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AB-607 Public social services: disaster assistance services.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/14/2017 09:00 PM
AB607:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 607


Introduced by Assembly Member Gloria

February 14, 2017


An act to add Section 123301 to the Health and Safety Code, and to amend Sections 11105, 11320.6, and 11450 of, and to add Section 18917 to, the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to public social services, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 607, as introduced, Gloria. Public social services: disaster assistance services.
(1) Existing law provides for the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program, under which each county provides cash assistance and other benefits to qualified low-income families and individuals. Existing law prohibits a person from receiving CalWORKs benefits unless he or she is a resident of the state. Existing law requires CalWORKs eligibility to be terminated if the recipient has received aid payment at an address outside of the state for two consecutive months, the county has made inquiry of the recipient, and the recipient has not responded and has not clearly shown that he or she has not established residence elsewhere and has been prevented by illness or other good cause from returning to this state.
This bill, to be known and cited as the Community Resiliency and Disaster Preparedness Act of 2017, would additionally authorize a person who has responded, clearly showing that he or she has not established residence elsewhere and has been prevented from returning to the state due to a disaster declared by the Governor, to continue his or her CalWORKs eligibility. To the extent that this bill affects eligibility under the CalWORKs program, the bill would create a state-mandated local program.
Under the CalWORKs program, recipients are required to participate in specified welfare-to-work activities, unless a recipient is excused from participation for good cause when the county has determined there is a condition or other circumstance that temporarily prevents or significantly impairs the recipient’s ability to be regularly employed or to participate in welfare-to-work activities.
This bill would include, as a condition that may constitute good cause, a case when the applicant’s or recipient’s county of residence has been declared a disaster area by the county, the Governor, or the President of the United States.
As part of the CalWORKs program, existing law provides that a homeless family that has used all available liquid resources in excess of $100 may be eligible for assistance to pay for temporary shelter or permanent housing, as specified, and requires a family that becomes homeless as a direct and primary result of a state or federally declared natural disaster to be eligible for the temporary and permanent homeless assistance.
This bill would, in the event of a state or federally declared disaster in a county, require the county human services agency to coordinate with public and private disaster response organizations and agencies to identify and inform recipients of their eligibility for the temporary and permanent homeless assistance. By increasing the duties of county officials, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) Existing federal law provides for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known in California as CalFresh, under which supplemental nutrition assistance benefits allocated to the state by the federal government are distributed to eligible individuals by each county. Existing federal law, through Disaster SNAP, provides for short-term food assistance benefits to families suffering in the wake of a major disaster. Existing federal regulation authorizes states to provide replacement issuances to a household when the household reports that food purchased with SNAP benefits was destroyed in a household misfortune.
This bill would require the department, if the President of the United States issues a major disaster declaration for individual assistance, to request to operate a federal Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) for the regions affected by the major disaster. The bill would also, whenever there is an event resulting in the loss of food by a significant number of CalFresh households, whether or not a disaster is declared by the President, require the department to request a waiver to provide automatic, mass replacement benefits to eligible households.
The bill would, commencing October 1, 2018, require the department to offer, and county human services agencies and others to attend, a biannual training on Disaster CalFresh. The bill would require county human services agencies to annually submit to the department a disaster plan, as specified, to ensure there are sufficient resources necessary to continue adequate benefit access during a disaster. By increasing the duties of county officials, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(3) Existing law provides for the California Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC Program) administered by the State Department of Public Health and participating local agencies, under which nutrition and other assistance is provided to eligible low-income postpartum and lactating women, infants, and children under 5 years of age.
This bill would require a participating local agency to develop, as specified, and to annually submit, a disaster response plan for the WIC program to the department. By increasing the duties of local officials, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(4) The bill would continuously appropriate to the State Department of Public Health and the State Department of Social Services from the General Fund an amount necessary to covered specified costs relating to the administration of disaster assistance services provided under the WIC Program and CalFresh, but not to exceed $300,000 per disaster declaration per department.
(5) Existing law continuously appropriates moneys from the General Fund to defray a portion of county costs under the CalWORKs program.
This bill would instead provide that the continuous appropriation would not be made for purposes of implementing the bill.
(6) 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 the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: YES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 This act shall be known and may be cited as the Community Resiliency and Disaster Preparedness Act of 2017.

