May 26, 2011

 

 

CalWORKs Program Guide Letter No. 237

 

Subject

8% MAXIMUM AID PAYMENT (MAP) REDUCTION; COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT (COLA) INCREASE; CHANGES TO THE EARNED INCOME DISREGARD (EID) CALCULATION; AND ADDITIONAL CLARIFICATION ON THE TREATMENT OF RECEPTION AND PLACEMENT (R&P) CASH

 

Effective Date:

July 1, 2011

 

Reference

All County Letter (ACL) No. 11-29

 

Purpose

The purpose of this letter is to:

 

·  Inform staff of the changes made to the CalWORKs program pursuant to Senate Bill (SB) 72.

·  Provide additional clarification on the treatment of Reception and Placement (R&P) income.

 

Background

This letter provides instructions to the be used in the implementation of two provisions of SB 72:

 

·  Eight percent MAP reduction; and

·  Change to the EID.

 

In addition this letter includes the Minimum Basic Standard of Adequate Care (MBSAC) and Income In-Kind levels that are effective July 1, 2011.

 

Summary of Updates

The following CPG chapters will be loaded to the online CPG after close of business on June 30, 2011:

 

CPG Section

Title

Program Updates

44-300.G

CalWORKs Payment Standards

Section updated with the new MAP and MBSAC levels.

44-100 I.

 

Countable Income of the AU

Section updated to:

·   Reflect the changes to the Earned Income Disregard, and

·  Clarify the treatment of Reception and Placement cash when received in lump-sum payments.

 

 

SB 72 Provisions

Separate program material will be issued with instructions on the other provisions of SB 72 not covered in this letter, which are as follows:

 

·  A new 48-month time limit for aided adults

·  Additional grant reductions for certain child-only cases

·  The suspension of the Cal-Learn Program

·  Changes to CalWORKs mental health and substance abuse funding

·  Changes to the Assembly Bill (AB) 98 subsidized employment program

·  The extension of the CalWORKs Short-Term exemptions for cases with young children and good cause for lack of supportive services

 

CalWORKs Grant Reduction

The new CalWORKs Payment Standards Chart is attached to this letter.  The grant reduction is to be applied to all cases (both exempt and non-exempt) effective July 1, 2011.  Human Services Specialists (HSS) shall treat the grant reduction as a mandatory county initiated mid-quarter action.

       

MBSAC Increase

The CalWORKs MBSAC levels are not subject to the 8% grant reduction and will be increased effective July 1, 2011.

 

CalWORKs MBSAC levels are adjusted annually to reflect any increases or decreases in the cost of living.  This year’s COLA increases the MBSAC and Income-In-Kind levels by 1.92 percent.  The new MBSAC levels are to be used in determining applicant financial eligibility for families that apply for CalWORKs on or after July 1, 2011.

 

Income Disregards

Under current rules, the Net Nonexempt Income (NNI) is calculated by disregarding the first $225 of Disability-Based Income (DBI) and/or any earned income and 50 percent of any remaining earned income.  If the assistance unit (AU) has earned income only, $225 and 50 percent of the earned income is disregarded when calculating the aid payment.

 

Effective July 1, 2011, SB 72 changes the income disregards for earned income.  The new income disregard structure retains the $225 disregard for DBI, but limits the earned income disregard to any remainder of the $225 disregard or $112, whichever is less.

 

If the DBI does not exceed $225, all of the DBI plus any amount of non-exempt earned income is disregarded not to exceed the lesser of $112 or the difference between the DBI and $225, plus 50 percent of any remaining earned income.

 

If the DBI exceeds $225, only the first $225 of the DBI and 50 percent of any earned income is disregarded. Any remaining DBI and remaining earned income is treated as part of the family's NNI.

 

The new EID will be used to calculate eligibility and grant amounts beginning with any income reported in July 2011 or any income to be used for a recipient’s July/August/September Quarterly Reporting (QR) payment quarter.  The income may be reported by the client as part of their QR 7 or Income Reporting Threshold (IRT) requirement.

 

Income Disregards

(continuation)

Example 1:

An AU submits their QR 7 in May and it includes earned income, the AU’s quarter is June/July/August.  The new EID evaluation is not due to be recalculated until receipt of the July QR 7 in August. 

 

In this instance, the new EID will not be used until August for the September/October/November QR payment quarter, unless the AU reports income over the IRT in July or August.

