The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued questions and answers regarding changes to the semi-annual reporting and annual recertification processes. CalWORKs assistance units may now provide information about income received during the 30 days prior to submitting the annual recertification. Counties must determine the relevant period based on when the household or assistance unit submits their annual recertification or when the county sends a CW 2200 Request for Verification form. If the assistance unit reports income and provides verification for a 30 day period, and that income is reasonably anticipated to continue, the county can use the information provided. A paystub outside of the 30 day period is sufficient if it represents reasonably anticipated income.
Semi-annual reports (SAR 7) no longer must be signed no earlier than the first of the month to be considered complete. The SAR 7 is now considered complete if the form is signed and dated by persons specified by CDSS, all questions and items are fully answered, and all required verification is provided, regardless of the date the it is signed. If the signature and/or date is missing, then the SAR 7 is incomplete. The date can be captured via electronic signature, or, if the county does not have electronic signature capability, by verbal attestation.
Automated calls can meet the personal contact for late or incomplete SAR 7 as long as the call provides information that leads to a worker, call center or provides a phone number that the recipient can call for assistance. If the assistance unit does not have a working phone number, the county can use email or text if the client previously gave consent for electronic communication. If that is unsuccessful, then the county must mail a written reminder no later than five days prior to the last calendar day of the submit month. The county must document in the case record that it made an attempt to contact and collect information necessary for the report.
The policy for third party verification remains unchanged. Counties can use information from The Work Number in the same manner as information provided by an employer. (ACIN I-21-22, March 4, 2022.)