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 6. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS [18000 - 18999.8]

  ( Part 6 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784. )

CHAPTER 10.3. Cash Assistance Program for Aged, Blind, and Disabled Legal Immigrants [18937 - 18944]
  ( Chapter 10.3 added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 329, Sec. 38. )

18937.
  

The State Department of Social Services shall establish and supervise a county- or county consortia-administered program to provide cash assistance to aged, blind, and disabled legal immigrants who are not citizens and who successfully complete an application process. No application shall be required of individuals described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 18944. The department shall conduct the evaluations of disability for the program. If the federal government agrees to administer the program, the department shall contract with the federal government for this purpose, and the county responsibilities shall be reduced by the duties and responsibilities undertaken by the federal government.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 329, Sec. 38. Effective August 21, 1998.)

18938.
  

(a) (1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), an individual, upon application, shall be eligible for the program established pursuant to Section 18937 if his or her immigration status meets the eligibility criteria of the Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Program for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled (SSI/SSP) in effect on August 21, 1996, but he or she is not eligible for SSI/SSP benefits solely due to his or her immigration status under Title IV of Public Law 104-193 and any subsequent amendments thereto.

(2) An applicant who is otherwise eligible for the program, but who entered the United States on or after August 22, 1996, shall be eligible for aid under this chapter only if he or she is sponsored and one of the following conditions is met:

(A) The sponsor has died.

(B) The sponsor is disabled, as defined in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 11320.3.

(C) The applicant, after entry into the United States, is a victim of abuse by the sponsor or the spouse of the sponsor if the spouse is living with the sponsor.

(3) An applicant who is otherwise eligible for the program but who entered the United States on or after August 22, 1996, and who does not meet one of the conditions of paragraph (2) shall be eligible for aid under this chapter beginning on October 1, 1999.

(4) The applicant shall be required to provide verification that one of the conditions of subparagraphs (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (2) has been met.

(5) (A) For purposes of subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2), abuse shall be defined in the same manner as provided in Section 11495.1 and Section 11495.12. A sworn statement of abuse by a victim, or the representative of the victim if the victim is not able to competently swear, shall be sufficient to establish abuse if one or more additional items of evidence of abuse is also provided. Additional evidence may include, but is not limited to, the following:

(i) Police, government agency, or court records or files.

(ii) Documentation from a domestic violence program, legal, clinical, medical, or other professional from whom the applicant or recipient has sought assistance in dealing with abuse.

(iii) A statement from any other individual with knowledge of the circumstances that provided the basis for the claim.

(iv) Physical evidence of abuse.

(B) If the victim cannot provide additional evidence of abuse, then the sworn statement shall be sufficient if the county makes a determination documented in the case file that the applicant is credible.

(b) The department shall periodically redetermine the eligibility of each individual.

(c) The department shall take all steps necessary to qualify any benefits paid under this section to be eligible for reimbursement as federal Interim Assistance including requiring a repayment agreement.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 111, Sec. 53. Effective July 30, 2001.)

18939.
  

(a) Any person who is found to be eligible for federally funded SSI by the department shall be required to apply for SSI benefits. An individual may continue to receive benefits under this article if he or she fully cooperates in the application and administrative appeal process of the Social Security Administration. An individual shall continue to be eligible to receive benefits under this article if he or she receives an unfavorable decision from the Social Security Administration.

(b) (1) The State Department of Social Services shall require counties with a base caseload of recipients of aid under this chapter of 70 or more to establish an advocacy program to assist applicants and recipients of aid under this chapter in the application process for the SSI program. The department shall encourage counties with a base caseload of recipients of aid under this chapter of 69 or less to establish a similar advocacy program. Counties may, at their option, contract to provide any or all of the required advocacy services.

(2) The department shall provide assistance to counties in their efforts to implement an SSI advocacy program (SSIAP) for applicants and recipients of aid under this chapter.

(c) The State Department of Social Services shall ensure that its Disability Evaluation Division (DED) expedites the disability evaluations for applicants and recipients of aid under this chapter by utilizing its existing case records sharing procedures to ensure that information from previous DED evaluations for the Medi-Cal program are shared expeditiously with the federal component of the division that is adjudicating the SSI disability application.

(d) The State Department of Social Services shall reimburse counties for legal fees incurred by attorneys or other authorized representatives during the appeals phase of the SSI application process only when the county demonstrates that the legal representative successfully secures approval of SSI benefits. The legal fees for each case shall not exceed twice the difference between the maximum monthly individual payment under this chapter and the maximum monthly SSP payment.

(e) The department shall report to the Legislature, by July 1, 2007, on the outcomes of county SSI advocacy programs, including the numbers of cases that transitioned to SSI and the amount of savings realized through the transfers.

(f) Subdivisions (b) to (e), inclusive, of this section shall become inoperative on July 1, 2011.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 759, Sec. 37. Effective September 30, 2008. Subds. (b) to (e) are inoperative July 1, 2011, by subd. (f).)

18939.5.
  

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an individual who naturalizes while receiving benefits under this article, who remains otherwise eligible for benefits under this article, and who applies for federally funded Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and fully cooperates in the application and administrative appeal process of the Social Security Administration, shall continue to receive benefits under this article until the individual receives SSI benefits or has exhausted all appeals for their initial federal SSI application. A recipient shall not be entitled to receive duplicate payments for any month.

