IHSS medical accompaniment

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has provided additional guidance regarding In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) medical accompaniment services.  Medical accompaniment is assistance necessary for the recipient to accomplish travel to and attend medical appointments.  ACL 17-42 states that accompaniment is only authorized when the recipient needs another IHSS service during transportation and/or at the destination.

CDSS is adding that the recipient is eligible for medical accompaniment services when the recipient cannot accomplish travel to a health care appointment or alternative resource site alone because of their disability and the presence of the IHSS provider would allow the recipient to accomplish the travel.  In this situation, the county can authorize accompaniment because the providers presence assists the recipient in accomplishing the travel.

Waiting time associated with the appointment should be authorized if the recipient continues to require the assistance of the provider to remain at the appointment.  If the recipient can attend the appointment without the provider, waiting time should only be authorized in accordance with ACL 16-01 and ACL 17-42.  (ACL 20-35, May 8, 2020.)

COVID-19 Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants

Disaster Relief for Immigrants will provide $500 per undocumented person with a maximum $1,000 per family to undocumented persons in California.  The program will be administered by nonprofit organizations.  The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has released the list of nonprofit organizations administering the program and the counties each organization will cover.

The nonprofit organizations will accept applications for the program from May 18, 2020 to June 30, 2020 or earlier if funding is exhausted.

To be eligible, a person must be an undocumented adult who is not eligible for federal COVID-19 related assistance and has experienced a hardship because of COVID-19.

CSSS also issued a series of FAQs about the program.  (Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants.)

COVID-19 HUD extension of foreclosure and eviction moratorium

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has extended the foreclosure and eviction moratorium announced in Mortgagee Letter 2020-04 for borrowers with FHA-insured Single Family mortgages covered under the CARES Act through June 30, 2020.

FHA-insured Single Family mortgages, excluding vacant or abandoned properties, are subject to this extension to the moratorium on foreclosure.  The moratorium applies to initiation of foreclosure and to foreclosures in process.

Evictions of persons from properties securing FHA-insured Single Family mortgages are also suspended through June 30, 2020.

Deadlines for first legal action and responsible diligence are extended by 90 days from the date of the expiration of the moratorium.  (Mortgagee Letter 2020-13, May 14, 2020.)

COVID-19 CDSS waivers of background check requirements

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued a statewide waiver for certain background checks for Adult and Senior Care (ASC) licensees.  ASCs can use the waiver if the licensee experiencing a staff shortage and live scan services are limited because of COVID-19.

Newly hired ASC staff may start working immediately upon submission of a request to transfer a current CDSS criminal records clearance or exemption.  If newly hired staff do not have an existing CDSS criminal records clearance or exemption, they must make every effort to complete live scan within 5 days of starting employment.

If live scan services are available, newly hired staff without an existing CDSS criminal records clearance or exemption may start working immediately upon submitting to the licensee a complete criminal record statement (LIC 508) and request for live scan services (LIC 9163) to the ASC.  Within 5 days of starting work, newly hired staff must complete live scan.

If live scan services are not available, newly hired staff without an existing CDSS criminal records clearance or exemption may start working immediately upon submitting to the licensee a complete criminal record statement (LIC 508) and a complete DOJ Bureau of Criminal Records Information and Analysis Name-Check Form.

If new staff are unable to complete live scan within 5 days because of COVID-19 closures, the licensee can do a Department of Justice background search based on identifying information other than fingerprints.  CDSS has a new background check system call Guardian for name based searches with the Department of Justice.

New staff must complete live scan no later than June 15, 2020 unless that deadline is extended by CDSS.

The background check waiver for Home Care Organization (HCO) licensees and Home Care Aids (HCA) is rescinded and all statutory background check requirements now apply except newly hired HCO staff or applicants for the HCA registry may begin working immediately upon submitting a request to transfer a current CDSS criminal records clearance or exemption.  New HCO staff or HCA applicants without a current CDSS criminal records clearance or exemption can request an individual waiver which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  (PIN 20-12-CCLD, May 8, 2020.)

COVID-19 CalFresh emergency allotment for May 2020

California has been approved to issue an emergency allotment of CalFresh for May, 2020.  The emergency allotment will be issued on June 14 to raise each household’s monthly CalFresh allotment to the maximum allowable for the household size.  Per guidance from the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), households already receiving the maximum allotment are not eligible to receive an emergency allotment.

Moving forward, emergency allotments may be approved by FNS on a month-to-month basis until the Secretary of Health and Human Services rescinds the public health emergency. (ACWDL, May 11, 2020.)

COVID-19 immediate and continuous child care for exempt and sanctioned participants

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has provided clarifications about immediate and continuous Stage One child care for exempt volunteers and sanctioned welfare-to-work (WTW) participants.  General information about immediate and continuous Stage One child care is in ACL 19-99, summarized here.

Clients who are exempt from WTW participation who express an intent to participate in WTW as an exempt volunteer are eligible for immediate and continuous Stage One child care.  An exempt individual’s expressed intent to volunteer to participate in WTW is sufficient to establish authorization for immediate and continuous Stage One child care.  This indication can be communicated in any manner (for example in writing, verbally, by phone or in person).

Exempt volunteers will need to sign a WTW plan to maintain child care.  Exempt volunteers will have 30 days to locate child care, and 30 days to sign a plan.  Depending on communication with the client, these 30 day time frames and run concurrently or sequentially.

Exempt volunteers authorized for immediate and continuous Stage One child care who sign a WTW plan will continue to receive child care for 12 months, regardless of their participation status after signing the plan.

Clients who were sanctioned prior to October 1, 2019 or sanctioned clients applying for child care after October 1, 2019 must be authorized to receive immediate and continuous child care upon expressing an intent to cure the sanction to the county.  The indication of intent to cure the sanction is sufficient to establish authorization for immediate and continuous Stage One child care.  This indication can be communicated in any manner (for example in writing, verbally, by phone or in person).

Sanctioned individuals shall not be required to sign a cure plan prior to receiving immediate and continuous Stage One child care.   Exempt volunteers will have 30 days to locate child care, and 30 days to sign a cure plan.  Depending on communication with the client, these 30 day time frames and run concurrently or sequentially.  For individuals who do not sign a cure plan, child care will be discontinued until the sanction client again indicates an intent to cure the sanction.  Sanctioned clients who sign a cure plan will be authorized for immediate and continuous Stage One child care without discontinuance regardless of their participation status after signing the plan. (ACIN I-15-20, May 6, 2020.)