Today's Law As Amended


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AB-1516 CalWORKs: young child special needs supplement: supportive services.(2013-2014)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.
 The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Existing federal law classifies diapers with cigarettes, alcohol, and pet food as disallowed purchases under CalFresh and the California Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
(b) However, low-income parents cannot take advantage of free or subsidized child care if they cannot afford to leave disposable diapers at child care centers, a requirement for most child care centers.
(c) Without access to child care, these parents are less able to attend work or school on a consistent basis, leading to increased economic instability and a continuation of the cycle of poverty.
(d) In addition, the severe health and social consequences for babies and families who do not have access to diapers cannot be underestimated or overlooked.
(e) Lack of sufficient diapers can lead to multiple problems for families in need, including unhappy babies, unhealthy communities, undereducated toddlers, and underemployed adults.
(f) Access to diapers can make the difference for a family to become financially self-sufficient.
(g) Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would empower beneficiaries of public assistance programs with young children in diapers to return to the workforce by removing unnecessary obstacles to obtaining diapers to the extent permitted by federal law, thereby ensuring the health and welfare of diaper-wearing children and their families.

SEC. 2.

 Section 11323.4 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

11323.4.
 (a) (1)  Payments for supportive services, as described in Section 11323.2, shall be advanced to the participant, whenever wherever  necessary, and when desired by the participant, so that the participant need not use the participant’s  his or her  funds to pay for these services. Payments for childcare  child care  services shall be made in accordance with Article 15.5 (commencing with Section 8350) of Chapter 2 of Part 6 of the Education Code.
(2) A participant shall have the option to request supportive services, as described in Section 11323.2, through the Internet Web site of the county if the county is capable of accepting those requests through its Internet Web site. If the county is not capable of accepting requests through its Internet Web site, the county shall accept those requests in the manner necessary to ensure that participants are able to request the supportive services they need.
(b) The county welfare department shall take all reasonable steps necessary to promptly correct any overpayment or underpayment of supportive services payments to a recipient or a service provider, including, but not limited to, all cases involving fraud and abuse, consistent with procedures developed by the department.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, any participant in on-the-job training who becomes ineligible for aid under this chapter due to earned income or hours worked, shall remain a participant in the program under this article for the duration of the on-the-job training assignment and shall be eligible for supportive services for the duration of the on-the-job training, provided this duration does not exceed the time limits otherwise applicable to the recipient.
(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, any participant in on-the-job training, grant-based on-the-job training, supported work, or transitional employment who remains eligible for aid pursuant to this chapter, shall be eligible for transportation and ancillary expenses pursuant to paragraphs (3) (2)  and (4) (3)  of subdivision (a) of Section 11323.2.
(e) (1) Participants shall be encouraged to apply for financial aid, including educational grants, scholarships, and awards.
(2) To the extent permitted by federal law, the county shall coordinate with financial aid offices to establish procedures whereby the educational expenses of participants are met through available financial aid and the supportive services described in Section 11323.2. These procedures shall not result in duplication of payments, and shall require determinations to be made on an individual basis to ensure that using financial aid will not prevent the person’s participation in their  his or her  welfare-to-work plan.
(f) (1)  Notwithstanding Section 10850, for purposes of childcare  child care  supportive services, county welfare departments shall share information necessary for the administration of the childcare  child care  programs and the CalWORKs program.
(2) By January 1, 2021, or the date that automation changes occur, as required for implementation of this section, in the Statewide Automated Welfare System, whichever date is later, a county welfare department shall provide limited, read-only, online access through individual county-level Statewide Automated Welfare System (SAWS) databases to local contractors providing CalWORKs childcare services. Access provided pursuant to this paragraph shall include a single summary page that contains current individual family data needed to enroll a family in CalWORKs childcare services or to transfer a family between stages. This data shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following items, if applicable:
(A) All of the information required in subdivision (a) of Section 18409 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, or any successor regulation thereto.
(B) If the family is no longer receiving CalWORKs cash aid, the date that a parent or adult caretaker last received CalWORKs cash aid.
(3) Paragraph (2) does not supersede any agreement between a county and a CalWORKs childcare contractor that was in effect on January 1, 2020, and provides for online access via the legacy Statewide Automated Welfare System to the data described in that paragraph.
(4) Beginning January 1, 2021, or the date that automation changes occur, as required for implementation of this section, in the Statewide Automated Welfare System, whichever date is later, a county welfare department shall provide to stage-two contractors on a monthly basis a report of all families for which the parent’s cash aid has been discontinued, the parent has not received aid for at least one month, and the parent has children in the home who are eligible for childcare services. The report shall include the parent’s most up-to-date contact information. The report shall be jointly designed with representatives from the department, the County Welfare Directors Association of California, and Parent Voices, in consultation with county welfare departments and SAWS.