SEC. 2.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Community resilience is a measure of the sustained ability of a community to respond to, withstand, and recover from, adverse situations, such as economic shocks and natural disasters.
(2) California’s recent natural disasters, such as firestorms, earthquakes, and droughts, have underscored the importance of disaster preparation and have highlighted the need for policies that strengthen economies before and after economic shocks.
(3) Whether undermined by economic shocks or natural disasters, the resiliency of a community must be defined by how well the poorest residents recover.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature, in enacting the Community Resiliency and Disaster Preparedness Act of 2017, that our communities will be better poised to prevent hunger, homelessness, and hardship following economic shocks or natural disasters.

SEC. 3.

 Section 123301 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

123301.
 A participating local agency shall annually submit a disaster response plan for the WIC program to the department. In developing the disaster response plan, the agency shall consult with stakeholders, including, but not limited to, client advocates, retail food vendors, caseworkers, and other participating local agencies in the county, and shall consider all of the following:
(a) Annual enrollment of eligible persons in the program before a disaster.
(b) The average stock food needed to obtain better nutritional status for recipients.
(c) The variety of potential disaster scenarios affecting recipients and the ability of the agency to respond with adequate staffing.

SEC. 4.

 Section 11105 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

11105.
 (a) No person shall be granted aid under this part unless he or she is a resident of this the state.
(b) Where If a recipient of aid under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) receives an aid payment at an address outside of this the state for two consecutive months, the recipient’s eligibility shall be terminated where if the county has made inquiry of inquired with the recipient pursuant to Section 11100, and where the recipient has not responded to this inquiry by clearly showing that he or she has (1) not established residence elsewhere; elsewhere and (2) been prevented by illness illness, displacement due to a disaster declared by the Governor, or other good cause from returning to this the state.
(c) If a recipient whose aid is terminated pursuant to subdivision (b) reapplies for aid, payments shall be restored provided if all other eligibility criteria are met and if this individual the recipient can prove both of the following:
(1) His or her permanent residence is in this the state.
(2) That residence He or she has not been established residence in any other state state, which can be considered to be of a permanent nature.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care payments to children placed out of state by California children’s placement agencies.

SEC. 5.

