The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued guidance implementing Executive Order N-71-20 which extends flexibility regarding pregnancy verification, identity verification, interview and signature requirements until the end of the State of Emergency or the governor modifies or rescinds Executive Order N-71-20, whichever is sooner.
For aid to a pregnant person in a family that does not include another child, applicants can submit a sworn statement verifying pregnancy when medical verification of pregnancy cannot be provided. Applicants who cannot provide either medical verification or a sworn statement can provide verbal attestation and medical verification within 30 days. If after 30 days the applicant presents evidence of good-faith efforts to obtain and submit medical verification, the county must continue aid.
In general, applicants must present photo identification in person before aid can be granted. A sworn affidavit is acceptable but individuals must present photo identification within 30 days for aid to continue. If county offices are closed because of COVID-19, aid will continue until the applicant can submit photo identification in person without needing to present evidence of good faith efforts to obtain or submit photo identification. Applicants will be asked to submit photo identification electronically and to present photo identification in person within 90 days after the California Department of Public Health no longer requires physical distancing.
The requirement for signatures on the CalWORKs application and Rights and Responsibilities form is waived. When a telephonic or electronic signature is unavailable, the county can document verbal attestation in the case file. Following verbal attestation, the county must mail the Statement of Facts to the client to be returned via U.S. Mail within 30 working days. If the applicant presents evidence of good faith efforts to submit the wet signature by mail, the county must continue aid.
The requirement for an interview for applicants is suspended for applicants whose identity has been verified and who have submitted all required verification. This includes requests for immediate need.
Counties are reminded to use electronic verification when available. When verification does not exist a sworn statement is adequate except for verification of citizenship. If required verification exists, it must be submitted to waive the interview requirement. However, counties cannot deny applications for failure to provide evidence if the county determines that the applicant is making a good faith effort to obtain the evidence.
These rules also apply to Refugee Cash Assistance, Entrant Cash Assistance and Trafficking and Crimes Victims Assistance Program. (ACWDL, July 16, 2020.)