Return of CalWORKs 60-month time limit

Effective May 1, 2022, or when automation is complete, whichever is later, adults will be eligible to receive CalWORKs for a maximum of 60 countable months.  The 60-month time limit replaces the current 48-month time limit.  Months that will count toward the 60-month time limit are: all months of CalWORKs received since January, 1998, all months with a special needs payment received, all months of a zero basic grant, all months of CalWORKs immediate need received, all months of diversion payments received, all months of aid received as aid paid pending, all months of CalWORKs received as an overpayment that exceeded the CalWORKs time limit, all months of TANF received from other states since January 1, 1998, and all months of Tribal TANF received since January, 1998.

Months that do not count toward the time-on-aid limit are: months of TANF received in another state between September, 1996 and December 1997, months in which an adult was exempt from CalWORKs welfare-to-work participation, months in which a full-month of a CalWORKs overpayment is repaid, months for which a retroactive disability exemption was granted, months that have not counted toward the time limit because of COVID-19, months in which the adult was not aided because of a sanction.

Adults who reach the federal TANF time limit but who have not reached the CalWORKs time limit will be aided with state funds.

The change in the time-on-aid limit does not change policies about new applications.  An application may be held beyond the 45 day processing deadline if potential eligibility exists within 60 days.  Counties may pend applications if the applicant may be eligible within 60 days because of the time-on-aid limit.

The change in the time-on-aid limit does not change policies about adding new household members.  Annual reporting/child only households must report people who become eligible because of the increase to 60 months time-on-aid, the change within 10 days and if the individual must be added to the assistance unit, the new individual must occur by the next month.

For semi-annual reporting households, persons who become mandatorily included members because of the increase in time-on-aid to 60 months must be reported and added to the assistance at the beginning of the next semi-annual reporting period.  People who are living in the household but are not mandatorily included in the assistance unit must complete the CW 8 form to be added to the assistance unit.

A mass informing notice of the change to 60 months time-on-aid must be sent to all CalWORKs recipients at least 90 days prior to implementation.

Adult recipients will receive an informing notice of their time on aid at their 54th and 57th months on aid.

Aided CalWORKs recipients who need child care to work or participate in welfare-to-work activities may receive subsidized child care.  Adults who previously used 48 months of time on aid will potentially have renewed eligibility for Stage One or Stage Two child care.

Adding an adult to an existing assistance unit may increase the family’s CalFresh grant, and CalFresh benefits may be recalculated as a county-initiated action.

For Medi-Cal, individuals who were previously aided under the MAGI or non-MAGI may need to transition to a cash-linked Medi-Cal aid code.  (ACL 20-113, October 28, 2020.)