The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued guidance regarding implementation of AB 79 regarding verification of information for CalFresh. To the extent permitted by federal law, counties must seek verification via available electronic sources or client statement when allowed, before requiring submission of additional information, use of collateral contacts, or home visits. Before sending a household request for missing verification, the county must check all available electronic resources to verify the missing information, and use the client statement to the extent allowed by federal law.
Counties must not send a request for missing verification or deny a case based on missing verification, unless they have first checked all available electronic sources or determined whether client statement is an allowable option. If verification cannot be obtained by electronic sources, and client statement is not an allowable form of verification for the information in question, counties must make the request for information using the CW 2200 Request for Verification form.
Available electronic sources include IEVS, MEDS, SSA, CMIPS, or any other source available to the county. The Work Number can only be used for verification when confirmed by the household to be accurate.
Counties must accept a client statement as the standard verification for dependent care expenses, and counties cannot seek other verification unless the information provided by the household is questionable.
If a household does not provide verification of certain expenses, or provides questionable information, but the household is eligible for CalFresh without deducting the expense, the county must approve the case without the deduction.
There are other ways to verify information. For example, residency must be verified to the extent possible, using all documents already provided by a household.
For factors other than mandatory verifications, a client statement must be accepted as verification unless the information provided is questionable.
Counties must accept verbal confirmation from the household whenever client statement is a valid form of verification. For information that can be verified by client statement and that is not questionable, counties are not required to also check electronic sources, and cannot delay processing of an application, recertification or periodic report by checking electronic resources.
When regulations only allow for verification via client statement under specific circumstances, and all other attempts at verification have failed, counties can use the best available information which can include verbal client statement.
Counties must document in the case record why information provided by a household is questionable before requesting additional information. Counties cannot require a specific type of verification when verifying questionable information. (ACL 20-135, December 15, 2020.)