(5) A county welfare department may provide training on security protocols and confidentiality of individual family data to a contractor who is given access to data pursuant to this subdivision.
(6) This subdivision is not intended to limit the information shared for the administration of childcare in addition to the data described in paragraph (2).
(7) After consultation with stakeholders, the department shall issue an all-county letter or similar directive by November 1, 2019, to implement paragraphs (2) to (6), inclusive, until regulations are adopted.

SEC. 3.

 Section 11450 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

11450.
 (a) (1) (A)  Aid shall be paid for each needy family, which shall include all eligible brothers and sisters of each eligible applicant or recipient child and the parents of the children, but shall not include unborn children, or recipients of aid under Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 12000), qualified for aid under this chapter. In determining the amount of aid paid, and notwithstanding the minimum basic standards of adequate care specified in Section 11452, the family’s income, exclusive of any amounts considered exempt as income or paid pursuant to subdivision (e) or Section 11453.1, determined for the prospective semiannual period pursuant to Sections 11265.1, 11265.2, and 11265.3, and then calculated pursuant to Section 11451.5, shall be deducted from the sum specified in the following table, as adjusted for cost-of-living increases pursuant to Section 11453 and paragraph (2). In no case shall the amount of aid paid for each month exceed the sum specified in the following table, as adjusted for cost-of-living increases pursuant to Section 11453 and paragraph (2), plus any special needs, as specified in subdivisions (c), (e), (f),  and (f): (g): 
Number of
 eligible needy
persons in
the same home
Maximum
aid
 1 ........................
$  326
 2 ........................
   535
 3 ........................
   663
 4 ........................
   788
 5 ........................
   899
 6 ........................
 1,010
 7 ........................
 1,109
 8 ........................
 1,209
 9 ........................
 1,306
10 or more ........................
 1,403
(B)  If, when, and during those times that the United States government increases or decreases its contributions in assistance of needy children in this state above or below the amount paid on July 1, 1972, the amounts specified in the above table shall be increased or decreased by an amount equal to that increase or decrease by the United States government, provided that no increase or decrease shall be subject to subsequent adjustment pursuant to Section 11453.
(2) The sums specified in paragraph (1) shall not be adjusted for cost of living for the 1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1996–97, and 1997–98 fiscal years, and through October 31, 1998, nor shall that amount be included in the base for calculating any cost-of-living increases for any fiscal year thereafter. Elimination of the cost-of-living adjustment pursuant to this paragraph shall satisfy the requirements of Section 11453.05, and no further reduction shall be made pursuant to that section.
(b) (1) When the family does not include a needy child qualified for aid under this chapter, aid shall be paid to a pregnant child mother  who is 18 years of age or younger at any time after verification of pregnancy, in the amount that would otherwise be paid to one person, as specified in subdivision (a), if the child mother,  and her  child, if born, would have qualified for aid under this chapter. Verification of pregnancy shall be required as a condition of eligibility for aid under this subdivision.
(2)   Notwithstanding paragraph (1), when the family does not include a needy child qualified for aid under this chapter, aid shall be paid to a pregnant woman mother  for the month in which the birth is anticipated and for the six-month three-month  period immediately prior to the month in which the birth is anticipated, anticipated  in the amount that would otherwise be paid to one person, as specified in subdivision (a), if the woman mother,  and child, if born, would have qualified for aid under this chapter. Verification of pregnancy shall be required as a condition of eligibility for aid under this subdivision.
(3) Paragraph (1) shall apply only when the Cal-Learn Program is operative.
(c) The amount of forty-seven dollars ($47) per month shall be paid to pregnant women mothers  qualified for aid under subdivision (a) or (b) to meet special needs resulting from pregnancy if the woman mother,  and child, if born, would have qualified for aid under this chapter. County welfare departments shall refer all recipients of aid under this subdivision to a local provider of the Women, Infants, and Children program. If that payment to pregnant women mothers  qualified for aid under subdivision (a) is considered income under federal law in the first five months of pregnancy, payments under this subdivision shall not apply to persons eligible under subdivision (a), except for the month in which birth is anticipated and for the three-month period immediately prior to the month in which delivery is anticipated, if the woman mother,  and the  child, if born, would have qualified for aid under this chapter.
(d) For children receiving AFDC-FC under this chapter, there shall be paid, exclusive of any amount considered exempt as income, an amount of aid each month that, which,  when added to the child’s income, is equal to the rate specified in Section 11460, 11461, 11462, 11462.1, or 11463. In addition, the child shall be eligible for special needs, as specified in departmental regulations.
