monthly household
30income without the value of CalFresh benefits or special needs
31benefit for a family of that size.

32(iii) However, if the county welfare department determines that
33a family intends to reside with individuals who will be sharing
34housing costs, the county welfare department shall, in appropriate
35circumstances, set aside the condition specified in subclause (II)
36of clause (ii).

37(E) The nonrecurring special needs benefit for permanent
38housing assistance is also available to cover the standard costs of
39deposits for utilities that are necessary for the health and safety of
40the family.

P14   1(F) A payment for or denial of permanent housing assistance
2shall be issued no later than one working day from the time that a
3family presents evidence of the availability of permanent housing.
4If an applicant family provides evidence of the availability of
5permanent housing before the county welfare department has
6established eligibility for aid under this chapter, the county welfare
7department shall complete the eligibility determination so that the
8denial of or payment for permanent housing assistance is issued
9within one working day from the submission of evidence of the
10availability of permanent housing, unless the family has failed to
11provide all of the verification necessary to establish eligibility for
12aid under this chapter.

13(G) (i) Except as provided in clauses (ii) and (iii), eligibility
14for the temporary shelter assistance and the permanent housing
15assistance pursuant to this paragraph shall be limited to one period
16of up to 16 consecutive calendar days of temporary assistance and
17one payment of permanent assistance. Any family that includes a
18parent or nonparent caretaker relative living in the home who has
19previously received temporary or permanent homeless assistance
20at any time on behalf of an eligible child shall not be eligible for
21further homeless assistance. Any person who applies for homeless
22assistance benefits shall be informed that the temporary shelter
23benefit of up to 16 consecutive days is available only once in a
24lifetime, with certain exceptions, and that a break in the consecutive
25use of the benefit constitutes permanent exhaustion of the
26temporary benefit.

27(ii) A family that becomes homeless as a direct and primary
28result of a state or federally declared natural disaster shall be
29eligible for temporary and permanent homeless assistance.

30(iii) A family shall be eligible for temporary and permanent
31homeless assistance when homelessness is a direct result of
32domestic violence by a spouse, partner, or roommate; physical or
33 mental illness that is medically verified that shall not include a
34diagnosis of alcoholism, drug addiction, or psychological stress;
35or, the uninhabitability of the former residence caused by sudden
36and unusual circumstances beyond the control of the family
37including natural catastrophe, fire, or condemnation. These
38circumstances shall be verified by a third-party governmental or
39private health and human services agency, except that domestic
40violence may also be verified by a sworn statement by the victim,
P15   1as provided under Section 11495.25. Homeless assistance payments
2based on these specific circumstances may not be received more
3often than once in any 12-month period. In addition, if the domestic
4violence is verified by a sworn statement by the victim, the
5homeless assistance payments shall be limited to two periods of
6not more than 16 consecutive calendar days of temporary assistance
7and two payments of permanent assistance. A county may require
8that a recipient of homeless assistance benefits who qualifies under
9this paragraph for a second time in a 24-month period participate
10in a homelessness avoidance case plan as a condition of eligibility
11for homeless assistance benefits. The county welfare department
12shall immediately inform recipients who verify domestic violence
13by a sworn statement of the availability of domestic violence
14counseling and services, and refer those recipients to services upon
15request.

16(iv) If a county requires a recipient who verifies domestic
17violence by a sworn statement to participate in a homelessness
18avoidance case plan pursuant to clause (iii), the plan shall include
19the provision of domestic violence services, if appropriate.

20(v) If a recipient seeking homeless assistance based on domestic
21violence pursuant to clause (iii) has previously received homeless
22avoidance services based on domestic violence, the county shall
23review whether services were offered to the recipient and consider
24what additional services would assist the recipient in leaving the
25domestic violence situation.

26(vi) The county welfare department shall report necessary data
27to the department through a statewide homeless assistance payment
28indicator system, as requested by the department, regarding all
29recipients of aid under this paragraph.

30(H) The county welfare departments, and all other entities
31participating in the costs of the CalWORKs program, have the
32right in their share to any refunds resulting from payment of the
33permanent housing. However, if an emergency requires the family
34to move within the 12-month period specified in subparagraph
35(G), the family shall be allowed to use any refunds received from
36its deposits to meet the costs of moving to another residence.

37(I) Payments to providers for temporary shelter and permanent
38housing and utilities shall be made on behalf of families requesting
39these payments.

P16   1(J) The daily amount for the temporary shelter special needs
2benefit for homeless assistance may be increased if authorized by
3the current year’s Budget Act by specifying a different daily
4allowance and appropriating the funds therefor.