 Section 11320.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

11320.3.
 (a) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (b) or if otherwise exempt, every individual, as a condition of eligibility for aid under this chapter, shall participate in welfare-to-work activities under this article.
(2) Individuals eligible under Section 11331.5 shall be required to participate in the Cal-Learn Program under Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 11331) during the time that article is operative, in lieu of the welfare-to-work requirements, and subdivision (b) shall not apply to that individual.
(b) The following individuals shall not be required to participate for so long as the condition continues to exist:
(1) An individual under 16 years of age.
(2) (A) A child attending an elementary, secondary, vocational, or technical school on a full-time basis.
(B) A person who is 16 or 17 years of age, or a person described in subdivision (d) who loses this exemption, shall not requalify for the exemption by attending school as a required activity under this article.
(C) Notwithstanding subparagraph (B), a person who is 16 or 17 years of age who has obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent and is enrolled or is planning to enroll in a postsecondary education, vocational, or technical school training program shall also not be required to participate for so long as the condition continues to exist.
(D) For purposes of subparagraph (C), a person shall be deemed to be planning to enroll in a postsecondary education, vocational, or technical school training program if he or she, or his or her parent, acting on his or her behalf, submits a written statement expressing his or her intent to enroll in such a program for the following term. The exemption from participation shall not continue beyond the beginning of the term, unless verification of enrollment is provided or obtained by the county.
(3) An individual who meets either of the following conditions:
(A) The individual is disabled as determined by a doctor’s verification that the disability is expected to last at least 30 days and that it significantly impairs the recipient’s ability to be regularly employed or participate in welfare-to-work activities, provided that the individual is actively seeking appropriate medical treatment.
(B) The individual is of advanced age.
(4) A nonparent caretaker relative who has primary responsibility for providing care for a child and is either caring for a child who is a dependent or ward of the court or caring for a child in a case in which a county determines the child is at risk of placement in foster care, and the county determines that the caretaking responsibilities are beyond those considered normal day-to-day parenting responsibilities such that they impair the caretaker relative’s ability to be regularly employed or to participate in welfare-to-work activities.
(5) An individual whose presence in the home is required because of illness or incapacity of another member of the household and whose caretaking responsibilities impair the recipient’s ability to be regularly employed or to participate in welfare-to-work activities.
(6) A parent or other relative who meets the criteria in subparagraph (A) or (B).
(A) (i) The parent or other relative has primary responsibility for personally providing care to a child six months of age or under, except that, on a case-by-case basis, and based on criteria developed by the county, this period may be reduced to the first 12 weeks after the birth or adoption of the child, or increased to the first 12 months after the birth or adoption of the child. An individual may be exempt only once under this clause.
(ii) An individual who received an exemption pursuant to clause (i) shall be exempt for a period of 12 weeks, upon the birth or adoption of any subsequent children, except that this period may be extended on a case-by-case basis to six months, based on criteria developed by the county.
(iii) In making the determination to extend the period of exception under clause (i) or (ii), the following may be considered:
(I) The availability of child care.
(II) Local labor market conditions.
(III) Other factors determined by the county.
(iv) Effective January 1, 2013, the parent or other relative has primary responsibility for personally providing care to one child from birth to 23 months, inclusive. The exemption provided for under this clause shall be available in addition to any other exemption provided for under this subparagraph. An individual may be exempt only once under this clause.
(B) In a family eligible for aid under this chapter due to the unemployment of the principal wage earner, the exemption criteria contained in subparagraph (A) shall be applied to only one parent.
(7) A parent or other relative who has primary responsibility for personally providing care to one child who is from 12 to 23 months of age, inclusive, or two or more children who are under six years of age.
(8) A woman who is pregnant and for whom it has been medically verified that the pregnancy impairs her ability to be regularly employed or participate in welfare-to-work activities or the county has determined that, at that time, participation will not readily lead to employment or that a training activity is not appropriate. If a pregnant woman is unable to secure this medical verification, but is otherwise eligible for an exemption from welfare-to-work requirements under this section, including good cause for temporary illness related to the pregnancy, she shall be exempt from participation.
(c) Any individual not required to participate may choose to participate voluntarily under this article, and end that participation at any time without loss of eligibility for aid under this chapter, if his or her status has not changed in a way that would require participation.
(d) (1) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a custodial parent who is under 20 years of age and who has not earned a high school diploma or its equivalent, and who is not exempt or whose only basis for exemption is paragraph (1), (2), (5), (6), (7), or (8) of subdivision (b), shall be required to participate solely for the purpose of earning a high school diploma or its equivalent. During the time that Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 11331) is operative, this subdivision shall only apply to a custodial parent who is 19 years of age.
(2) Section 11325.25 shall apply to a custodial parent who is 18 or 19 years of age and who is required to participate under this article.
(e) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of subdivision (d), the county may determine that participation in education activities for the purpose of earning a high school diploma or equivalent is inappropriate for an 18 or 19 year old custodial parent only if that parent is reassigned pursuant to an evaluation under Section 11325.25, or, at appraisal is already in an educational or vocational training program that is approvable as a self-initiated program as specified in Section 11325.23. If that determination is made, the parent shall be allowed to continue participation in the self-initiated program subject to Section 11325.23. During the time that Article 3.5 (commencing with Section 11331) is operative, this subdivision shall only apply to a custodial parent who is 19 years of age.
(f) A recipient shall be excused from participation for good cause when the county has determined there is a condition or other circumstance that temporarily prevents or significantly impairs the recipient’s ability to be regularly employed or to participate in welfare-to-work activities. The county welfare department shall review the good cause determination for its continuing appropriateness in accordance with the projected length of the condition, or circumstance, but not less than every three months. The recipient shall cooperate with the county welfare department and provide information, including written documentation, as required to complete the review. Conditions that may be considered good cause include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Lack of necessary supportive services.
(2) In accordance with Article 7.5 (commencing with Section 11495), the applicant or recipient is a victim of domestic violence, but only if participation under this article is detrimental to or unfairly penalizes that individual or his or her family.
(3) Licensed or license-exempt child care for a child 10 years of age or younger is not reasonably available during the individual’s hours of training or employment including commuting time, or arrangements for child care have broken down or have been interrupted, or child care is needed for a child who meets the criteria of subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 11323.2, but who is not included in the assistance unit. For purposes of this paragraph, “reasonable availability” means child care that is commonly available in the recipient’s community to a person who is not receiving aid and that is in conformity with the requirements of Public Law 104-193. The choices of child care shall meet either licensing requirements or the requirements of Section 11324. This good cause criterion shall include the unavailability of suitable special needs child care for children with identified special needs, including, but not limited to, disabilities or chronic illnesses.
(4) The applicant’s or recipient’s county of residence has been declared a disaster area by the Governor or the President of the United States, or the National Bureau of Economic Research has declared an economic recession or economic depression.
(g) (1) Paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) shall be implemented notwithstanding Sections 11322.4, 11322.7, 11325.6, and 11327, and shall become inoperative on January 1, 2013.
(2) The State Department of Social Services, in consultation with the County Welfare Directors Association of California, and advocates, shall develop a process to assist clients with reengagement in welfare-to-work activities, pursuant to subdivision (h). Reengagement activities may include notifying clients of the expiration of exemptions, reassessments, and identifying necessary supportive services.
(h) (1) A recipient who was not required to participate in welfare-to-work activities on December 31, 2012, because, in accordance with paragraph (7) of subdivision (b), he or she is a parent or other relative who has primary responsibility for personally providing care to one child who is from 12 to 23 months of age, inclusive, or two or more children who are under six years of age shall not be required to participate until the county welfare department reengages the recipient in welfare-to-work activities.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, reengagement in welfare-to-work activities shall include the development of a welfare-to-work plan in accordance with Section 11325.21 and the provision of necessary supportive services pursuant to Section 11323.2.
(3) County welfare departments shall reengage all recipients described in paragraph (1) by January 1, 2015, unless the recipient is otherwise eligible for an exemption under subdivision (b).
(4) A recipient reengaged in accordance with this subdivision who has received assistance under this chapter, or from any state pursuant to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (Part A (commencing with Section 401) of Title IV of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 601 et seq.)), may continue in a welfare-to-work plan that meets the requirements of Section 11322.6 for a cumulative period of 24 months commencing the first day of the first month after he or she is reengaged, unless or until he or she exceeds the 48-month time limitation described in Section 11454.
(5) All months of assistance described in paragraph (4) prior to the reengagement of the recipient shall not be applied to the 24-month limitation described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 11322.85.