(e) In addition to the amounts payable under subdivision (a) and Section 11453.1, a family shall be entitled to receive an allowance for recurring special needs not common to a majority of recipients. These recurring special needs shall include, but not be limited to, special diets upon the recommendation of a physician for circumstances other than pregnancy, and unusual costs of transportation, laundry, housekeeping services, telephone, and utilities. The recurring special needs allowance for each family per month shall not exceed that amount resulting from multiplying the sum of ten dollars ($10) by the number of recipients in the family who are eligible for assistance.
(f) After a family has used all available liquid resources, both exempt and nonexempt, in excess of one hundred dollars ($100), with the exception of funds deposited in a restricted account described in subdivision (a) of Section 11155.2, the family shall also be entitled to receive an allowance for nonrecurring special needs.
(1) An allowance for nonrecurring special needs shall be granted for replacement of clothing and household equipment and for emergency housing needs other than those needs addressed by paragraph (2). These needs shall be caused by sudden and unusual circumstances beyond the control of the needy family. The department shall establish the allowance for each of the nonrecurring special needs need  items. The sum of all nonrecurring special needs provided by this subdivision shall not exceed six hundred dollars ($600) per event.
(2) (A) (i) Homeless assistance is available to a homeless family seeking shelter when the family is eligible for aid under this chapter.
(ii) (2)  Homeless assistance for  is available to a homeless family seeking shelter when the family is eligible for aid under this chapter. Homeless assistance for  temporary shelter is also available to homeless families that which  are apparently eligible for aid under this chapter. Apparent eligibility exists when evidence presented by the applicant, or that which  is otherwise available to the county welfare department, and the information provided on the application documents indicate that there would be eligibility for aid under this chapter if the evidence and information were verified. However, an alien applicant who does not provide verification of his or her eligible alien status, or a woman with no eligible children who does not provide medical verification of pregnancy, is not apparently eligible for purposes of this section.
(iii) Homeless assistance for temporary shelter is also available to homeless families that would be eligible for aid under this chapter but for the fact that the only child or children in the family are in out-of-home placement pursuant to an order of the dependency court, if the family is receiving reunification services and the county determines that homeless assistance is necessary for reunification to occur.
(B)  A family is considered homeless, for the purpose of this section, when the family lacks a fixed and regular nighttime residence; or the family has a primary nighttime residence that is a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations; or the family is residing in a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. A family is also considered homeless for the purpose of this section if the family has received a notice to pay rent or quit. The family shall demonstrate that the eviction is the result of a verified financial hardship as a result of extraordinary circumstances beyond their control, and not other lease or rental violations, and that the family is experiencing a financial crisis that could result in homelessness if preventative assistance is not provided.
(3)  (A) (i) A nonrecurring special needs benefit  need  of sixty-five dollars ($65) a day shall be available to families of up to four members for the costs of temporary shelter, subject to the requirements of this paragraph. The fifth and additional members of the family shall each receive fifteen dollars ($15) per day, up to a daily maximum of one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125). County welfare departments may increase the daily amount available for temporary shelter as necessary to secure the additional bedspace needed by the family. This clause shall become inoperative on January 1, 2019. 
(ii) On and after January 1, 2019, a nonrecurring special needs benefit of eighty-five dollars ($85) a day shall be available to families of up to four members for the costs of temporary shelter, subject to the requirements of this paragraph. The fifth and additional members of the family shall each receive fifteen dollars ($15) per day, up to a daily maximum of one hundred forty-five dollars ($145). County welfare departments may increase the daily amount available for temporary shelter as necessary to secure the additional bedspace needed by the family.
(iii) (ii)  This special needs benefit  need  shall be granted or denied immediately upon the family’s application for homeless assistance, and benefits shall be available for up to three working days. The county welfare department shall verify the family’s homelessness within the first three working days and if the family meets the criteria of questionable homelessness established by the department, the county welfare department shall refer the family to its early fraud prevention and detection unit, if the county has such a unit, for assistance in the verification of homelessness within this period.
(iv) (iii)  After homelessness has been verified, the three-day limit shall be extended for a period of time that, which,  when added to the initial benefits provided, does not exceed a total of 16 calendar days. This extension of benefits shall be done in increments of one week and shall be based upon searching for permanent housing which shall be documented on a housing search form, form;  good cause, cause;  or other circumstances defined by the department. Documentation of a housing search shall be required for the initial extension of benefits beyond the three-day limit and on a weekly basis thereafter as long as the family is receiving temporary shelter benefits. Good cause shall include, but is not limited to, situations in which the county welfare department has determined that the family, to the extent it is capable, has made a good faith but unsuccessful effort to secure permanent housing while receiving temporary shelter benefits or that the family is homeless as a direct and primary result of a state or federally declared natural disaster. benefits. 