5(K) No payment shall be made pursuant to this paragraph unless
6the provider of housing is a commercial establishment, shelter, or
7person in the business of renting properties who has a history of
8renting properties.

9(g) The department shall establish rules and regulations ensuring
10the uniform statewide application of this section.

11(h) The department shall notify all applicants and recipients of
12aid through the standardized application form that these benefits
13are available and shall provide an opportunity for recipients to
14apply for the funds quickly and efficiently.

15(i) (1) Except for the purposes of Section 15200, the amounts
16payable to recipients pursuant to Section 11453.1 shall not
17constitute part of the payment schedule set forth in subdivision
18(a).

19(2) The amounts payable to recipients pursuant to Section
2011453.1 shall not constitute income to recipients of aid under this
21section.

22(j) For children receiving Kin-GAP pursuant to Article 4.5
23(commencing with Section 11360) or Article 4.7 (commencing
24with Section 11385) there shall be paid, exclusive of any amount
25considered exempt as income, an amount of aid each month, which,
26when added to the child’s income, is equal to the rate specified in
27Sections 11364 and 11387.

28(k) (1) A county shall implement the semiannual reporting
29requirements in accordance with Chapter 501 of the Statutes of
302011.

31(2) Upon completion of the implementation described in
32paragraph (1), each county shall provide a certificate to the director
33certifying that semiannual reporting has been implemented in the
34county.

35(3) Upon filing the certificate described in paragraph (2), a
36county shall comply with the semiannual reporting provisions of
37this section.

38

SEC. 15.  

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

P17   1

11450.5.  

For purposes of computing and paying aid grants
2under this chapter, the director shall adopt regulations establishing
3a budgeting system consistent with Sections 11265.1, 11265.2,
4and 11265.3. This section, Sections 11004 and 11450, or any other
5provision of this code, shall not be interpreted to prohibit the
6establishment of, or otherwise restricting the operation of, any
7budgeting system adopted by the director.

8

SEC. 16.  

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

10

14140.  

The following definitions shall apply to the provisions
11of this article:

12(a) “Net worth” means:

13(1) Personal property, which consists of cash, savings accounts,
14securities, and similar items; notes, mortgages, and deeds of trust;
15the cash surrender value of life insurance on the life of the applicant
16or beneficiary, on the life of the spouse or any member of the
17family, except as provided in Section 11158; motor vehicles, except
18one that meets the transportation needs of the person or family;
19and any other property or equity other than real estate.

20(2) Real property, including any interest in land of more than
21nominal interest that does not constitute the home of the applicant
22for aid under this chapter. The home of the applicant shall be
23exempt from consideration as net worth under this section to the
24extent of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in assessed valuation, as
25assessed by the county assessor.

26(3) “Income” that consists of the sum of adjusted gross income
27as used for purposes of the Federal Income Tax Law.

28(b) “Family unit” means:

29(1) In the case of an unmarried patient under 21 years of age
30living with his parent or parents, the patient and his parents.

31(2) In the case of a married patient under 21 years of age, the
32patient and his spouse.

33(3) In the case of a patient over 21, the patient, and if married,
34the patient’s wife.

35

SEC. 17.  

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

37

18923.  

(a) The State Department of Social Services shall
38submit a request to the United States Department of Agriculture
39for a waiver to permit a CalFresh household to retain funds in the
40restricted savings account as specified in subdivision (a) of former
P18   1Section 11155.2 and as accumulated while participating in the Aid
2to Families with Dependent Children program. The participation
3requirements for this specific savings account as specified in
4subdivision (a) of former Section 11155.2 shall apply to CalFresh.
5Penalties for nonqualifying withdrawal of these funds shall result
6in a calculation of a period of ineligibility for all persons in the
7CalFresh household, to be determined by dividing the balance in
8the account immediately prior to the withdrawal by the CalFresh
9allotment to which the household is entitled. The resulting whole
10number shall be the number of months of ineligibility. The period
11of ineligibility may be reduced when the divisor, which is the
12CalFresh allotment, increases as a result of a cost-of-living
13adjustment.

14(b) The director may waive, with federal approval, the
15enforcement of specific federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
16Program requirements, regulations, and standards necessary to
17implement this provision.

18

SEC. 18.  

No appropriation pursuant to Section 15200 of
19Welfare and Institutions Code shall be made for the purposes of
20this act.

21

SEC. 19.  

If the Commission on State Mandates determines
22that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement
23to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made
24pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division
254 of Title 2 of the Government Code.



O

    97