Changes made to the Transitional Nutrition Benefit (TNB) Program recertification

The Transitional Nutrition Benefit (TNB) is a food benefit for persons who had their CalFresh benefits terminated a when Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients became eligible for CalFresh and was added to the household in July, 2019.  TNB replaces some of those benefits that were lost.  

Previously California Department of Social Services (CDSS) policy required that households were required to recertify for TNB every six months, and benefits could be restored only if all documentation or information was provided in 30 days of the recertification deadline. 

Effective November 1, 2021, TNB recertifications are required every  12 months and the period to restore TNB benefits by submitting missing documentation is extended to 90 days.  Any household who submits their required documentation or information within the 90-day restoration period may have their TNB eligibility restored without proration back to the original date of discontinuance.

To allow time for the automation of the extension of the TNB restoration period, all TNB recertifications are paused beginning November 2021. This pause applies to households who receive November benefits, including those discontinued before November, and their discontinuance is rescinded due to the new 90-day rescind period or Administrative Hearing compliance. The recertification pause does not impact households who were recertified in October 2021.

If a household has recertification due in November 2021 and loses TNB Program eligibility for not providing documentation or information to continue program eligibility before November, counties must rescind the discontinuance of TNB program eligibility for the household. During the recertification pause, households will not be required to complete recertification to maintain eligibility. The pause will continue for two years or until the Statewide Automated Welfare System (SAWS) can perform the necessary automation to implement policy changes. 

Counties must publicize this change using mass change information practices, including but not limited to news and media outlet, posters in offices, or sites frequented by certificated households, notices mailed to households.

Counties should consider including a message on their websites, social media, Interactive Voice Response Systems, and other client communication tools to alert households of the new changes.  (ACL 21-131, October 26, 2021.)