COVID-19 CalFresh emergency allotment for April, 2022

California has been approved to issue an emergency allotment of CalFresh for March, 2022.  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 May 15, 2022 for CalSAWS counties and May 22, 2022 for CalWIN counties.

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  There will be a one-month phase out of emergency allotments after the public health emergency is rescinded.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, April 7, 2022.)

IHSS Electronic Services Portal Text Messages

Beginning March 28th, 2022, new enhancements were made to the Electronic Services Portal (ESP) for recipients and providers in In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) and Wavier Personal Care services (WPCS) to allow recipients and providers to choose text messages as a notification preference. This allows users to get messages by text message, email or both.  If there is no preference, the recipient/provider will continue to receive notifications by email.

These notifications will come from the same IHSS program that receives payroll processing messages via email from a secure IHSS text message portal.

Text messages notifications will be sent in the recipient and provider’s preferred written languages about the following information:

Providers will get text message notifications about:

  •     Time Sheet Approval
  •     Timesheet Rejection
  •     Payment
  •     No Recipient Action on Submitted Timesheet
  •     No Payment for Travel Claim
  •     Preference Change of Notification Delivery Methods

 Recipients will get text message notifications about:

  •     Timesheet for review
  •     Preference Change of Notification Delivery Methods

Recipients and providers can go to the ESP website at and log into the Provider Home screen to sign up for this service. Once there, locate your name on the drop-down menu and select Account Information. From Account Information, select ‘My Preferences’ link. Under My Preferences, select the option under Notification Preference. This allows users to choose how they want their notifications to be delivered. If no preferences are selected, notifications will continue to be sent via email. Under Notification Preference, listed under ‘Text Messages.’ If the phone number is not on file, users must add or edit their information and click Verify before they start receiving text messages. A 6-digit code will be sent to that cell phone number, and a pop-up box will ask the reliever to enter the verification code. (ACIN I-17-22, March 7, 2022.)

Increase in CalWORKs Earned Income Disregards

For the CalWORKs program, certain earned income and disability-based income is disregarded in determining eligibility.  This is called the Earned Income Disregard.  Starting July 1, 2022, the Earned Income Disregard for applicants will increase from the first $90 per month of earned income for each employed person to the first $450 of earned income.

Starting June 1, 2022, the Earned Income Disregard for recipients will increase from $550 per month to $600.   This increase in the recipient Earned Income Disregard applies to the state KinGAP program, but not to the federal KinGAP program.

(ACL 21-130, November 29, 2021 and ACL 21-130E, March 22, 2022.)


Extension of COVID-19 flexibilities for Refugee Cash Assistance

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued guidance implementing the extension of COVID-19 flexibilities for Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA), Entrant Cash Assistance (ECA), Refugee Support Services (RSS), Services to Older Refugees (SOR), and Trafficking and Crime Victims Assistance Program (TCVAP) Cash Assistance benefits through September 30, 2022.  These waivers include:

  • Allowing verbal attestation for eligibility determinations. This waiver continues flexibility regarding verification of immigration status. This flexibility also applies to arrivals from Afghanistan.
  • Excluding certain types of COVID-19 emergency assistance when determining eligibility and grant amounts. Such assistance is excluded as income, and excluded as an asset for 12 months.
  • Flexibility regarding participation in employment services. Under the waiver for employment services, counties are highly encouraged to continue to use remote case management and learning.
  • providing interim RCA payments for eligible applicants with pending CalWORKs applications who cannot complete application requirements because of COVID-19. When possible, counties must assess and grant good cause instead of interim RCA payments when Social Security Number applications and approvals are delayed because of COVID. However, when good cause is not possible, counties can issue interim RCA payments when CalWORKs approvals are delayed because of COVID.  These COVID-related delays can include inability to apply for or get a Social Security Number because of office closure.

TCVAP follows the same administrative rules as RCA and therefore these waivers also apply to TCVAP.  (ACWDL, March 3, 2022.)

Social Security protective filing tool

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has implemented its Online Protective Filing Too.   It allows submitting a request for an appointment to file for benefits and record a protective filing date online.  A protective filing date is established upon submission from the Tool.  The Tool collects responses to initial screening questions, determines applicable Title II and Title XVI claim types, and establishes Title II and Title XVI protective filing dates.  The individual must complete all required fields and submit the inquiry to establish a protective filing date.

The Tool gives a confirmation message onscreen and sends an email confirmation that Social Security will schedule an appointment within 7-14 business days.

The Tool is located at

(EM-22015, March 19, 2022.)

Posted in SSI