COVID-19 CalFresh emergency allotment for December, 2021

California has been approved to issue an emergency allotment of CalFresh for November, 2021.  All households will receive at least the maximum CalFresh allotment.  Households eligible to receive the maximum allowable allotment based on household size are now eligible to receive an emergency allotment of $95 per month. Households who are not eligible to receive the maximum allowable allotment based on household size, but whose emergency allotment would be less than $95 per month to receive the maximum allotment, will receive additional CalFresh benefits to raise their emergency allotment to the $95 minimum.

The emergency allotment will be issued on January 16, 2022.

Moving forward, emergency allotments may be approved by FNS on a month-to-month basis until the Secretary of Health and Human Services rescinds the public health emergency.  There will be a one-month phase out of emergency allotments after the public health emergency is rescinded.  (ACWDL, December 17, 2021.)

COVID-19 CalFresh emergency allotment for November, 2021

California has been approved to issue an emergency allotment of CalFresh for November, 2021.  All households will receive at least the maximum CalFresh allotment.  Households eligible to receive the maximum allowable allotment based on household size are now eligible to receive an emergency allotment of $95 per month. Households who are not eligible to receive the maximum allowable allotment based on household size, but whose emergency allotment would be less than $95 per month to receive the maximum allotment, will receive additional CalFresh benefits to raise their emergency allotment to the new $95 minimum.

The emergency allotment will be issued on December 5, 2021 for CalSAWS counties and December 12, 2021 for CalWIN counties.  The emergency allotment can be issued manually if a household should have received the emergency issuance through the batch process but did not.

Moving forward, emergency allotments may be approved by FNS on a month-to-month basis until the Secretary of Health and Human Services rescinds the public health emergency.  There will be a one-month phase out of emergency allotments after the public health emergency is rescinded.  (ACWDL, November 16, 2021.)

COVID-19 SSI payment continuation extension

In general, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claimants who have their benefits reduced or terminated must file a Request for Reconsideration within 10 days of the Notice of Determination, plus five days for mailing in order to have their benefits continue while the Request for Reconsideration is pending.  Claimants are entitled to payment continuation unless they waive that right in writing.

The Social Security Administration has decided that SSI claimants who have their benefits reduced or terminated and file a Request for Reconsideration within 60 days of the Notice of Determination, plus five days for mailing are also entitled to payment continuation unless they waive that right in writing.  The Social Security made this decision because of the hardships and difficulties claimant face because of COVID-19, and because of processing delays because of COVID-19.  This policy is in effect until April 29, 2021.

When the claimant files a Request for Reconsideration after 65 days from the date of the notice, the Request for Reconsideration can be processed and payment continuation paid if the claimant has good cause for late filing. (EM-21064, updated October 29, 2021.)

Verification of self-employment for people who received PUA

People who received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) were required to submit documentation showing their work history.  Starting on November 10, 2021, the Employment Development Department (EDD) will send notices by email, text message and UI Online to people who must submit their proof of work history.

In general, notices will go to PUA claimants whose claim started in 2020 and who collected benefits after December 27, 2020, and PUA claimants whose claim started in 2021. People who filed for PUA in 2021 will be required to provide documentation of their 2020 work history even if they have already provided wage information.  People who filed PUA claims after January 31, 2021 will have 21 days to submit proof of work history or request an extension.  People who filed claims before January 31, 2021 will have 90 days to submit proof of work history or request an extension. Claimants can request more time by going to the UI Online homepage and selecting “Request More Time” in the “Upload Employment Documents” section.

Documents that can be used to prove self-employment include but are not limited to business licenses, tax returns, business receipts or invoices, signed affidavits verifying self-employment, contracts or agreements, or bank statements from a business account.

Documents that can be used to prove plans for self-employment include but are not limited to business licenses, state or federal employment identification numbers, written business plans, or lease agreements.

Notices will give the exact time periods that proof work history must be submitted and deadlines for submission or for requesting an extension of time to submit documentation.  EDD will acknowledge receipt of submitted information and will follow-up with a communication indicating whether the documentation was sufficient.

If the claimant does not respond to the notice, a follow-up notice will be mailed.  Failure to respond to the notice could result in a finding that the claimant was ineligible for PUA and an allegation of an overpayment of benefits.  In those situations, EDD will send a Notice of Determination which can be appealed.  If the claimant is found to be ineligible for PUA, EDD will send a Notice of Potential Overpayment which will give the claimant another opportunity to submit information.  If EDD confirms an overpayment, the claimant will receive a Notice of Overpayment which gives the opportunity to appeal or request waiver of the overpayment.  (News Release 21-64, November 5, 2021.)

Social Security in-office appointments

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued instructions about when to schedule in-office appointments.

In-office appointments are available for two reasons: 1) To address a limited critical need and the client is unable to use automated services, which includes immediate payments, death corrections, economic or health support, needing an original social security card, and needing a replacement social security card to get income, medical care or ither services or benefits; and 2) If SSA needs to review original documents.

In-office appointments are not scheduled for initial claims or redeterminations unless one of the above criteria are met.  Important documents such as driver’s licenses, passports and immigration documents should not be submitted by mail or drop box.  (EM 21056, September 8, 2021.)