Treatment of the Golden State Stimulus and Golden State Grant for CalWORKs

Households receiving the California Earned Income Tax Credit for 2020 will receive a $600 one-time relief payment through the Golden State Stimulus program.  In addition, the Golden State Stimulus program will provide a one-time $600 payment to households that filed with an Individual Tax Identification Number, have income below $75,000 per year, and were precluded from receiving a federal stimulus payment.  Eligible households can receive both payments.

As a tax rebate, credit or temporary tax refund measure, Golden State Stimulus payments are not counted as income and are exempt from being counted as a resource for 12 months for CalWORKs CalFresh, and CAPI.

The CalWORKs Golden State Grant payment will provide a $600 one-time payment to eligible CalWORKs Assistance Units that will be distributed by mid-April 2021.  This payment is exempt from being considered income, and is exempt from being considered a resource for 12 months.

The CalWORKs Golden State Grant payment cannot be considered an overpayment and must be excluded from overpayment establishment and collection.

All active CalWORKs recipients as of March 27, 2021 are eligible for the CalWORKs Golden State Grant.  A family that contains a CalWORKs assistance unit may also be eligible for additional Golden State Grant payments if it includes a SSI or CAPI recipient.

Refugee Cash Assistance, Entrant Cash Assistance and Trafficking and Crime Victims Assistance Program recipients are not eligible for the CalWORKs Golden State Grant.  (ACL 21-23, March 25, 2021.)

CalWORKs, CalFresh, and other programs treatment of rebates, refunds and credits under American Rescue Plan Act

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 contains several tax credits and rebates, including Earned Income Tax Credit, additional child tax credits, and child and dependent tax credits.  These individual rebates are excluded from consideration as income, and as an asset for 12 months after receipt for CalWORKs, CalFresh, Refugee Cash Assistance, Entrant Cash Assistance, Trafficking and Crime Victims Assistance Program, Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payments, Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants, programs that fund foster care payments, Approved Relative Caregiver program, and Emergency Assistance funding.  (ACL 21-37, March 26, 2021.)

CAPI nonmedical out-of-home care payment standard

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has released guidance and forms regarding the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) nonmedical out-of-home care payment standard. The nonmedical out-of-home care payment standard is available to SSI and CAPI recipients who need nonmedical care or supervision and reside in eligible living arrangements.

For minors, qualified living arrangements are: a blind or disabled child who resides in a state licensed nonmedical out-of-home care facility, a disabled child living in the home of a relative or legal guardian/conservator who is not a parent, a blind child living in the household of a relative who is not a parent or legal guardian/conservator, a blind or disabled child living in a certified family home, or a youth who receives extended foster care after age 18 and resides in a licensed/certified foster care home.

For adults, qualified living arrangements are: an aged, blind or disabled individual/couple residing in a state licensed nonmedical out-of-home care facility, an aged, blind or disabled individual/couple living in a Family Home approved by a Family Home Agency acting on behalf of a California Regional Center, or an an aged, blind or disabled individual/couple in the household of a relative, conservator or guardian and receiving nonmedical care and supervision from a relative.

Living arrangements not eligible for nonmedical out-of-home care payment are an adult who owns their residence or has rental liability for their residence, an adult whose ineligible spouse is able and available and lives in the same household, an adult who resides with a non-relative who is not the claimant’s conservator or guardian, an adult who resides in a facility that is not a state licensed or approved Family Home facility, a disabled child living with their parent(s), a blind child attending school or training full time who lives with their parents, or a blind or disabled child who lives in a certified family home, foster family home or unlicensed group home.

CAPI claimants who qualify for both IHSS and nonmedical out-of-home care payment may receive either but not both.

A CAPI recipient eligible for nonmedical out-of-home care living in a licensed facility receives one payment standard.  A CAPI recipient eligible for nonmedical out-of-home care living with a relative, legal guardian or conservator is eligible for a lower payment standard.  (ACL 20-141, December 16, 2020.)

CAPI application process

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued reminders about the application process for the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI).

Any person who wants to apply for CAPI must be allowed to do so immediately.  People attempting to apply for CAPI cannot be turned away by the county for any reason.  This is true even if the an applicant is applying in a county they do not reside in.  In that situation, the county must offer to start the application and that the application will be forwarded to the correct county.

