The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued regulations regarding identity verification for CalWORKs and CalFresh applicants. These regulations repeal the finger-imaging requirement and replace them with a photo identification requirement.
Parents or caretaker relatives, each aided or applicant adult, and aided or applicant pregnant women must now provide photo identification. Non-minor dependants, non-needy caretaker relatives applying for a relative foster child and applicants whose photo identification is part of a previous case file are exempt. CalWORKs applicants will have 15 days from the date of application to provide photo identification. The 15 days timeframe can be extended for good cause. If after a good faith effort the applicant cannot provide photo id without paying a fee, the county must pay that fee.
Benefits can be issued prior to submitting the photo identification if the applicant is eligible for CalWORKs immediate need, the applicant does not have photo identification and signs a statement under penalty of perjury regarding identity, or if the applicant is applying remotely through telephone or other electronic means. The applicant must provide photo identification within 15 working days or present evidence of good faith efforts to obtain photo identification for benefits to continue. (ACIN I-66-19, November 15, 2019.)