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SB-480 CalWORKs, Medi-Cal, and CalFresh: suspension of benefits.(2013-2014)

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CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 480


Introduced by Senator Yee

February 21, 2013


An act to amend Section 14011.10 of, and to add Sections 11327.7 and 18901.45 to, the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to public social services.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 480, as introduced, Yee. CalWORKs, Medi-Cal, and CalFresh: suspension of benefits.
(1) Existing law requires each county to provide cash assistance and other social services to needy families through the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program using federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant program, state, and county funds. Under existing law, the county is required to periodically redetermine eligibility for CalWORKs benefits. Under existing law, a CalWORKs recipient is required to report to the county, orally or in writing, specified changes that could affect the amount of aid to which the recipient is entitled.
This bill, commencing the later of January 1, 2015, or the date that any necessary federal approvals are obtained, would require that a person who is an inmate of a public institution be suspended as a member of the CalWORKs assistance unit for the duration of his or her incarceration, but would return the person to the assistance unit without reapplying, if he or she is still eligible for CalWORKs benefits upon release. To the extent that the bill would expand eligibility for CalWORKs benefits, the bill would create a state-mandated local program.
Existing law continuously appropriates moneys from the General Fund to defray a portion of county costs under the CalWORKs program.
This bill would provide instead that no appropriation would be made for the purpose of implementing the bill
(2) Existing law provides for the Medi-Cal program, which is administered by the State Department of Health Care Services, and under which qualified low-income persons receive health care benefits. The Medi-Cal program is governed, in part, by federal Medicaid provisions. Existing law suspends the Medi-Cal benefits of an individual under 21 years of age who is an inmate of a public institution for the duration of his or her stay in the public institution or one year, whichever is less.
This bill, commencing the later of January 1, 2015, or the date that any necessary federal approvals are obtained, would make the suspension of benefits provisions applicable to individuals who are 21 years of age or older. By expanding the duties of county welfare departments, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(3) Existing law provides for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), under which each county distributes nutrition assistance benefits provided by the federal government to eligible households. In California, federal nutrition assistance benefits are administered through CalFresh.
This bill, commencing the later of January 1, 2015, or the date that any necessary federal approvals are obtained, would require that a person who is an inmate of a public institution be suspended from receiving CalFresh benefits for the duration of his or her incarceration, but would reinstate the benefits without the person reapplying, if he or she is still eligible for CalFresh benefits upon release. To the extent that the bill would expand eligibility for CalFresh benefits, the bill would create a state-mandated local program.
(4) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 11327.7 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

11327.7.
 (a) A person who is an inmate of a public institution shall be suspended as a member of the assistance unit for the duration of his or her incarceration. The person shall be eligible to rejoin the assistance unit without reapplying if he or she is still eligible for CalWORKs benefits upon release.
(b) If an individual is a CalWORKs beneficiary on the date he or she becomes an inmate of a public institution, his or her benefits shall be suspended effective the date he or she becomes an inmate of a public institution. The suspension will end on the date he or she is no longer an inmate of a public institution or one year from the date he or she becomes an inmate of a public institution, whichever is sooner.
(c) Nothing in this section shall create a state-funded benefit or program. CalWORKs benefits shall not be available to inmates of public institutions.
(d) This section shall be implemented only if and to the extent allowed by federal law. This section shall be implemented only to the extent that any necessary federal approval of state plan amendments or other federal approvals are obtained.
(e) If any part of this section is in conflict with or does not comply with federal law, this entire section shall be inoperative.
(f) This section shall be implemented on January 1, 2015, or the date when all necessary federal approvals are obtained, whichever is later.
(g) By January 1, 2015, or the date when all necessary federal approvals are obtained, whichever is later, the department, in consultation with the Chief Probation Officers of California and the County Welfare Directors Association, shall establish the protocols and procedures necessary to implement this section, including any needed changes to the protocols and procedures previously established to implement Section 14029.5.
(h) Notwithstanding 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 section by means of all-county letters or similar instructions without taking regulatory action. Thereafter, the department shall adopt regulations in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

SEC. 2.

 Section 14011.10 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

14011.10.
 (a) Except as provided in Section 14011.11, benefits provided under this chapter to an individual under 21 years of age who is an inmate of a public institution shall be suspended in accordance with Section 1396d(a)(28)(A) of Title 42 of the United States Code as provided in subdivision (c).
(b) County welfare departments shall notify the department within 10 days of receiving information that an individual under 21 years of age on Medi-Cal in the county is or will be an inmate of a public institution.
(c) If an individual under 21 years of age is a Medi-Cal beneficiary on the date he or she becomes an inmate of a public institution, his or her benefits under this chapter and under Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 14200) shall be suspended effective the date he or she becomes an inmate of a public institution. The suspension shall end on the date he or she is no longer an inmate of a public institution or one year from the date he or she becomes an inmate of a public institution, whichever is sooner.
(d) Nothing in this section shall create a state-funded benefit or program. Health care services under this chapter and Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 14200) shall not be available to inmates of public institutions whose Medi-Cal benefits have been suspended under this section.
(e) This section shall be implemented only if and to the extent allowed by federal law. This section shall be implemented only to the extent that any necessary federal approval of state plan amendments or other federal approvals are obtained.
(f) If any part of this section is in conflict with or does not comply with federal law, this entire section shall be inoperable inoperative.
(g) This section shall be implemented for individuals under 21 years of age on January 1, 2010, or the date when all necessary federal approvals are obtained, whichever is later. This section shall be implemented for individuals 21 years of age or older on January 1, 2015, or on the date when all necessary federal approvals are obtained, whichever is later.
(h) By January 1, 2010, or the date when all necessary federal approvals are obtained, whichever is later, the department, in consultation with the Chief Probation Officers of California and the County Welfare Directors Association, shall establish the protocols and procedures necessary to implement this section, including any needed changes to the protocols and procedures previously established to implement Section 14029.5.
(i) Notwithstanding 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 section by means of all-county letters or similar instructions without taking regulatory action. Thereafter, the department shall adopt regulations in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

SEC. 3.

 Section 18901.45 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

18901.45.
 (a) Benefits provided under this chapter to an individual who is an inmate of a public institution shall be suspended. The person shall be eligible to have his or her benefits reinstated without reapplying, if he or she is still eligible for CalFresh benefits, upon release.
(b) If an individual is receiving benefits under this chapter on the date he or she becomes an inmate of a public institution, his or her benefits shall be suspended effective the date he or she becomes an inmate of a public institution. The suspension will end on the date he or she is no longer an inmate of a public institution or one year from the date he or she becomes an inmate of a public institution, whichever is sooner.
(c) Nothing in this section shall create a state-funded benefit or program. Benefits under this chapter shall not be available to inmates of public institutions.
(d) This section shall be implemented only if and to the extent allowed by federal law. This section shall be implemented only to the extent that any necessary federal approval of state plan amendments or other federal approvals are obtained.
(e) If any part of this section is in conflict with or does not comply with federal law, this entire section shall be inoperative.
(f) This section shall be implemented on January 1, 2015, or the date when all necessary federal approvals are obtained, whichever is later.
(g) By January 1, 2015, or the date when all necessary federal approvals are obtained, whichever is later, the department, in consultation with the Chief Probation Officers of California and the County Welfare Directors Association, shall establish the protocols and procedures necessary to implement this section, including any needed changes to the protocols and procedures previously established to implement Section 14029.5.
(h) Notwithstanding 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 section by means of all-county letters or similar instructions without taking regulatory action. Thereafter, the department shall adopt regulations in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

SEC. 4.

 Notwithstanding Section 15200 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, no appropriation shall be made for the purpose 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.