SEC. 6.

 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), and (f):
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 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 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 for the month in which the birth is anticipated and for the six-month period immediately prior to the month in which the birth is anticipated, in the amount that would otherwise be paid to one person, as specified in subdivision (a), if the woman 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 qualified for aid under subdivision (a) or (b) to meet special needs resulting from pregnancy if the woman 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 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 and 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, 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 items. The sum of all nonrecurring special needs provided by this subdivision shall not exceed six hundred dollars ($600) per event.
(2) (A) Homeless assistance 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 are apparently eligible for aid under this chapter. Apparent eligibility exists when evidence presented by the applicant, or that 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.
(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 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.
(ii) This special needs benefit 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.
(iii) After homelessness has been verified, the three-day limit shall be extended for a period of time 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, good 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.
(B) (i) A nonrecurring special needs benefit 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) 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) 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).
(C) The nonrecurring special needs benefit 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 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 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, with certain exceptions, and that a break in the consecutive use of the benefit constitutes exhaustion of the temporary benefit for that 12-month period.
(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 pursuant to this paragraph.
(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, 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 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 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, 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 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.
(g) The department shall establish rules and regulations ensuring the uniform statewide application of this section.
(h) 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) (A) 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).
(B) The amounts payable to recipients pursuant to Section 11453.1 shall not constitute income to recipients of aid under this section.
(j) 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.
(k) (1) A county shall implement the semiannual reporting requirements in accordance with Chapter 501 of the Statutes of 2011 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.
(l) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2017.

