Changes to RCA, ECA and TCVAP

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) informs counties about the effect of various CalWORKs changes on the Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) program, Entrant Cash Assistance (ECA) program and Trafficking and Crime Victims Protection Act (TCVAP) benefits.  In general, CalWORKs financial eligibility and payment rules apply to RCA, ECA and TCVAP.

Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits now are considered disability-based unearned income for purposes of CalWORKs.  PFL benefits fall under the CalWORKs disability-based unearned income disregard.  As a result, PFL benefits also fall under the RCA, ECA and TCVAP disability-based unearned income disregard.

PFL benefits are also a CalWORKs 60-mont time on aid limit time limit clock stopper. However, PFL benefits do not stop the 12-month eligibility time limit for RCA, ECA and TCVAP.

RCA, ECA and TCVAP applicants who are 16 or 17 years old, and are full time students are exempt from employment registration.  Parents under age 20 are also exempt from employment registration.  Because of a change in CalWORKs law, an individual who loses this exemption may again receive it if they resume full-time school attendance if they are otherwise eligible.

Counties can exempt RCA, ECA and TCVAP recipients from employment registration for good cause.  Because of a change in CalWORKs law, these good cause reasons have been expanded to include that hours of employment are unpredictable,  the recipient has one of a list of labor or employment law violations, the recipients states they have experienced sexual harassment or other abusive conduct at work, or the recipient states that their rights under and federal, state or local labor or employment law were violated.  (See ACL 23-30, summarized here.)  (ACL 23-95, November 14. 2023.)