The California Department of Social Service (CDSS) has informed counties of the end of CalWORKs Homeless Assistance (HA) eligibility because of COVID-19. In general, families can only receive HA once per year. However, there is an exception to the once per year limitation because of a disaster. Effective May 12, 2023, families can no longer receive HA under the disaster exception when homelessness is because of COVID-19. Families may still be eligible for an HA exception for medically verified mental of physical disability because of COVID.
Going forward, HA applications do not need to be made in person or include a face-to-face interview. Counties can complete the HA application and have the client sign it electronically.
Counties can continue to accept sworn statements or verbal attestations that HA benefits were properly spent or housing search was done. Counties can also grant good cause for not providing paper verification.
Counties can record a verbal attestation for the homeless assistance application form when the county cannot get a written or electronic signature. Counties that cannot record verbal attestation can enter a journal not stating the attestation.
For clients on vendor payments because of fraud or mismanagement, counties can issue HA benefits directly to the EBT card when there is no feasible way to issue a vendor payment. (ACL 23-56, June 26, 2023.)