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SB-268 CalWORKs eligibility: asset limits.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/12/2019 09:00 PM
SB268:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 268


Introduced by Senator Wiener
(Coauthor: Senator Beall)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Berman and Mark Stone)

February 12, 2019


An act to amend Section 95504 of the Government Code, and to amend Sections 11151, 11322.5, 11375, 11450, 11450.5, 14140, and 18923 of, and to repeal Sections 11155, 11155.1, 11155.2, 11155.6, 11157.5, 11257, 11257.5, and 11260 of, of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to CalWORKs.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 268, as introduced, Wiener. CalWORKs eligibility: asset limits.
Existing federal law provides for allocation of federal funds through the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant program to eligible states, with California’s version of this program being known as the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program. Under the CalWORKs program, each county provides cash assistance and other benefits to qualified low-income families and individuals who meet specified eligibility criteria, including limitations on income and assets generally applicable to public assistance programs. Existing law continuously appropriates money from the General Fund to pay for a share of aid grant costs under the CalWORKs program.
This bill would repeal those limitations on assets with regard to eligibility for CalWORKs, thereby eliminating the consideration of an individual’s or family’s assets as a condition of eligibility for CalWORKs. The bill would also make conforming changes. By increasing the duties of counties administering the CalWORKs program, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would declare that no appropriation would be made for purposes of the bill pursuant to the provision continuously appropriating funds for the CalWORKs program.
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: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 95504 of the Government Code is amended to read:

95504.
 (a) The nonprofit facilitator shall subcontract with service providers to implement the project around the state. The nonprofit facilitator shall make an attempt to select service providers for programs of different size, geographical distribution, and target population to be served. Additionally, the nonprofit facilitator may consider giving special consideration to service providers that demonstrate partnerships with local public agencies.
(b) The service providers shall perform all of the following duties in implementing the project:
(1) Recruit and select participants who meet the following criteria:
(A) The individual is at least 18 years of age.
(B) The individual is a member of a household with an income of not more than 80 percent of the area median income based on United States Department of Housing and Urban Development guidelines at the time of program enrollment.
(C) The individual is not a dependent of another person for federal income tax purposes.
(D) The individual is not a debtor for a judgment resulting from nonpayment of a court-ordered child support obligation.
(E) The individual meets eligibility criteria as defined by the funding source for the program created under this title.
(2) Develop and sign contracts with each participant, to include all program requirements and policies governing the participant’s account.
(3) Assist participants in opening individual development accounts. CalWORKs recipients participating in the project may consider using The accounts shall be established using an account structure parallel to a restricted account as described in former Section 11155.2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. Otherwise, the accounts shall be established using a parallel account structure Code that meets both of the following requirements:
(A) One separate account shall be established for each participant in a federally or state insured financial institution, community development financial institution, any financial institution eligible to hold an individual retirement account, or community development credit union, in which each participant’s savings are deposited and maintained. The program participant may withdraw his or her the participant’s own savings at any time.
(B) Another separate, parallel account shall be established and maintained by service providers in which the matching funds from state, federal, and private donations are kept. The parallel account may contain all matching funds for a pool of any service provider’s participants.
(4) Help individuals receive their matching funds at the conclusion of the program.
(5) Provide participants with a minimum of 12 hours of financial education and training. The education and training shall include, but need not be limited to, all of the following:
(A) Household and personal budget management.
(B) Economic literacy.
(C) Credit repair.
(6) Develop a program dismissal process for participants who do not fulfill program participation requirements, and seek to ensure that matching funds are used for their intended purposes.
(7) Collect and maintain information about their programs, in a manner that provides the capacity to report semiannually all of the following information to the department:
(A) The number and demographic characteristics of participants enrolled in the program.
(B) The number of accounts established.
(C) The individual and aggregate savings level of participants.
(D) The number of participants who closed accounts and the amount of associated savings.
(E) The actual and proposed program budget.
(F) The size and origin of matching pool funds received, obligated, and paid to participants.
(G) The program achievements and obstacles.
(H) Twelve-month program and financial projections.
(I) At least one participant profile.

SEC. 2.

 Section 11151 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

11151.
 An applicant or recipient shall be ineligible to receive public assistance unless the property he the applicant or recipient owns is held for the following purposes:

1.

(a) The property is used to provide the applicant or recipient with a home and conforms to the provisions of Section 11152 of this code. 11152.

