The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued guidance regarding changes to the CalWORKs Homeless Assistance program and referrals for Pregnancy Special Needs.
CalWORKs applicants can verify pregnancy by a sworn statement or verbal attestation, and submitting medical verification within 30 working days of submitting the sworn statement or verbal attestation. This change now applies to requests for CalWORKs Homeless Assistance. CalWORKs applicants with no other CalWORKs eligible children can satisfy the pregnancy verification requirement for Homeless Assistance by sworn statement or verbal attestation. If the applicant does not submit medical verification within 30 days, counties cannot issue issue additional homeless assistance benefits unless the pregnant person presents evidence of good-faith efforts to get verification of pregnancy.
Counties can require a homeless avoidance case plan when a family receives homeless assistance for the second time in a 24-month period. Effective October 1, 2023, counties that require a homeless avoidance plan must also provide a housing navigator to the family. CDSS encourages that homeless avoidance plan be optional. CDSS also encourages counties to refer all homeless assistance recipients to Housing Support Program and Family Stabilization. Family may receive both Housing Support Program and Family Stabilization at the same time.
If a county requires a homeless avoidance case plan for a family that verifies domestic violence by sworn statement, the plan shall include providing domestic violence services.
Homeless Assistance eligibility is expanded to families who receive any notice that could lead to an eviction, regardless of the reason for the notice. This change is effective July 1, 2024, or when computer automation is completed, whichever is later.
Note that counties must accept a sworn statement to verify homelessness.
For purposes of homeless assistance eligibility, domestic violence is expanded to include actions done by any roommate. This expansion applies to both the domestic violence homeless assistance benefit, and the domestic violence exception to the once in 12 months limit on homeless assistance. This change is effective July 1, 2024, or when computer automation is completed, whichever is later.
Effective October 1, 2023, counties must refer pregnancy special needs payment recipients to perinatal home visiting services administered county public health, county social services, or county home visiting providers. This includes CalWORKs Home Visiting Program and California Home Visiting Program. (ACL 23-83, October 6, 2023.)