COVID-19 third extension of time eligibility for RCA, ECA and TCVAP

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued instructions for an additional extension of time eligibility for Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA), Entrant Cash Assistance (ECA) and Trafficking and Crime Victim Assistance Program (TCVAP).  Effective February 1, 2020, this extension applies to RCA, ECA and TCVAP until April 30, 2021.  This extension is limited to persons whose date of eligibility for benefits is April 1, 2019 through August 31, 2020.

Applicants for RCA, ECA and TCVAP are not required to provide Social Security Numbers.

Verification and documentation requirements are waived for all three programs. Verbal declarations are acceptable verification, including verification of immigration status.

Counties must provide uninterrupted assistance retroactive to February 1, 2021 through April 30, 2021 regardless of whether they received the prior benefits extension.  For benefits recipients who were scheduled to be terminated January 31, 2021, counties must rescind any discontinuances of benefits. Recipients who reached their time limit before August 31, 2020 may reapply for benefits.  Those persons must confirm that they were economically impacted by COVID-19.

People receiving extension benefits must comply with SAR-7 and annual redetermination requirements.

Counties are encouraged to use flexibilities to help client meet employment requirements.  Counties should ensure that all RCA and ECA recipients are enrolled in and referred for employment services and English classes.

TCVAP recipients must provide proof of submission of a T-Visa application within 12 months of the date of application.  Counties should review cases where applicants or recipients are unable to apply for a T-Visa for good cause.  Counties can accept written declarations for verification that an applicant or recipient has applied for a U-Visa.

Counties should disregard certain COVID-19 emergency payments when determining income and assets for applicants impacted by COVID-19.

Counties must notify RCA, ECA and TCVAP recipients receiving extended cash assistance of the time extension and continuance of aid at least 10 days prior to issuing cash payments.  (ACWDL, January 28, 2021.)