CalWORKs Welfare-to-Work pregnancy exemption

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued guidance regarding Senate Bill 65 (Chapter 449, Statutes of 2021) which allows all pregnant persons to be exempt from WTW. Senate Bill 65 initially took effect on the 1st of January 2022 but CDSS delayed notice of this change because CalWORKs recipients have been exempt from WTW because of COVID-19.  

Pregnant recipients are no longer required to provide proof of medical impairment to be exempt from participation in WTW activities. Pregnant recipients are any pregnant person in any trimester of their pregnancy, verified through a sworn written statement or verbal attestation. Following a request for a WTW exemption based on pregnancy, recipients are required to submit medical verification of their pregnancy to the county within 30 working days. 

The pregnancy exemption from WTW does not stop the CalWORKs time on caid clock.  Eligible pregnant recipients may be able to get a time limit exemption by requesting a different WTW exemption such as an exemption for disability. 

If a pregnant recipient chooses to participate as an exempt volunteer, they must agree to a WTW plan including an activity of their choice to receive WTW services that consist of child care, diaper costs, transportation, ancillary expenses, and to the extent of their availability, personal counseling and related supportive services. Not complying with the WTW plan returns the participant to the pregnancy exemption.  (ACL 22-55, July 8, 2022.)