(Added by Stats. 2007, Ch. 177, Sec. 40. Effective August 24, 2007.)

18940.
  

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the federal and state laws and regulations governing the SSI/SSP program shall also govern the program provided for under this chapter.

(b) Federal deeming rules and exemptions governing the SSI/SSP program, including all federal and state laws and regulations designed to protect SSI/SSP recipients and their resources, shall also govern the program provided for under this chapter, except that for immigrants described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 18938 who do not meet exemptions from deeming, the period for deeming of a sponsor’s income and resources shall be 10 years from the date of the sponsor’s execution of the affidavit of support or the date of the immigrant’s arrival in the United States, whichever is later.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter, immigrants who are victims of abuse by their sponsor or sponsor’s spouse shall be exempt from deeming. Abuse shall be defined in the same manner as provided in Section 11495.1 and Section 11495.12. A sworn statement of abuse by a victim, or the representative of the victim if the victim is not able to competently swear, shall be sufficient to establish abuse if one or more additional items of evidence of abuse is also provided. Additional evidence may include, but is not limited to, the following:

(1) Police, government agency, or court records or files.

(2) Documentation from a domestic violence program, or from a legal, clinical, medical, or other professional from whom the applicant or recipient has sought assistance in dealing with abuse.

(3) A statement from any other individual with knowledge of the circumstances that provided the basis for the claim.

(4) Physical evidence of abuse.

(5) If the victim cannot provide additional evidence of abuse, then the sworn statement shall be sufficient if the county makes a determination documented in writing in the case file that the applicant is credible.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 111, Sec. 54. Effective July 30, 2001.)

18941.
  

(a) Benefits provided under this chapter shall be equivalent to the benefits provided under the SSI/SSP program, Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 12000) of Part 3, except that the schedules for individuals and couples shall be reduced ten dollars ($10) per individual and twenty dollars ($20) per couple per month.

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), commencing on the date that the Supplemental Security Income benefits and/or State Supplementary Payment Program benefits provided in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 12000) of Part 3 do not include the bonus value of food stamps, as described in subdivision (g) of Section 2015 of Title 7 of the United States Code, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 18900.5, benefits provided under this chapter shall be equivalent to the benefits provided under the SSI/SSP program (Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 12000) of Part 3).

(c) The benefits authorized pursuant to subdivision (b) are not entitlement benefits and shall only be provided if funding is appropriated in the annual Budget Act for this purpose.

(d) This section shall become inoperative on the effective date of the act that added this subdivision, and, as of January 1, 2020, is repealed.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 27, Sec. 122. (SB 80) Effective June 27, 2019. Section inoperative June 27, 2019. Repealed as of January 1, 2020, by its own provisions.)

18941.
  

Benefits provided under this chapter shall be equivalent to the benefits provided under the SSI/SSP program, Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 12000) of Part 3. The benefit amount implemented by the act that added this section shall be retroactive to June 1, 2019.

(Added by Stats. 2019, Ch. 27, Sec. 123. (SB 80) Effective June 27, 2019.)

18942.
  

The department shall reimburse the counties for the cost of actual payments made pursuant to this chapter and for the administrative costs actually attributable to those payments. Any appropriation for this chapter may be transferred to pay for the costs of a contract entered into with the federal government to administer this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 329, Sec. 38. Effective August 21, 1998.)

18943.
  

(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 1340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, through June 30, 1999, the State Department of Social Services may implement the applicable provisions of this chapter through all county letter or similar instructions from the director.

(b) The director shall adopt regulations, as otherwise necessary, to implement the applicable provisions of this chapter no later than July 1, 1999. Emergency regulations to implement the applicable provisions of this chapter may be adopted by the director in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. The adoption of emergency regulations shall be deemed to be an emergency and necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, or general welfare.

(c) Emergency regulations shall be exempt from review by the Office of Administrative Law. The emergency regulations authorized by this section shall be submitted to the Office of Administrative Law for filing with the Secretary of State and shall remain in effect for no more than 180 days.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 329, Sec. 38. Effective August 21, 1998.)

18944.
  

(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to appropriate funds in the Budget Act for the purpose of providing services under this chapter.

(b) This chapter shall become operative on:

(1) October 1, 1998, for those individuals who are eligible for aid under this chapter and are discontinued from the SSI/SSP program effective with their September 1998 benefits as a result of their immigration status under Title IV of Public Law 104-193 and any subsequent amendments thereto. Until the counties begin full operation the department shall cause a payment to each individual or couple to be issued through the Controller so that there is no interruption in these individual’s receipt of aid to which they are eligible under this chapter.

(2) November 1, 1998, for applicants for this program to have their applications accepted by county welfare departments, and establish a beginning date of aid. Counties shall have the ability to make eligibility determinations and cause the issuance of payments no later than December 1, 1998, unless the federal government has agreed to provide the services under this chapter at an earlier date.

(c) This chapter shall be implemented only during any period that federal benefits are provided under Section 1612(a) of Title 8 of the United States Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 147, Sec. 43.5. Effective July 22, 1999.)

WICWelfare and Institutions Code - WIC