The California Department of Social Services has informed counties that the legislature has repealed the CalWORKs Maximum Family Grant (MFG) rule. Effective January 1, 2017, no child will denied aid because the child was born into a family receiving CalWORKs. Any child previously excluded by the MFG rule must be added to the assistance unit effective January 1, 2017.
Counties are required to review their caseloads to determine existing cases with children excluded by the MFG rule and inform those families that their CalWORKs grant will change to include the previously excluded children. In addition, counties must send a mass mailing starting on November 1, 2016 to all CalWORKs recipients informing them of the repeal of the MFG rule. CDSS encourages counties to display the informing notices in their offices and to discuss the MFG repeal at application and redetermination.
Children previously excluded by the MFG rule will be subject to child support assignment. Children excluded by the MFG rule were able to keep all child support paid on their behalf. Child support paid on behalf of these children will be assigned to the state the effective January 1, 2017 and the family will receive the first $50 of child support collected on behalf of the family. Parents will need to complete the CW 2.1Q Child Support Questionnaire for children previously excluded by the MFG rule if those children are not already identified on an existing CW 2.1Q. Parents will be required to cooperate with the local child support agency unless they have good cause, including that cooperation will put the family at risk.
Other benefits paid on behalf of children excluded by the MFG rule, such as Social Security dependant’s benefits, will be counted as income for CalWORKs effective January 1, 2017. In addition, CalFresh benefits will be redetermined based on the new CalWORKs grant. ACL 16-66 (August 26, 2016).