Extension of COVID-19 flexibilities for Refugee Cash Assistance

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued guidance implementing the extension of COVID-19 flexibilities for Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA), Entrant Cash Assistance (ECA), Refugee Support Services (RSS), Services to Older Refugees (SOR), and Trafficking and Crime Victims Assistance Program (TCVAP) Cash Assistance benefits through September 30, 2022.  These waivers include:

  • Allowing verbal attestation for eligibility determinations. This waiver continues flexibility regarding verification of immigration status. This flexibility also applies to arrivals from Afghanistan.
  • Excluding certain types of COVID-19 emergency assistance when determining eligibility and grant amounts. Such assistance is excluded as income, and excluded as an asset for 12 months.
  • Flexibility regarding participation in employment services. Under the waiver for employment services, counties are highly encouraged to continue to use remote case management and learning.
  • providing interim RCA payments for eligible applicants with pending CalWORKs applications who cannot complete application requirements because of COVID-19. When possible, counties must assess and grant good cause instead of interim RCA payments when Social Security Number applications and approvals are delayed because of COVID. However, when good cause is not possible, counties can issue interim RCA payments when CalWORKs approvals are delayed because of COVID.  These COVID-related delays can include inability to apply for or get a Social Security Number because of office closure.

TCVAP follows the same administrative rules as RCA and therefore these waivers also apply to TCVAP.  (ACWDL, March 3, 2022.)