44-260.E. AR/CO Income Reporting Threshold (IRT)

 

Table of Contents

Section

Topic

44-260.E.1

Mandatory Report

44-260.E.2

Income Reporting Threshold (IRT)

44-260.E.3

IRT Informing Notice

44-260.E.4

Three-Tiered IRT System

44-260.E.5

When Income Exceeds the IRT

44-260.E.6

Questions and Answers

CPG Letter 284 (3/13); 307 (1/14); 309 (1/14)

 

44-260.E.1
Mandatory Report
Top

Recipients are required to report within 10 calendar days when their household income exceeds the Income Reporting Threshold (IRT), as outlined in CPG 44-260.D.1.  This requirement applies only to Assistance Units (AUs) with earned income.  See CPG 44-260.E.2.

Current CalWORKs IRT levels may be found in CPG 44-300.G.  Questions and answers regarding IRT for Annual Reporting/Child Only (AR/CO) AUs may be found in CPG 45-000.B.5.

ACLs 12-25; 12-49; 13-28; 13-109; CDSS Policy Inquiry

 

44-260.E.2
Income Reporting Threshold (IRT)
Top

The IRT is an income level that informs the Assistance Unit (AU) when they are required to make a mid-year report of an increase in income.  See CPG 44-300.G for current CalWORKs IRT levels.

Whereas the CalWORKs IRT is based on a three-tiered system as outlined in CPG 44-260.E.4, the CalFresh IRT is 130% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).  See CFPG 63-283.

Just like SAR, AR/CO AUs with only unearned income, including disability-based unearned income, are not required to report mid-year when their income, by itself, exceeds the IRT.

AUs receiving earned income are required to report within 10 days when their total combined gross monthly income (earned and unearned) of all the members in the Family Maximum Aid Payment (Family MAP) exceeds the IRT.

Income that must be reported includes:

·         Income for penalized, excluded, and timed-out individuals; and

·         Income of individuals who are not in the AU but are included in the determination of eligibility.

If the AU receives ...

Then the AU is …

Earned income only or a combination of earned and unearned income

Required to report within 10 days when their household’s total income exceeds the IRT.

Unearned income only or no income

Required to report within 10 days only if they receive new earnings that would exceed the IRT if combined with other household income.

NOTE:  New unearned income is not required to be reported mid-period.

Failure to make a timely report of income that exceeds the IRT may result in an OP per CPG 44-350.A.

ACLs 12-25; 12-49; 13-109; CDSS Policy Inquiry

 

 

44-260.E.3
IRT Informing Notice
Top

Each AU is required to receive written notification of their mandatory reporting responsibilities, including their IRT amount, upon the initial approval of CalWORKs, at each annual redetermination, and when their IRT changes.

AR/CO AUs will be issued the Reporting Changes for CalWORKs and CalFresh (AR 2 or AR 2 SAR) informing notice, as outlined in CPG 44-260.D.4.

ACLs 12-49; 12-49 Errata; 13-80; 13-109

 

44-260.E.4
Three-Tiered IRT System
Top

The same three-tiered IRT system is used for both AR/CO and SAR AUs, as outlined in CPG 44-270.G.  Under this system, the CalWORKs IRT will vary for each AU depending on their unique circumstances.  See CPG 44-270.G for examples.

When income exceeds the IRT, CalWORKs may be decreased or discontinued with timely and adequate notice.

The CalWORKs IRT is the lesser of the following:

Tier 1

55% of the FPL for a family of three (“baseline”) plus the amount of gross income last used in the CalWORKs benefit determination.

NOTE:  The baseline amount is a specific value that will be used in determining the Tier 1 IRT for all AUs.  55% of the FPL for a family of three will be used regardless of the actual AU size.

Tier 2

The level likely to make a family ineligible for CalWORKs based on the recipient earned income limit for each family size.

The Tier 2 IRT is calculated as:  MAP x 2 + the current Earned Income Disregard (EID) + $1.

Tier 3

The level likely to make a household ineligible for CalFresh benefits based on the household size.

The Tier 3 IRT is 130% of the FPL.  See CFPG 63-283.

NOTE:  Most AUs will have an IRT based on either Tier 1 or Tier 2.  The Tier 3 IRT will only be used in situations when an AU reports income exceeding the Tier 2 IRT and remains eligible to CalWORKs.

See CPG 44-300.G for current CalWORKs IRT levels and CPG 45-000.B.5 for AR/CO questions and answers related to IRT.

ACLs 12-25; 12-49; 13-28; 13-109

 

44-260.E.5
When Income Exceeds the IRT
Top

The evaluation of a mid-year report of income that exceeds the CalWORKs IRT is the same for AR/CO as it is for SAR.  See CPG 44-270.G.  When income exceeds the IRT, clarification is needed to determine if the income will continue at that level.

If the reported income is expected to last for only one month and will not continue at that level, then:

·         No mid-year action will be taken to change the CalWORKs grant amount; and

·         A “No Change” Notice of Action (NOA) will be sent to the AU.

Example 1:  Income exceeds the IRT (One Month Only)

Scenario

A recipient reports household income over the IRT.

The verification provided indicates that the increased income is only for the current month and will not continue at this level.

Beginning next month, the household income will be below the IRT.

Outcome

No mid-year action will be taken to change the CalWORKs benefit amount.

A “No Change” NOA will be sent to the AU.

If the reported income is expected to continue, then the Human Services Specialist (HSS) will use the new income to reevaluate CalWORKs eligibility for the remainder of the certification period.

Example 2:  Income exceeds the IRT and will continue

Scenario

A CalWORKs/CalFresh recipient reports household income over their CalWORKs IRT and provides verification that the income will continue at this level.

The new income results in a decrease in CalWORKs.

Outcome

CalWORKs will be decreased effective the first of the following month allowing timely notice.

CalFresh will be reevaluated using the increased household income and new CalWORKs grant amount, per CFPG 63-285.

  

Example 3:  Income over the IRT results in Discontinuance

Scenario

A CalWORKs/CalFresh recipient has a redetermination/recertification in November.

On July 15th, the recipient reports their household income now exceeds the CalWORKs IRT.  The income is expected to continue at this level and verification is provided.

The income results in the discontinuance of CalWORKs.

Outcome

Timely notice is sent to discontinue CalWORKs and CalFresh benefits effective July 31st.

The household will be approved for Transitional CalFresh (TCF) beginning August 1st if eligible.

NOTE:  If the AU’s income decreases before the July 31st discontinuance date or can no longer be reasonably anticipated, the HSS will reevaluate eligibility to CalWORKs and CalFresh and rescind the discontinuance, if appropriate.

  

Example 4:  Income exceeds the IRT at Annual Redetermination

Scenario

A CalWORKs/CalFresh AU has a redetermination/ recertification in September.

On September 3rd (before the redetermination is completed), the recipient reports income over the CalWORKs IRT.  Verification is provided that indicates the income will continue at this level.

Outcome

The new income will be used to determine continuing eligibility for the upcoming 12-month AR/CO period (October - September).

Timely notice is required if there is any decrease or discontinuance of benefits.

For discontinuances of CalWORKs, TCF will begin effective October 1st, if eligible.

ACLs 12-25; 12-49

44-260.E.6
Questions and Answers
Top

Additional information and clarification may be found in CPG 45-000.BAnnual Reporting/Child Only (AR/CO) Q&A.

ACL 13-28