2.

(b) The property is producing income for the support of the applicant or recipient and conforms to the provisions of Section 11153.7 of this code. 11153.7.

3.

(c) The property is held as a reserve to meet a contingent need, not included within the standard of assistance for which an aid payment is made, and conforms to the provisions of Section 11154 of this code. 11154.

4.

(d) The property is personal in nature, or meets a special need of the applicant or recipient, or is part of a self-care or rehabilitation plan, or is not available for expenditure or disposition by the applicant or recipient and conforms to provisions of Section 11155 of this code. recipient.

SEC. 3.

 Section 11155 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is repealed.
11155.

(a)Notwithstanding Section 11257, in addition to the personal property or resources permitted by other provisions of this part, and to the extent permitted by federal law, an applicant or recipient for aid under this chapter including an applicant or recipient under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) may retain countable resources in an amount equal to the amount permitted under federal law for qualification for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, administered in California as CalFresh.

(b)The county shall determine the value of exempt personal property other than motor vehicles in conformance with methods established under CalFresh.

(c)(1)(A)The value of each motor vehicle that is not exempt under paragraph (4) shall be the equity value of the vehicle, which shall be the fair market value less encumbrances.

(B)Any motor vehicle with an equity value of nine thousand five hundred dollars ($9,500) or less shall not be attributed to the family’s resource level.

(C)For each motor vehicle with an equity value of more than nine thousand five hundred dollars ($9,500), the equity value that exceeds nine thousand five hundred dollars ($9,500) shall be attributed to the family’s resource level.

(2)The equity threshold described in paragraph (1) of nine thousand five hundred dollars ($9,500) shall be adjusted upward annually by the increase, if any, in the United States Transportation Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

(3)The county shall determine the fair market value of the vehicle in accordance with a methodology determined by the department. The applicant or recipient shall self-certify the amount of encumbrance, if any.

(4)The entire value of any motor vehicle shall be exempt if any of the following apply:

(A)It is used primarily for income-producing purposes.

(B)It annually produces income that is consistent with its fair market value, even if used on a seasonal basis.

(C)It is necessary for long distance travel, other than daily commuting, that is essential for the employment of a family member.

(D)It is used as the family’s residence.

(E)It is necessary to transport a physically disabled family member, including an excluded disabled family member, regardless of the purpose of the transportation.

(F)It would be exempted under any of subparagraphs (A) to (D), inclusive, but the vehicle is not in use because of temporary unemployment.

(G)It is used to carry fuel for heating for home use, when the transported fuel or water is the primary source of fuel or water for the family.

(H)Ownership of the vehicle was transferred through a gift, donation, or family transfer, as defined by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

(d)This section shall become operative on January 1, 2014.

SEC. 4.

 Section 11155.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is repealed.
11155.1.

(a)Notwithstanding Sections 11155 and 11257, the department shall seek any federal approvals necessary to conduct a demonstration program increasing the value of personal property that may be retained by a recipient of aid under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) to two thousand dollars ($2,000) and increasing the value of the exemption for an automobile to four thousand five hundred dollars ($4,500). The increased property limits shall not apply to applicants.

(b)This section shall be implemented only if the director executes a declaration, that shall be retained by the director, stating that federal approval for the implementation of this section has been obtained and specifying the duration of that approval.

SEC. 5.

 Section 11155.2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is repealed.
11155.2.

(a)In addition to the personal property permitted by this part, recipients of aid under CalWORKs shall be permitted to retain savings and interest thereon for specified purposes. Interest earned from these savings and deposited into a restricted account shall be considered exempt as income for purposes of determining eligibility for aid and grant amounts if the interest is retained in the account. If the interest is not deposited by the financial institution into the account, the interest shall be treated as a nonqualifying withdrawal of funds from the account as specified in subdivision (b). This section shall not apply to applicants. Funds may be used by the family for education or job training expenses for the accountholder or his or her dependents, for starting a business, for the purchase of a home, or for costs associated with securing permanent rental housing or to make rent payments to overcome an episode of homelessness. Recipients who wish to retain savings for these purposes shall enter into a written agreement with the county to establish a separate account with a financial institution, with the account to be used solely for the purpose of accumulating funds for later withdrawal for a qualifying expenditure. A qualifying expenditure shall be defined by department regulations and shall be verified by the recipient. The recipient shall agree to provide periodic verification of account activity, as required by department regulations. The agreement shall notify the recipient of the penalty for nonqualifying withdrawal of funds.

