CalWORKs time limit exemption for indian country residents in areas with over fifty percent unemployment

The California Department of Social Service (CDSS) has informed County Welfare Departments (CWDs) of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program updates on whether the Indian Country residents who participate qualify for federal and state time limit exemptions. Members of federally recognized tribes that have over fifty percent unemployment are exempt from both federal and state time limits. The letter identifies federally recognized tribes that had over fifty percent unemployment in 2021. The exemption also applies to tribal TANF programs.

Individuals who live in these areas qualify for the time limit exemption for specified months. If an individual lives in the exterior boundaries of an Indian reservation that is not listed in the letter as having over fifty percent unemployment, the county or Tribal TANF program can get written documentation from the tribe that the individual lived in an area where unemployment of adults is 50 percent or higher.

The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKS) time limit is 48 months, and the federal TANF time limit for aid is 60 months. As of May 1, 2022, the CalWORKs time limit will increase to 60 months.

CalWORKs applicants and recipients must be informed of all program time limit requirements and of how to request an exemption. Recipients must also be provided with information about their accumulated time on aid at specific intervals.  (ACL 22-28, April 8, 2022.)