(v) Notwithstanding clauses (iii) and (iv), the county may waive the three-day limit and may provide benefits in increments of more than one week for a family that becomes homeless as a direct and primary result of a state or federally declared natural disaster.
(B) (i)  A nonrecurring special needs benefit  need  for permanent housing assistance is available to pay for last month’s rent and security deposits when these payments are reasonable conditions of securing a residence, or to pay for up to two months of rent arrearages, when these payments are a reasonable condition of preventing eviction.
(ii)  The last month’s rent or monthly arrearage portion of the payment (I) (i)  shall not exceed 80 percent of the family’s total monthly household income without the value of CalFresh benefits or special needs benefit  for a family of that size and (II) (ii)  shall only be made to families that have found permanent housing costing no more than 80 percent of the family’s total monthly household income without the value of CalFresh benefits or special needs benefit  for a family of that size.
(iii)  However, if the county welfare department determines that a family intends to reside with individuals who will be sharing housing costs, the county welfare department shall, in appropriate circumstances, set aside the condition specified in subclause (II) of clause (ii). clause (ii) of the preceding paragraph. 
(C) The nonrecurring special needs benefit  need  for permanent housing assistance is also available to cover the standard costs of deposits for utilities which are necessary for the health and safety of the family.
(D) A payment for or denial of permanent housing assistance shall be issued no later than one working day from the time that a family presents evidence of the availability of permanent housing. If an applicant family provides evidence of the availability of permanent housing before the county welfare department has established eligibility for aid under this chapter, the county welfare department shall complete the eligibility determination so that the payment for, or denial of, denial of or payment for  permanent housing assistance is issued within one working day from the submission of evidence of the availability of permanent housing, unless the family has failed to provide all of the verification necessary to establish eligibility for aid under this chapter.
(E) (i) Except as provided in clauses (ii) and (iii), eligibility for the temporary shelter assistance and the permanent housing assistance pursuant to this paragraph shall be limited to one period of up to 16 consecutive calendar days of temporary assistance and one payment of permanent assistance every 12 months. A  assistance. Any family that includes a parent or nonparent caretaker relative living in the home who has previously received temporary or permanent homeless assistance at any time on behalf of an eligible child shall not be eligible for further homeless assistance. Any  person who applies for homeless assistance benefits shall be informed that the temporary shelter benefit of up to 16 consecutive days is available only once every 12 months, in a lifetime,  with certain exceptions, and that a break in the consecutive use of the benefit constitutes permanent  exhaustion of the temporary benefit for that 12-month period. benefit. 
(ii) (I)  A family that becomes homeless as a direct and primary result of a state or federally declared natural disaster shall be eligible for temporary and permanent homeless assistance.
(II) In the event of a state or federally declared disaster in a county, the county human services agency shall coordinate with public and private disaster response organizations and agencies to identify and inform recipients of their eligibility for temporary and permanent homeless housing assistance available pursuant to subclause (I).
(iii) A family shall be eligible for temporary and permanent homeless assistance when homelessness is a direct result of domestic violence by a spouse, partner, or roommate; physical or mental illness that is medically verified that shall not include a diagnosis of alcoholism, drug addiction, or psychological stress; or or,  the uninhabitability of the former residence caused by sudden and unusual circumstances beyond the control of the family including natural catastrophe, fire, or condemnation. These circumstances shall be verified by a third-party governmental or private health and human services agency, except that domestic violence may also be verified by a sworn statement by the victim, as provided under Section 11495.25. Homeless assistance payments based on these specific circumstances may not be received more often than once in any 12-month period. In addition, if the domestic violence is verified by a sworn statement by the victim, the homeless assistance payments shall be limited to two periods of not more than 16 consecutive calendar days of temporary assistance and two payments of permanent assistance. A county may require that a recipient of homeless assistance benefits who qualifies under this paragraph for a second time in a 24-month period participate in a homelessness avoidance case plan as a condition of eligibility for homeless assistance benefits. The county welfare department shall immediately inform recipients who verify domestic violence by a sworn statement pursuant to clause (iii)  of the availability of domestic violence counseling and services, and refer those recipients to services upon request.
(iv) If a county requires a recipient who verifies domestic violence by a sworn statement to participate in a homelessness avoidance case plan pursuant to clause (iii), the plan shall include the provision of domestic violence services, if appropriate.
