Code Section Group

Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC

DIVISION 9. PUBLIC SOCIAL SERVICES [10000 - 18999.8]

  ( Division 9 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784. )

PART 5. COUNTY AID AND RELIEF TO INDIGENTS [17000 - 17613.4]

  ( Part 5 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784. )

CHAPTER 5. Termination and Recovery of Assistance [17400 - 17410]
  ( Chapter 5 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784. )

17400.
  

In any case in which a county has taken a lien against real property owned by a recipient of public assistance for any purpose, including hospitalization or medical care furnished to the recipient, and such lien is subordinate to a mortgage or deed of trust on the property, the county, upon learning of the pending sale of the property in connection with the foreclosure of that mortgage or deed of trust, shall notify the recipient if it has no intention of bidding at the sale or redeeming the property and agrees to subordinate its liens to any subsequent mortgage or deed of trust on the real property so long as the title thereto remains in the name of the recipient.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784.)

17401.
  

No lien taken by a county pursuant to Section 17109 for care provided to a person in a county hospital shall be enforced against the home of that person (1) during his lifetime or that of his spouse, or (2) during the minority of his children if they reside in the home, or (3) during the lifetime of any dependent adult child who resides in the home and who is incapable of self-support because of mental or physical disability.

Any lien taken by a county for county hospital care shall be released immediately when the amount owing the county for that care is paid. The county shall render to a person to whom care has been provided in a county hospital a statement setting forth the charges upon which its claim for reimbursement is based. No interest or carrying charge shall be charged in connection with any debt incurred for county hospital care.

If a person against whose home a lien has been imposed for county hospital care desires to sell his home, the county shall release its lien against the original home and transfer it to the new home, provided that it finds that its security will not be impaired. If the person desires to borrow money for the purpose of making improvements to his home, using his home for security, the county shall subordinate its lien to the mortgage or other security interest given for the loan, if the county finds that its security will not be impaired.

If a person against whose home a lien has been imposed for county hospital care has the home acquired by a public entity for public use, the county shall release its lien against the original home and transfer it to any new home the person acquires.

No lien shall be taken pursuant to Section 17109 against the home of a person for care provided him in a county hospital, if he was confined to the county hospital as the result of a diagnosis of tuberculosis.

No lien shall be taken pursuant to this part against the home or other property of any relative, except for a parent of a minor or a spouse, liable for the support of a person confined in a county hospital or otherwise receiving aid under this part.

In no way do the authorizations and limitations expressed in this section enlarge upon the power of counties to take or impose liens under existing law. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to permit a county to impose a lien for aid or other assistance granted under any public assistance program established by this code for which federal funds are received by this state, or under the aid to the potentially self-supporting blind program.

(Amended by Stats. 1974, Ch. 47.)

17402.
  

If there is in the hands of any officer of the county, or there is surrendered to any officer of the county, upon the death of any indigent person, any personal property of a total of less than twenty-five dollars ($25) in value, belonging to such person, the board of supervisors of the county may, by resolution, order such property to be sold, and if the proceeds thereof do not exceed the sum of twenty-five dollars ($25), they shall be applied to the payment of the claim of the county against such person. If the value of such property or the proceeds received from its sale exceeds the sum of twenty-five dollars ($25), or exceeds the indebtedness due to the county, such property or the proceeds of the sale thereof in excess of twenty-five dollars ($25), or the amount of the claims of the county, shall be delivered to the public administrator of the county or to any other legal representative of the deceased for administration.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784.)

17403.
  

If a person for the support of whom public moneys have been expended acquires property, the county shall have a claim against him to the amount of a reasonable charge for moneys so expended, and such claim shall be enforced by action against him by the district attorney of the county on request of the board of supervisors. In a proper case therefor, the district attorney shall apply to the proper court for the appointment of a guardian or conservator of the person or estate, or both, of the indigent. The support of such indigent from public funds shall be deemed a ground for sale or encumbrance of his property under the provisions of Section 2541 of the Probate Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1979, Ch. 730.)

17403.1.
  

Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 17403, the county claim for reimbursement of aid extended to the indigent shall be offset as provided herein in cases where: (1) the indigent is represented by an attorney at law or other authorized representative in connection with a denial of, or termination of, Supplemental Security Income benefits with state supplementation under the provisions of Title XVI of the federal Social Security Act and Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 12000) of Part 3; and (2) the county receives the indigent’s initial payment of these benefits pursuant to an interim assistance reimbursement agreement authorized by Section 1631 (g) of the federal Social Security Act.

