March 15, 2010

 

CalWORKs Program Guide (CPG) Letter No. 202

 

Subject

IMPLEMENTATION OF ASSET EXCLUSION REGULATIONS

 

Reference

All County Letter (ACL) No. 08-11, ACL 09-75, CalWORKs Program Guide (CPG) Special Notice 08-06.

 

Effective Date

Upon receipt.

 

Purpose

The purpose of this letter is to transmit final regulations that amend CalWORKs restricted account and asset exclusion regulations due to the enactment of Assembly Bill (AB) 2466 and AB 1078.

 

Background

The relevant provisions of these bills (implemented through CPG Special Notice 08-06, dated July 11, 2008) are to promote self-sufficiency of CalWORKs families by increasing their ability to accumulate assets.

 

The provisions of AB 1078 remove the $5,000 limit on the amount of money that a recipient of CalWORKs may save in a restricted account.

 

Provisions of AB 2466 and AB 1078 also allow the exclusion of the principal and interest in 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plan accounts from consideration as property for both CalWORKs applicants and recipients and to exempt Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), 529 college savings plans and Coverdell Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs) from consideration as property for CalWORKs recipients only.

 

AB 1078 adds provisions to mandate the outreach to CalWORKs recipients about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

 

This CPG Letter obsoletes CPG Special Notice 08-06 Changes In Asset Exclusion Rules and Attachment.

 

Summary of Modifications
 

The following sections have been modified and loaded to the CPG online.

 

CPG Section

Title

Program Updates/Changes

40-100.B

Applicant/Recipient Responsibility

This section amended to add the mandated outreach to EITC.

42-200.A

Property

This section amended to clarify CalWORKs property regulations alignment with Food Stamps personal property regulations.

42-200.B

Property Resource Limit

This section amended to remove the limit on restricted accounts for CalWORKs recipients.

42-200.I

Other Personal Property To Be Excluded

This section amended to:

  Remove the limit of restricted accounts for CalWORKs recipients.

  Exclude the principal and interest in plan accounts as property for both CalWORKs applicants and recipients.

  Exempt IRAs, college savings plans and ESAs as property for CalWORKs recipients only.

42-200.J

Restricted Accounts

This section amended to establish the new regulations for restricted accounts.

42-200.N

Transfer of Resources

This section amended to refer the Period of Ineligibility (POI) regulations to CPG 42-200.J

 

Changes to the CPG are noted with highlighted text.

 

New or Amended CalWORKs Regulations

Current regulations provide that an Assistance Unit (AU) which includes a recipient shall be allowed to retain cash reserves totaling a maximum of $5,000 in a restricted account at a financial institution.

NEW OR AMENDED CalWORKs REGULATIONS

  • Removes the $5,000 limit on the amount of money that a recipient of CalWORKs may save in a restricted account.
  • Excludes the principal and interest in 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plan accounts from consideration as property for both CalWORKs applicants and recipients.
  • Exempts IRAs, 529 college savings plans and Coverdell ESAs from consideration as property for CalWORKs recipients only.
  • Mandates that counties outreach to CalWORKs recipients about EITC.

 

Food Stamp Program Impact

 

Food Stamp regulations follow CalWORKs regulations regarding restricted accounts. Therefore, the removal of the $5,000 limit also applies to food stamp recipient households as explained in FSPG 63-203.18.

 

Retirement and student accounts as described in this letter are also excluded as resources in the Food Stamp Program. For complete information, please refer to FSPG 63-203.2 Excluded Resources.

 

Forms Impact

The CW 86 Agreement - Restricted Account form is being updated by California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and will be released in a separate program guide material. This updated form should be used as soon as it is available.

 

Imaging Impact

The current CW 86 (03/00) form is not listed as an available form in DoReS. For this reason, Human Services Specialists (HSS) will continue using the 16-130, Resource Verification Form template, to Image the CW86 Agreement Restricted Account into DoReS.

 

Automation Impact

Continue to use the following BENDS located in the CalWIN Intranet:

CR4988 Retirement and Savings Accounts

CR4851 CalWORKs and Food Stamps Restricted Accounts

 

ACCESS Impact

ACCESS Agents will provide updated information to clients about new or amended CalWORKs Regulations regarding Asset Exclusion as described in this CPG Letter.

 

Operations Impact

None.

 

QA Impact

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

 

Assistant Deputy Director

 

Original CPG Letter No. 202 signed March 15, 2010

 

 

 

Sylvia Melena

Assistant Deputy Director

Self-Sufficiency Programs

Strategic Planning & Operational Support

 

EL:rp

 

CC: Sylvia Melena

Appeals/QC

Regional Support

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