(b)Any nonqualifying withdrawal of funds from the account shall result in a calculation of a period of ineligibility for all persons in the assistance unit, to be determined by dividing the balance in the account immediately prior to the withdrawal by the minimum basic standard of adequate care for the members of the assistance unit, as set forth in Section 11452. The resulting whole number shall be the number of months of ineligibility. The period of ineligibility may be reduced when the minimum basic standard of adequate care of the assistance unit, including special needs, increases.

(c)If the California Savings and Asset Project is established pursuant to Chapter 17 (commencing with Section 50897) of Part 2 of Division 31 of the Health and Safety Code, then to the extent permitted by federal law, a recipient shall be eligible to receive matching funds derived from federal contributions for the purpose of establishing an individual account in an amount not to exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000) in addition to the amounts specified in subdivision (a) and a fiduciary organization may provide amounts in excess of the first three thousand dollars ($3,000) limitation if contributed solely through private sources.

SEC. 6.

 Section 11155.6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is repealed.
11155.6.

(a)(1)The principal and interest in a 401(k) plan, 403(b) plan, or 457 plan shall be excluded from consideration as property when determining eligibility and the amount of assistance with respect to an applicant for benefits who is not a recipient of CalWORKs benefits.

(2)The principal and interest in a 401(k) plan, 403(b) plan, IRA, 457 plan, 529 college savings plan, or Coverdell ESA, shall be excluded from consideration as property when redetermining eligibility and the amount of assistance for recipients of CalWORKs benefits.

(b)For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

(1)“401(k) plan” means a deferred compensation plan that satisfies the requirements of Section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(2)“403(b) plan” means a qualified annuity plan that satisfies the requirements of Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(3)“IRA” means an individual retirement account that satisfies the requirements of Section 408 of the Internal Revenue Code.

(4)“457 plan” means a deferred compensation plan that satisfies the requirements of Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code.

(5)“529 college savings plan” means a qualified tuition program that satisfies the requirements of Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code.

(6)“Coverdell ESA” means an education savings account that satisfies the requirements of Section 530 of the Internal Revenue Code.

SEC. 7.

 Section 11157.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is repealed.
11157.5.

The receipt of aid under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) shall not impose any limitation or restriction upon a recipient’s right to sell, exchange, or change, the form of property holdings. However, a gift or any other transfer of assets, including income and resources, by a recipient for less than fair market value shall result in a period of ineligibility for aid under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) for the number of months, rounded down to the nearest whole number, that equals the quotient of the difference between the fair market value of the asset and the amount received for the asset divided by the standard of need applicable to the family under Section 11452. This section shall only apply to transfer of income or resources that would otherwise affect a recipient’s eligibility for benefits or the amount of benefits to which he or she would be entitled.

SEC. 8.

 Section 11257 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is repealed.
11257.

(a)To the extent not inconsistent with Sections 11265.1, 11265.2, 11265.3, and 11004.1, no aid under this chapter shall be granted or paid for any child who has real or personal property, the combined market value reduced by any obligations or debts with respect to this property of which exceeds one thousand dollars ($1,000), or for any child or children in one family who have, or whose parents have, or the child or children and parents have, real and personal property the combined market value reduced by any obligations or debts with respect to this property which exceeds one thousand dollars ($1,000).

For purposes of this subdivision, real and personal property shall be considered both when actually available and when the applicant or recipient has a legal interest in a liquidated sum and has the legal ability to make that sum available for support and maintenance.

(b)Notwithstanding subdivision (a) above, an applicant or recipient may retain the following:

(1)Personal or real property owned by him or her, or in combination with any other person, without reference to its value, if it serves to provide the applicant or recipient with a home. If the basic home is a unit in a multiple dwelling, then only that unit shall be exempt.

For the purposes of paragraph (1), if an applicant has entered into a marital separation for the purpose of trial or legal separation or dissolution, real property which was the usual home of the applicant shall be exempt for three months following the end of the month in which aid begins. If the recipient was receiving aid when the marital separation occurred, the period of exemption shall be three months following the end of the month in which the separation occurs. To remain exempt following this three-month period, the home must be occupied by the recipient, or be unavailable for use, control, and possession due to legal proceedings affecting a property settlement or sale of the property.

(2)Personal property consisting of one automobile with maximum equity value as permitted by federal law.