The amount of offset reducing the county claim in these instances shall be paid to the representative by the county as a representation fee. The county, by appropriate enactment of the board of supervisors, may elect to be exempted from the mandatory obligation to pay representation fees under this section, but the county shall retain the authority, despite such election, to pay a representation fee in such instances as the county may deem appropriate. Any representation fee paid pursuant to this section shall not be recoverable from the indigent or the indigent’s estate.

The representation fee shall be a fixed percentage of the interim assistance reimbursement received by the county equal to the lesser of (1) 25 percent; or (2) the percentage obtained by dividing any representation fee to be paid by the indigent as authorized under federal law by the net benefits paid to the indigent by the county after interim assistance reimbursement and multiplying the quotient by 100.

For purposes of this section, an “authorized representative” shall mean an individual who has met the requirements set forth in Title XVI of the federal Social Security Act and regulations promulgated thereunder.

(Added by Stats. 1983, Ch. 714, Sec. 1.)

17404.
  

From the proceeds of a sale or encumbrance of the property of such ward, or from such funds as may be collected from the property of the ward, there shall be paid to the county the expense of the support of the ward prior to collection, together with the subsequent expense of such support.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784.)

17405.
  

Any estate, interest or lien in property transferred or granted to the board of supervisors under the provisions of Section 17109, or under the provisions of Section 9 of an act entitled “An act to provide for the aid and relief of indigents,” approved June 5, 1933, may be reconveyed or released by them upon payment to the county of the amount of aid repayment of which is thereby secured or upon payment to the county of such amount as in the opinion of the board of supervisors equals the net amount which would be realized in the event that the lien was foreclosed or such estate or interest was sold at forced sale.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784.)

17406.
  

Any estate, interest, or lien held by the board of supervisors under the provisions of Section 17109, or under the provisions of Section 9 of an act entitled “An act to provide for the aid and relief of indigents,” approved June 5, 1933, may be subordinated by them to the lien of any mortgage or deed of trust given to renew or refinance any mortgage, deed of trust, or other encumbrance, the lien or charge of which had priority over such estate, interest or lien.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784.)

17407.
  

In any case in which the board of supervisors determines, after investigation, that the purposes of this part will be served by releasing or subordinating any lien in whole or in part or reconveying or subordinating in whole or in part any interest or estate transferred or granted to the board of supervisors under the provisions of Section 17109 or under the provisions of Section 9 of an act entitled “An act to provide for the aid and relief of indigents,” approved June 5, 1933, and determines that the property affected by such lien, transfer or grant, except such interest or estate as may have been conveyed to the county, is at the time owned by the recipient of aid, the board of supervisors may release such lien in whole or in part or may reconvey such interest or estate in whole or in part or may subordinate the lien, interest or estate so transferred or granted to it to one or more designated encumbrances executed by the recipient of aid, without consideration or for such consideration as the board may determine.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784.)

17408.
  

The releases, reconveyances and subordinations herein provided for shall be authorized by a resolution of the board of supervisors, and the instruments of release, reconveyance, or subordination shall be executed by an officer of the county, designated by the board of supervisors, in the name of the county and the State of California, and any release, reconveyance or subordination authorized by the board of supervisors and executed by the designated county officer shall conclusively bind the county and the state in favor of any bona fide purchaser or encumbrancer for value.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784.)

17409.
  

There shall be exempt from the transfers and grants authorized by Section 17109 and from execution on claims under Section 17403 against property acquired by persons for the support of whom public moneys have been expended all of the following property:

(a) Cash not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100).

(b) Personal effects and household furniture not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) in value.

(c) An interment space, crypt, or niche intended for the interment of the applicant or recipient of aid.

(d) Funds placed in trust for funeral or burial expenses not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000).

(e) Insurance policies having an actual cash surrender value not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000).

(f) Real or personal property of a recipient of public assistance, with respect to aid or county hospital care.

(g) For a period of six months from the date of receipt, the compensation received from a public entity which acquires for a public use a dwelling actually owned and occupied by the recipient. Such compensation shall be exempt in the amount, over and above all liens and encumbrances, provided by Section 704.730 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(h) Relocation benefits shall be exempt as provided by Section 704.180 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

No county shall withhold emergency medical or hospital care from any person pending the person giving security for reimbursement to the county for the care or hospitalization to be provided to the person.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 379, Sec. 12. Effective January 1, 2004.)

17410.
  

Any person who with the intent to defraud, buys or receives a voucher, invoice, or similar document issued for services or merchandise under this part without furnishing such services or merchandise is punishable either by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than one year, by a fine of not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for a period of not more than one year, by a fine of not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 633. (AB 109) Effective April 4, 2011. Operative October 1, 2011, by Sec. 636 of Ch. 15, as amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 39, Sec. 68.)

WICWelfare and Institutions Code - WIC