SEC. 7.

 Section 18917 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

18917.
  (a) (1) The director shall appoint a CalFresh Disaster Planning Advisory Committee to advise the department on elements of a disaster plan. The advisory committee shall include client advocates and representatives from counties, the County Welfare Directors Association of California, 2-1-1 California, United Ways of California, and the California Association of Food Banks. The department, in consultation with the advisory committee, shall identify the necessary elements of a county disaster plan.
(2) A county human services agency shall annually submit to the department a disaster plan that includes the creation of mutual aid regions consisting of two or more counties to ensure there are sufficient resources necessary to continue adequate benefit access during a disaster. The disaster plan shall include elements specified in paragraph (1).
(b) Commencing on October 1, 2018, the department shall offer, and county human services agencies and organizations, institutions, and agencies receiving federal reimbursements pursuant to Section 18904.3 shall attend, a biannual training on Disaster CalFresh. The department shall make remote participation in the training available.
(c) Commencing on October 1, 2018, the department shall annually update all Disaster CalFresh materials, including, but not limited to, state and county disaster plans, Disaster CalFresh applications, the Disaster CalFresh Internet Web site, and a Disaster CalFresh outreach flyer in all required languages.
(d) (1) If the President of the United States issues a major disaster declaration for individual assistance, the department shall request to operate a federal Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) for the regions affected by the major disaster. The request shall include a waiver request to provide automatic, mass replacement benefits to eligible households and a waiver request to allow households to purchase hot, prepared foods at authorized retailers with their benefits.
(2) Whenever there is an event resulting in the loss of food by a significant number of CalFresh households, whether or not a disaster is declared by the President, the department shall request a waiver to provide automatic, mass replacement benefits to eligible households.
(e) It is the intent of the Legislature that the department shall maximize the capacity of counties to maintain timely, adequate access to all eligible benefits during a disaster. In order to ensure that disaster victims are not required to travel through dangerous routes in order to determine eligibility for, and to receive their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card to access, Disaster CalFresh or replacement benefits, the department shall do both of the following:
(1) If requested by an impacted county, provide to the county and its contracted computer eligibility system administrators support necessary for sufficient out-stationed locations to maintain timely, adequate access points to determine program eligibility during a disaster.
(2) Maintain and make available to affected counties, free of charge, no less than 12 mobile EBT issuance stations, with all necessary technology for the mobile issuance of EBT cards to recipients of Disaster CalFresh or replacement benefits.

SEC. 8.

 (a) In the event of a declaration by the Governor of a major disaster, the Legislature finds and declares both of the following:
(1) The State Department of Public Health and affected local agencies participating in the WIC Program, as defined in Section 123290 of the Health and Safety Code, will require additional funding to cover the administrative costs associated with implementing the disaster response plans specified in Section 123301 of the Health and Safety Code, and to support the State Department of Social Services, county human services agencies, and emergency food assistance providers to assist in the distribution of information about, and enrollment in, Disaster CalFresh and other federally funded disaster food assistance programs.
(2) The State Department of Social Services and affected county human services agencies will require additional funding to cover the administrative costs to prepare for, and respond to, a declaration by the President of the United States of a major disaster, and to maximize the amount of assistance requested and received through the federal Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other federally funded nutrition assistance programs, and the costs to prepare for and execute Disaster CalFresh outreach.
(b) Therefore, notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, an amount necessary to cover the costs of the disaster assistance services specified in subdivision (a) shall be continuously appropriated without regard to fiscal years to the State Department of Public Health and State Department of Social Services from the General Fund. The amounts appropriated to each department shall not exceed three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) per disaster declaration per department.

SEC. 9.

 No appropriation pursuant to Section 15200 of the Welfare and Institutions Code shall be made for purposes of implementing this act.

SEC. 10.

 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.