 

QR7 Submit Month

Payment Quarter

Apply New EID for Quarter

1st Month to Apply New EID to Evaluate IRT

May

Jun/Jul/Aug

No

July

August

Sep/Oct/Nov

Yes

 

Example 2:

An AU submits their QR 7 in June and it includes earned income, when the HSS calculates the grant for the July/August/September payment quarter, the HSS shall use the new EID.

 

QR7 Submit Month

Payment Quarter

Apply New EID for Quarter

1st Month to Apply New EID to Evaluate IRT

June

Jul/Aug/Sep

Yes

July

 

 

 

Mass Informing Notices

California Department of Social Services (CDSS) will send mass informing notice (TEMP 2250 and TEMP 2252) to all CalWORKs recipients in May through a statewide mailer. 

 

STATE LAW CHANGES MAXIMUM AID PAYMENT (MAP) LEVELS FOR CASH RECIPIENTS (TEMP 2250)

The TEMP 2250 notice provides information about the changes in cash aid levels and acts as an advance notice to clients. 

 

Note:

TEMP 2250 shows cash aid levels for both Region 1 and Region 2, (San Diego is in Region 1) and for both exempt and non-exempt MAP amounts.  Clients may not understand which region they belong to and/or if they are entitled to exempt or non-exempt MAP.  Therefore staff may experience an increase in questions from clients.

 

STATE LAW CHANGES THE CALWORKS INCOME DISREGARDS (TEMP 2252)

The informing notice explaining the change to the EID is also attached. HSS shall use this notice to provide information to their applicants and recipients.

 

HHS Action

Effective immediately, HSS shall also provide a TEMP 2250 informing notice to all new CalWORKs applicants applying for aid in May or June 2011, as they will not be included in the statewide mailing, but will also experience this same grant reduction effective July 1, 2011.

 

HSS shall document in the case comments that the flyer was explained and provided to the applicant.

 

A copy of the TEMP 2250 is attached to this letter.

 

RCA and TCVAP Impact

 

The instructions described in this letter also apply to Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) and Trafficking and Crime Victims Assistance Program (TCVAP) applicants and recipients, since cash aid payments under these programs are based on CalWORKs amounts.

 

Reception and Placement (R&P) Cash

NON-RECURRING LUMP-SUM PAYMENT

Previously, CalWORKs Program defined non-recurring lump-sum payment as a one-time payment. 

However, per recent guidance from CDSS, non-recurring lump-sum payment also can be defined as more than one payment in the same month.

These non-recurring lump-sum payments shall be counted as resources.

 

CalFresh Program Impact

 

The CalFresh benefits of recipients receiving both CalFresh and CalWORKs, RCA, or TCVAP shall be recalculated and increased if appropriate as a result of the reduction in the cash grant.

 

Medi-Cal Program Impact

Any CalWORKs recipients who lose eligibility due to the MAP reduction or new EID shall be evaluated for Medi-Cal eligibility under Section 1931(b) or another Medi-Cal program before Medi-Cal benefits are discontinued.

 

Child Care Program Impact

When recipients are discontinued from CalWORKs and are receiving Child Care Supportive Services, the Child Care Case Manager must evaluate ongoing child care benefits under Post Aid.

 

Refer to CPG 10-010 P. Child Care Income , and How To #855 Add Child Care Post Aid to a Closed CalWORKs Case.

 

Automation Impact

The reference tables in CalWIN, to reflect the necessary MAP levels (07/11), MBSAC level changes (07/11) and IIK values (07/11), and NOA NA 200 (4/11), to calculate the cash aid under the new EID structure, are work in progress, and scheduled to be updated in the near future.

 

ACCESS Impact

ACCESS Customer Service Agents may receive questions from callers requesting clarification on the CalWORKs changes.  The agents shall provide information to callers regarding the regulations changes.

 

If regulations cited in the material have not been followed, the agents shall send a SharePoint to the Family Resource Center’s (FRC) appropriate Task Group for follow up.

 

Agents shall apply the regulations described in this material when processing any QR7.  ACCESS-ERA shall also apply these regulations when processing CalWORKs and CalFresh applications.

 

Forms Impact

NOA NA 200 has been revised to calculate the cash aid amount under the new EID structure and includes the other CalWORKs reforms addressed in separate CalWORKs program material.

 

HSS shall use the revised NA 200 (4/11) form beginning June 2011. Additional NA forms and NOAs affected by these budget calculations will be provided under separate program material.  See Automation Impact section above.

 

Imaging Impact

Staff shall image a copy of manual NOA, if any, provided to the client.

 

Operational Impact

None.