Counties cannot dissuade persons from applying for CAPI.  Counties may not issue verbal eligibility decisions and must follow all notice requirements.  Counties may not redirect CAPI applicants to other county offices or agencies until they have made a determination of CAPI eligibility.

Counties must assist applicants as needed to establish CAPI eligibility.  This includes providing required application forms, information on how to obtain required documents, and information about alternative types of documentation.  Counties must provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities in the application process.

Counties must assist applicants in their preferred language.  CAPI applicants may not be turned away based on unavailability of county staff who speak the applicant’s preferred language.  Counties can use telephone interpreter services.  CAPI applicants can use their own interpreter if the interpreter is at least 18 years old.  Only under extenuating circumstances or at the specific request of the applicant can a minor temporarily act as an interpreter.  Whenever the applicant provides their own interpreter, the county should inform the applicant that they have a right to a free interpreter.

All CAPI forms are available in English, Armenian, Spanish and Chinese on the CDSS website.  Applicants requesting assistance in any other language must be provided with interpretation of CAPI forms in their preferred language.

When a married couple applies for CAPI, each spouse must complete and sign their own application, must be assigned a separate case number, and get separate notices of action.

Counties must accept CAPI applications and documents at any county welfare department office. Applicants may not be redirected to other offices to apply.  County residents who call an office that does not process CAPI applications must be transferred to a county office that does and be given the direct phone number for that office.  Counties with call centers that accept CAPI applications must be given the opportunity to apply over the phone and the application should be sent for processing within 24 hours.  Counties cannot redirect phone applicants to apply in person or by mail.

Members of one of the CAPI consortia must accept CAPI application in-person, by mail or by phone, at any county welfare department office.  Consortium counties cannot direct callers or transfer callers to the lead consortium county.  Applications and forms must be scanned and emailed to the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance or the San Mateo Human Services as appropriate.

Counties must collect a photo id from the applicant.  CAPI applicants who apply based on age must provide evidence of age.  For people who do not have birth certificates, other evidence may be submitted to establish date of birth.

Counties must collect evidence of immigration status.  An applicant who does not have this documentation must still be allowed to apply.  There are many ways to prove immigration status or intent to obtain immigration status for victims of serious crime or trafficking survivors.  Counties must require qualified aliens to apply for SSI and to get evidence of the application or a denial based on immigration status.  Counties must not require an SSI application as a condition of applying for CAPI.  People who are not qualified aliens are not required to apply for SSI to be eligible for CAPI.  Because of COVID-19, verbal attestation of applying for SSI is sufficient until the end of the state of emergency.

All CAPI applicants are usually required have a face-to-face interview.  However, because of COVID-19, interviews can be done electronically until the end of the state of emergency.  (ACL 20-143.)  The interview should be within five days of the application so the county can make an eligibility decision within 30 days.

CAPI applicants under age 65 who have not already been found disabled for purposes of Med-Cal must be evaluated by the Disability Determination Service Division and are not eligible until that evaluation is done unless they are presumptively eligible.  (ACIN I-84-20, November 16, 2020.)

CAPI date of entry

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) reminds counties that qualified aliens who entered the United States prior to August 22, 1996 can be eligible for the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI).

Qualified aliens who entered the United States before August 22, 1996 can be eligible for CAPI if the Social Security Administration denied their SSI applications due to immigration status because they were not lawfully residing in the United States on August 22, 1996.  This policy reiterates the 2005 settlement agreement in Jamal Eddin v. Bolton.  (ACIN I-81-20, November 17, 2020.)

New CAPI payment standard

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) transmits the new payment standard for the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI).  Effective January, 2021, the 1.3 percent SSI cost of living increase will cause both the SSI/SSP payment standard and the CAPI payment standard to increase.

The cost of living increase will also increase the presumed maximum value for in-kind support and maintenance, the allowance for ineligible children in deeming situations, the sponsor’s allocation in alien deeming situations, and the allowance for parent(s) in parent-to-child seeming situations.  (ACIN I-78-20, November 17, 2020.)