CalWORKs and CalFresh changes to semi-annual reporting and annual recertification

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued instructions regarding changes to the semi-annual reporting and annual recertification processes. CalFresh Households and CalWORKs assistance units now provide information about income received during the 30 days prior to submitting the annual recertification.  Counties must determine the relevant period based on when the household or assistance unit submits their annual recertification or when the county sends a CW 2200 Request for Verification form.  This does not change the process for semi-annual reports or initial applications.

Counties must request verification of any income received during the 30 days prior to submission of the annual recertification.  Verification is not required for households or assistance units that report no income during the 30 days prior to submission of the annual recertification. Verification is also not required the income source has stopped (for example job loss) or the income is not reasonably anticipated to continue, and the loss of income is not questionable.

If complete income information is not submitted with the annual recertification, the county must send a CW 2200 Request for Verification form to request verification of income.  The CW 2200 must list the specific date range for which income verification is requested.  The CW 2200 must request income verification for 30 days prior to the date of the form.  If the client returns income verification that is outside of the 30 day period stated on the form, but is sufficient to determine eligibility, the county must accept it.

The 30 day verification period may not always fall within one calendar month.  The household or assistance unit can only be required to provide income verification for a specific calendar month.  If the household or assistance unit submit income verification that crosses more than one month, the county must convert the income to a monthly average.

There is no change to the process for either delayed processing of CalFresh application, or CalWORKs late redetermination and good cause for late filing.

Semi-annual reports (SAR 7) no longer must be signed no earlier than the first of the month to be considered complete.  The SAR 7 is now considered complete if the form is signed and dated by persons specified by CDSS, all questions and items are fully answered, and all required verification is provided.

Personal contact for late or incomplete SAR 7 can now be made by text or other electronic means if the household or assistance unit consents.

Counties must implement one of these interview scheduling methods for CalWORKs no later than July 1, 2021: time block interviews, telephonic contact in conjunction with written communication about scheduling an interview, and same day interviews.  For time block interviews, the designated time block must give households a reasonable window of time to expect a call.  Regardless of the scheduling method used, if a household misses its scheduled interview, at initial application or recertification, the county must send a Notice of Missed Interview.  (ACL 21-24, March 4, 2021.)