(3)In addition to the foregoing, the director may at his or her discretion, and to the extent permitted by federal law, exempt other items of personal property not exempted under this section.

SEC. 9.

 Section 11257.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is repealed.
11257.5.

Notwithstanding the property limitations in subdivision (a) of Section 11257, a family may retain, for nine months, real property if the family is making a good faith effort to sell the real property. However, any aid payable to the family for the nine-month period shall be conditioned upon the sale. At the time of the sale any aid payments made during the nine-month period shall be considered overpayments to the extent they would not have been made had the sale occurred at the beginning of the nine-month period. Notwithstanding Section 11004 overpayments shall be recouped from the proceeds of the sale. If the real property has not been sold at the end of the nine-month period, the family shall be ineligible for aid if the combined net value of the real and personal property owned by the family exceeds the one thousand dollar ($1,000) limitation in Section 11257.

Notwithstanding Section 11007 as a condition to the granting of aid pursuant to this section, the family shall grant the county a lien upon the real property as security for the aid to be paid. The lien shall be used to recoup any overpayments incurred pursuant to this section. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the lien shall not be enforceable by the sale of the secured property by the county. The lien of the county shall be paid upon the sale of the property.

The department shall define good faith effort in regulation.

SEC. 10.

 Section 11260 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is repealed.
11260.

A child’s share of any estate, which share has not been distributed and of which he has no present economic use, does not constitute property for the purpose of this chapter.

SEC. 11.

 Section 11322.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

11322.5.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature to do each of the following:
(1) Maximize the ability of CalWORKs recipients to benefit from the federal or state California Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), including retroactive EITC credits and the Advance EITC, take advantage of the earned-income disregard to increase their CalFresh benefits, and accumulate credit toward future social security income.
(2) Educate and empower all CalWORKs participants who receive the federal or state California EITC to save or invest part or all of their credits in instruments such as individual development accounts, 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, IRAs, 457 plans, Coverdell ESA education savings account (ESA) plans, an account established pursuant to the California Secure Choice CalSavers Retirement Savings Program (Title 21 (commencing with Section 100000), of the Government Code), restricted accounts pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 11155.2, or 529 plans, and to take advantage of the federal Assets for Independence program and other matching funds, tools, and training available from public or private sources, in order to build their assets.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that counties encourage CalWORKs recipients to participate in activities that will maximize their receipt of the EITC. To this end, counties may do all of the following:
(1) Structure welfare-to-work activities pursuant to subdivisions (a) to (j), inclusive, of Section 11322.6 to give recipients the option of maximizing the portion of their CalWORKs benefits that meets the definition of “earned income” in Section 32(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code.
(2) Inform CalWORKs recipients of each of the following:
(A) That earned income, either previous or future, may make them eligible for the federal or state California EITC, including retroactive EITC credits and the Advance EITC, increase their CalFresh benefits, and accumulate credit toward future social security income.
(B) That recipients, as part of their welfare-to-work plans, have the option of engaging in subsidized employment and grant-based on-the-job training, as specified in Section 11322.6, and that participating in these activities will increase their earned income to the extent that they meet the requirements of federal law.
(C) That receipt of the federal or state California EITC does not affect their CalWORKs grant and is additional tax-free income for them.
(D) That a CalWORKs recipient who receives the federal or state California EITC may invest these funds in an individual development account, 401(k) plan, 403(b) plan, IRA, 457 plan, 529 college savings plan, Coverdell ESA, education savings account (ESA), or an account established pursuant to the California Secure Choice CalSavers Retirement Savings Program, or restricted account, and that investments in these accounts will not make the recipient ineligible for CalWORKs benefits or reduce the recipient’s CalWORKs benefits.
(3) At each regular eligibility redetermination, the county shall ask a recipient whether the recipient is eligible for and takes advantage of the EITC. If the recipient may be eligible and does not participate, the county shall give the recipient the federal or state the California EITC form and encourage and assist the recipient to take advantage of it.

SEC. 12.

 Section 11375 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

11375.
 The following shall apply to any child or nonminor in receipt of state-funded Kin-GAP benefits:
(a) He or she The person is eligible to request and receive independent living services pursuant to Section 10609.3.
(b) He or she The person may retain cash savings, not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000), including interest, in addition to any other property accumulated pursuant to former Section 11257 or former Section 11257.5.
(c) He or she The person shall have earned income disregarded pursuant to Section 11008.15.

