COVID-19 new unemployment programs as income for CalWORKs

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued guidance regarding counting Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) as income for CalWORKs.

PUC is an extra $600 per week of regular unemployment insurance through July 31, 2020.  Pursuant to Executive Order N-59-20, PUC is exempt as income for CalWORKs recipients.  However, PUC counts as income for CalWORKs applicants.

PEUC is an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance for people who have exhausted regular unemployment insurance through December 31, 2020.  PUA is unemployment payments for persons not otherwise eligible for regular unemployment insurance including self-employed persons and independent contractors who are unemployed as a result of COVID-19.  PEUC and PUA are not exempt for purposes of CalWORKs and they count as unearned income.

This guidance also applies to Refugee Cash Assistance, Entrant Cash Assistance and Trafficking and Crime Victims Assistance program.  (ACWDL, May 5, 2020.)