The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued guidance regarding how Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) and other Unemployment Insurance programs are treated for purposes of CalWORKs. PUC is the additional $300 per week in Unemployment Insurance benefits in the December, 2020 stimulus package. For CalWORKs, PUC payments are now exempt for both applicants and recipients. For CalFresh, PUC payments are exempt from consideration as income or resources for nine months following receipt.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which is for self-employed workers and independent contractors, is considered income for CalWORKs applicants and recipients. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which is extension benefits after regular Unemployment Insurance or PUA expires, also is considered income for CalWORKs applicants and recipients.
FED-ED is an additional extension of Unemployment Insurance benefits during periods of high unemployment for people who have sufficient earnings. FED-ED is considered unearned income. FED-ED benefits are considered income for CalWORKs applicants and recipients.
Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) is an additional $100 per week in Unemployment Insurance for individuals eligible for Unemployment Insurance and who have at least $5,000 in self-employment income. MEUC will be considered unearned income when it is issued. MEUC will be considered unearned income. MEUC benefits will be considered income for CalWORKs applicants and recipients.
Refugee Cash Assistance, Entrant Cash Assistance and Trafficking and Crime Victims Assistance Program follow the same CalWORKs rules for PUC, PUA, PEUC, FED-ED and MEUC. (ACL 21-22, February 26, 2021.)