The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued guidance regarding processing IEVS matches because of COVID-19. Processing of Recipient-IEVS matches for March, April, and May, 2020 are suspended. Counties must not process Recipient-IEVS matches received during March, April, and May, 2020. Counties have been granted an extension of the IEVS follow-up timeframes.
However, processing continues of matches from the Payment Verification System, which includes information on CalWORKs and CalFresh recipients who receive or are entitled to Social Security, Unemployment Insurance and State Disability Insurance benefits.
Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation all count as income for CalFresh. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation count as income for CalWORKs. Pandemic Unemployment Compensation does not count as income for CalWORKs but counts as income for CalWORKs applicants.
CDSS is working with the Employment Development Department to develop an electronic match for Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.
For CalFresh, if a recipient responds to a notice of adverse action with by stating they receive Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, the county must verify receipt of those benefits and take appropriate action.
For CalWORKs, any Unemployment Insurance benefits with be added to other earned income and exceed the Income Reporting Threshold to be considered a missed mandatory report. If the county discovers the recipient may have missed such a report, the county must send the recipient a verification letter to request verification of Unemployment Insurance, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.
Beginning June 1, 2020, all IEVS matches will continue except for the Annual IRS Match, which will not resume until 2021.
Cases of suspected fraud must still be referred to Special Investigative Units (SIU) regardless of any temporary waiver periods or restrictions because of COVID-19. SIUs can continue to conduct face-to-face interviews. No application or benefits should be delayed, denied or interrupted without sufficient evidence to take case action. (ACWDL, June 5, 2020.)