(v) If a recipient seeking homeless assistance based on domestic violence pursuant to clause (iii) has previously received homeless homelessness  avoidance services based on domestic violence, the county shall review whether services were offered to the recipient and consider what additional services would assist the recipient in leaving the domestic violence situation.
(vi) The county welfare department shall report necessary data  to the department through a statewide homeless assistance payment indicator system, necessary data,  as requested by the department, regarding all recipients of aid under this paragraph.
(F) The county welfare departments, and all other entities participating in the costs of the CalWORKs program, have the right in their share to any refunds resulting from payment of the permanent housing. However, if an emergency requires the family to move within the 12-month period specified in subparagraph (E), the family shall be allowed to use any refunds received from its deposits to meet the costs of moving to another residence.
(G) Payments to providers for temporary shelter and permanent housing and utilities shall be made on behalf of families requesting these payments.
(H) The daily amount for the temporary shelter special needs benefit  need  for homeless assistance may be increased if authorized by the current year’s Budget Act by specifying a different daily allowance and appropriating the funds therefor.
(I) No payment shall be made pursuant to this paragraph unless the provider of housing is a commercial establishment, shelter, or person in the business of renting properties who has a history of renting properties.
(J) (i) Commencing July 1, 2018, a CalWORKs applicant who provides a sworn statement of past or present domestic abuse and who is fleeing his or her abuser shall be deemed to be homeless and shall be eligible for temporary homeless assistance under clause (i) of subparagraph (A) and under subparagraph (E), notwithstanding any income and assets attributable to the alleged abuser.
(ii) The homeless assistance payments issued under this subparagraph shall be granted immediately after the family’s application, and benefits shall be available in increments of 16 days of temporary shelter assistance pursuant to clause (i) of subparagraph (A). The homeless assistance payments shall be limited to two consecutive periods of not more than 16 consecutive calendar days each of temporary assistance within a lifetime. The homeless assistance payments issued under this subparagraph shall be in addition to other payments for which the CalWORKS applicant, if he or she becomes a CalWORKS recipient, may later qualify under this subdivision.
(iii) (g)  For (1)   purposes of this subparagraph, the housing search documentation described in clause (iii) of subparagraph (A) shall be required only upon issuance of an immediate need payment pursuant to Section 11266 or the issuance of benefits for the month of application. In addition to any other amounts payable under this section or any other law, a young child special needs supplement shall be paid in the amount of eighty dollars ($80) per month to any child under two years of age who is in an assistance unit. This amount shall be adjusted annually pursuant to Section 11453. 
(2) Notwithstanding the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), the department shall implement this subdivision through an all-county letter or similar instruction from the director no later than April 1, 2015.
(3) The department shall adopt regulations as necessary to implement this subdivision no later than July 1, 2016.
(g) (h)  The department shall establish rules and regulations ensuring the uniform statewide  application statewide  of this section.
(h) (i)  The department shall notify all applicants and recipients of aid through the standardized application form that these benefits are available and shall provide an opportunity for recipients to apply for the funds quickly and efficiently.
(i) The department shall work with county human services agencies, the County Welfare Directors Association, and advocates of CalWORKs recipients to gather information regarding the actual costs of a nightly shelter and best practices for transitioning families from a temporary shelter to a permanent shelter, and to provide that information to the Legislature, to be annually submitted in accordance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(j) (1)  Except for the purposes of Section 15200, the amounts payable to recipients pursuant to Section 11453.1 shall not constitute part of the payment schedule set forth in subdivision (a).
(2)  The amounts payable to recipients pursuant to Section 11453.1 shall not constitute income to recipients of aid under this section.
(k) For children receiving Kin-GAP pursuant to Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) or Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) there shall be paid, exclusive of any amount considered exempt as income, an amount of aid each month, which, when added to the child’s income, is equal to the rate specified in Sections 11364 and 11387.
( (l) 
l
)  (1) This section shall become operative on April 1, 2013.  A county shall implement the semiannual reporting requirements in accordance with Chapter 501 of the Statutes of 2011  the act that added this section  no later than October 1, 2013.
(2) Upon completion of the  implementation described in paragraph (1), each county shall provide a certificate to the director certifying that semiannual reporting has been implemented in the county.
(3) Upon filing the certificate described in paragraph (2), a county shall comply with the semiannual reporting provisions of this section.
(m) This section shall become inoperative on January 1, 2020, or when the department notifies the Legislature that the Statewide Automated Welfare System can perform the necessary automation to implement Section 11450, as added by Section 57 of the act that added this subdivision, whichever date is later, and as of that date is repealed.
SEC. 4.
 No appropriation pursuant to Section 15200 of the Welfare and Institutions Code shall be made for purposes of implementing this act.
SEC. 5.
 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.