The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued guidance regarding the end of the 24-month CalWORKs time clock and related welfare-to-work (WTW) changes. Effective May 1, 2022, or when the computer systems are programmed, whichever is later, the CalWORKs 24 month time clock is repealed. The California CalWORKs standards will be the only WTW hourly participation requirements and federal standards will no longer be used to determine WTW participation. This means that all WTW activities allowed under California law will be counted at any time during the CalWORKs time on aid clock.
Months where WTW participation is excused for good cause for at least 50% of the hourly participation requirement will not count toward the time on aid clock. Family stabilization services will be available at any point on the WTW time clock. Self-Initiated Plans will be available at any time during the WTW time on aid clock. Vocational education and job search/job readiness will be allowable activities throughout the time on aid clock.
Counties must notify all clients of these changes as soon as appropriate prior to May 1, 2022. If after being informed of these changes a client chooses to remain in their existing WTW plan, the client will not need to sign a new WTW plan document.
Starting on the date these changes become effective, no CalWORKs recipient can be sanctioned if they are meeting minimum WTW participation requirements. This includes clients who are assigned to a compliance plan or a cure plan even if the compliance or cure plan is to meet federal CalWORKs standards.
Recipients in the noncompliance process for failing to meet federal standards at the time these changes become effective must be informed that meeting CalWORKs participation requirements with any allowable activity will end noncompliance. Counties must inform recipients who are removed from aid because of the 24 month time clock that they can receive aid by meeting CalWORKs participation requirements with any allowable activity (ACL 20-120, November 13, 2020.)