Clarifications of Income Reporting Thresholds (IRT) in the CalFresh program

This is a must-read for CalFresh advocates. But to read a 10-page All County Letter like ACL 15-42 is to be reminded how complicated and therefore error-prone welfare programs have become, or at least continue to be, despite improvements such as broader categorical eligibility and simplified reporting requirements. Exhibit A here is an admittedly helpful chart on page two that breaks down six differing types of CalFresh-eligible households, each with differing rules for gross income limits and/or household compositions, with corresponding semi-annual reporting requirements (SAR), triggered by the applicable Income Reporting Thresholds (IRT). Or not.

This is an arena where client advocates need to be something akin to a tax lawyer. Perhaps it was a bit of CDSS humor that it chose to publish this on Tax Day? In any event, the rules here are quite technical and demand close reading to get them right. ACL 15-42 (April 15, 2015). Be sure also to review the “errata” related to these same issues in ACL 14-56E, laying out corresponding corrections to its earlier 2014 ACL about CalFresh modified categorical eligibility (MCE).