 

CalWORKs Program Guide

Section 44-300.G - CalWORKs Payment Standards of the CalWORKs Program Guide has been updated with the new MAP, MBSAC and Income In-Kind levels.

 

Assistance Standards Chart

The Assistance Standards chart for CalWORKs and CalFresh has been updated with the new MAP, MBSAC and In-kind Income levels.  The chart is attached to this letter.

 

Scratch Budget

The QR Scratch Budget has been updated with the new MAP and MBSAC levels and been placed in the Enterprise/QR Excel Spreadsheet folder on the shared “S” drive.

 

QC / QA Impact

Quality Assurance will cite the appropriate error when the regulations cited in the material have not been followed.

 

Assistant Deputy Director Approval

 

SYLVIA MELENA

Assistant Deputy Director

Self-Sufficiency Programs

Strategic Planning & Operational Support

 

Manager Contact

CalWORKs Program

 

rp


CalWORKs

 

CalWORKs

 

EXEMPT MAP

REGION 1 (NON-EXEMPT MAP)  (07/11)

 

REGION 1 (EXEMPT MAP)  (07/11)

 

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

 

 

AU

MAP*

5%

10%

MBSAC

 

AU

MAP*

5%

10%

MBSAC

 

Each adult parent/caretaker

in the AU must meet one of

the following conditions:

1

 $317

$16

 $32

     $559

 

1

 $351

$18

 $35

     $559

 

2

516

26

52

916

 

2

577

29

58

916

 

3

638

32

64

1,135

 

3

714

36

71

1,135

 

·     Is disabled and receiving:

4

762

38

76

1,347

 

4

849

42

85

1,347

 

o  SSI/SSP

5

866

43

87

1,538

 

5

966

48

97

1,538

 

o  IHSS

6

972

49

97

1,728

 

6

1,086

54

109

1,728

 

o  SDI

7

1,069

53

107

1,900

 

7

1,192

60

119

1,900

 

o  TWC - Temp Wkrs. Comp

8

1,164

58

116

2,069

 

8

1,301

65

130

2,069

 

o  TDI - Temp Dis. Indem; or

9

1,258

63

126

2,244

 

9

1,405

70

141

2,244

 

·     Is a non-needy non-parent caretaker.

10+

1,351

68

135

  2,436**

 

10+

1,510

76

151

  2,436**

 

** Add $21 to MBSAC for each additional person.

 

** Add $21 to MBSAC for each additional person.

 

CalWORKs INKIND INCOME

CalWORKs IRT

CALFRESH  (10/09)

REGION 1  (07/11)

Region 1 (10/09)

Household

MAX

MAXIMUM INCOME

AU

HOUSING

UTILITIES

FOOD

CLOTHING

TOTAL

AU             IRT

Size

ALLOT

GROSSŒ

NET

1

    $252

     $54

  $139

      $43

$488

0                $227

1

     $200

    $1,174

     $903

2

337

60

296

83

776

1                1,174

2

367

1,579

1,215

3

369

63

379

       123

934

2                1,579 

3

526

1,984

1,526

4

386

66

469

163

1,084

3                1,984

4

668

2,389

1,838

5

386

66

568

206

1,226

4                2,389

5

793

2,794

2,150

6

386

66

657

247

1,356

5                2,794

6

952

3,200

2,461

7

386

66

733

289

1,474

6                3,200  

7

1,052

3,605

2,773

8

386

66

801

323

1,576

7                3,605

8

1,202

4,010

3,085

9

386

66

881

372

1,705

8                4,010

9

     1,352

4,416

3,397

10

386

66

951

408

1,811

9                4,416

10

     1,502¨

   4,822Ž

    3,709¸

CALFRESH DEDUCTIONS

10 or more   4,822

 

Standard Deduction (10/10)

Max. Dependent Care Deduction

Utility Allowances

ΠGross Maximum Income is 130% of Poverty Level

1 – 3 Persons

$142

NO CAP (10/08)

SUA(10/10)

$320

¨ Add  $150 for each additional person

4 Persons

$153

Max. Excess Shelter Deduction (10/10)

$458

LUA (10/10)

$94

Ž Add  $406 for each additional person

5 Persons

$179

Homeless Shelter Deduction (10/02)

$143

TUA (11/06)

$20

¸ Add  $312 for each additional person

6 or more Persons

$205

 

 

 

* Due to the cost of living adjustment suspension and grant reduction, these MAP levels will remain in effect through June 2012 (unless otherwise specified).