SEC. 13.

 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 The amount of aid paid for each month shall not 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 former 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 that person’s 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 California Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children program. Children. 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) (i) Homeless assistance is available to a homeless family seeking shelter when the family is eligible for aid under this chapter.
(ii) 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 the applicant’s eligible alien status, or a woman with no person who does not have eligible children and 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 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

(C) (i) 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 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, 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 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 or that the family is homeless as a direct and primary result of a state or federally declared natural disaster.

(v)

(iv) Notwithstanding clauses (iii) and (iv), (ii) and (iii), 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)

(D) (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)

(E) The nonrecurring special needs benefit for permanent housing assistance is also available to cover the standard costs of deposits for utilities which that are necessary for the health and safety of the family.

(D)

(F) 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, 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)

(G) (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 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 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)

(H) 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), (G), the family shall be allowed to use any refunds received from its deposits to meet the costs of moving to another residence.

(G)

(I) Payments to providers for temporary shelter and permanent housing and utilities shall be made on behalf of families requesting these payments.

(H)

(J) 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

(K) Payment shall not 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

(L) (i) A CalWORKs applicant who provides a sworn statement of past or present domestic abuse and who is fleeing his or her the applicant’s 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), (G), 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 the applicant becomes a CalWORKS recipient, may later qualify under this subdivision.
(iii) For 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.
(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) 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 are not part of the payment schedule set forth in subdivision (a).
(2) The amounts payable to recipients pursuant to Section 11453.1 shall not constitute are not 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) (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. 2011.
(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.

SEC. 14.

 Section 11450.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

11450.5.
 For purposes of computing and paying aid grants under this chapter, the director shall adopt regulations establishing a budgeting system consistent with Sections 11265.1, 11265.2, and 11265.3. Nothing in this section, or Sections 11004, 11257 and This section, Section 11004 or 11450, or any other provision of this code, shall be interpreted as prohibiting does not prohibit the establishment of, or otherwise restricting restrict the operation of, any budgeting system adopted by the director.

SEC. 15.

 Section 14140 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

14140.
 The following definitions shall apply to the provisions of this article:
(a) “Net worth” means:
(1) Personal property, which consists of cash, savings accounts, securities, and similar items; notes, mortgages, and deeds of trust; the cash surrender value of life insurance on the life of the applicant or beneficiary, on the life of the spouse, or any member of the family, except as provided in Section 11158; motor vehicles, except one which that meets the transportation needs of the person or family; and any other property or equity other than real estate, except that property specified in subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) of Section 11155. estate.
(2) Real property, including any interest in land of more than nominal interest which that does not constitute the home of the applicant for aid under this chapter. The home of the applicant shall be exempt from consideration as net worth under this section to the extent of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in assessed valuation, as assessed by the county assessor.
(3) “Income” which that consists of the sum of adjusted gross income as used for purposes of the Federal Income Tax Law.
(b) “Family unit” means:
(1) In the case of a patient who is not married or in a registered domestic partnership and is under 21 years of age living with his or her their parent or parents, the patient and his or her their parents.
(2) In the case of a patient who is married or in a registered domestic partnership and is under 21 years of age, the patient and his or her spouse. their spouse or domestic partner.
(3) In the case of a patient over 21 years of age, the patient, and if married or in a registered domestic partnership, the patient’s spouse. spouse or domestic partner.

SEC. 16.

 Section 18923 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

18923.
 (a) The State Department of Social Services shall submit a request to the United States Department of Agriculture for a waiver to permit a CalFresh household to retain funds in the restricted savings account as specified in subdivision (a) of former Section 11155.2 and as accumulated while participating in the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program. The participation requirements for this specific savings account as specified in subdivision (a) of former Section 11155.2 shall apply to CalFresh. Penalties for nonqualifying withdrawal of these funds shall result in a calculation of a period of ineligibility for all persons in the CalFresh household, to be determined by dividing the balance in the account immediately prior to the withdrawal by the CalFresh allotment to which the household is entitled. The resulting whole number shall be the number of months of ineligibility. The period of ineligibility may be reduced when the divisor, which is the CalFresh allotment, increases as a result of a cost-of-living adjustment.
(b) The director may waive, with federal approval, the enforcement of specific federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program requirements, regulations, and standards necessary to implement this provision.

SEC. 17.

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

SEC. 18.

 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.