The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued clarification regarding procedures for the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) program during COVID-19. Counties are to promptly determine CAPI eligibility without waiting for signed forms for requested documentation. However, the county must receive all requested documentation prior to issuing a notice of action or starting to pay benefits.
CAPI applications remain subject to the 30-day determination deadline except for disability determinations for applicants under age 65. Applicants must be informed of required documents before the 30 day timeframe starts. For telephone applications, the county should follow up with a letter stating all required documentation. The date of the telephone application is the first day of the 30-day application process. For mailed applications, the date the application is received and date stamped by the county is the first day of the 30-day process.
Redeterminations have been suspended for 90 days. Any CAPI case due to be redetermined in March, April, May or June is extended for 12 months and may not be redetermined until the scheduled redetermination date in 2021. Counties must ensure that adverse actions from March, 2020 redeterminations are not taken and must rescind any that were. Any notices that were manually sent to CAPI recipients in March to inform of adverse action must be manually rescinded. No CAPI annual redeterminations can occur until after July 1.
CAPI recipients are still required to report changes in circumstances within 10 days. However, only redeterminations caused by a report that will increase benefits will be processed. No negative action may be taken against any CAPI recipient, regardless of the reason.
Redeterminations connected with inter-county transfers are temporarily waived. A redetermination should occur after the governor’s executive order on redeterminations expires.
All current overpayment policies remain in place. Counties must review waiver requests.
The requirement to apply for SSI as a condition of CAPI eligibility remains in place. However, counties and CAPI consortia are directed to accept any verbal or written statement by a CAPI applicant that they applied for SSI and are waiting for a decision from the Social Security Administration. In addition, the immigration status code N13 on the INQX screen in MEDS, when dated in the last six months, is sufficient to show the SSI application and that it was denied solely because of immigration status.
Counties may still send Interim Assistance Reimbursement forms but are not required to do so.
The federal individual stimulus payment will not count as income for CAPI. Benefits from Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance are also excluded as income because they are benefits related to a major disaster. However, these benefits are counted as income for purposes of the indigence exception to sponsor deeming. (ACL 20-46, April 22, 2020.)