December 30, 2008

 

CalWORKs Program Guide

Special Notice

08-16

 

subject

camacho vs. allenby lawsuit - Welfare-to-Work supportive service reimbursements for self-initiated program (sip) participants

 

reference

California Department of Social Services, All County Letter 08-36

 

effective

April 7, 2008

 

purpose

The purpose of this Special Notice (SN) is to:

  • Inform Welfare-to-Work (WTW) and Child Care staff of the court order issued from the Camacho v. Allenby lawsuit;
  • Issue instructions for approving reimbursements of WTW supportive services for Self-Initiated Program (SIP) participants as described in the court order;
  • Require staff to evaluate for supportive service reimbursements for all WTW cases with SIPs approved as of April 7, 2008.

 

background

The Camacho vs. Allenby lawsuit involved an Administrative Hearing Decision that established supportive service reimbursement requirements for CalWORKs recipients who are participating in a SIP prior to signing a WTW plan.

 

Reimbursement criteria

Reimbursement of supportive service expenses incurred by a SIP participant may be authorized prior to signing a WTW plan, if all of the following criteria are met:

 

  • The expense was incurred after the beginning date of aid;
  • The expense was necessary for participation during the academic period or term (semester or quarter) in which the SIP is approved;
  • The expense is determined eligible under CalWORKs regulations; and
  • The expense was not a reimbursed out-of-pocket cost.

 

This requirement applies only to participants whose educational programs are approved as SIPs.

 

Individuals who do not qualify as a SIP but are participating in an educational program are not eligible for supportive service payments until the date a WTW plan is signed.

 

Reimbursement for eligible supportive services

WTW supportive services are provided to approved SIP participants as necessary for their educational program, as stated in CalWORKs Program Guide (CPG) section 10-010.

 

Reimbursement of supportive service expenses incurred by a SIP participant may be authorized if consistent with supportive services regulations.

 

Below are examples of eligible and ineligible supportive service reimbursement costs for the following scenario:

 

A two-parent family, mother begins participating in an educational program on September 2, 2008. The family applies for and is granted aid on October 1, 2008; the motherís education program is approved as a SIP on October 15, 2008.

 

Child Care:

The family paid for child care services for their daughter from September 2nd through October 15th, even though the father was able and available to care for the child.The family requests reimbursement for the child care expense beginning on October 1st. Because the father was able and available to care for the child, the family is not eligible for reimbursement costs of the child care services.

 

Transportation:

The mother started taking the bus to school on September 2nd. She is eligible for a bus pass back to October 1st, the beginning date of aid. Note: If she drives her car and roundtrip travel time exceeds two hours, she would be eligible for mileage reimbursement.

 

Ancillary:

The mother purchased required supplies for her educational program for the current term in the amount of $300 on October 2nd.She requests reimbursement for the cost when she signs her WTW plan on October 15th, the supply costs would be reimbursed. Note: If the supplies could have been purchased for $250, then the recipient may only be reimbursed $250.

 

supportive services for current academic period/term

Supportive services are to be authorized only as necessary for participation in the current academic period or term (semester or quarter) in which the SIP is approved.

 

The following is an example of an approved supportive service reimbursement for the current academic period/term:

 

On...

The Recipient....

January 9, 2009

Applies and is granted aid.

January 15, 2009

Purchases required text books for the academic term that begins on January 19th.

January 19, 2009

Begins attending an education program, the current academic period/term start date.

February 26, 2009

        Signs a WTW plan as an approved SIP;

        Requests reimbursement for text books purchased on January 15th, for the January 19th academic term start date;

        Requests reimbursement for transportation costs she paid to a friend on January 15th, for her share of carpooling costs to get to school since her beginning date of aid of January 9th.

February 26, 2009

Is eligible for reimbursement for the books and for the transportation costs she incurred beginning on the date of the new semester, January 19th.

 

Is not eligible for reimbursement for the transportation costs incurred between January 9th, the beginning date of aid, through January 18th, the day before the quarter began in which her SIP was approved.

 

If a supportive service cost is incurred after the beginning date of aid, but the cost is associated with an academic term that ended prior to the beginning date of aid or the term the SIP was approved, a reimbursement is not approved.

 

out-of-pocket expenses

The following is an example to determine when a cost is not a reimbursed out-of-pocket expense:

 

On...

The Recipient....

September 2, 2008

Began taking courses for a nursing program at a local college.

January 7, 2009

Applies and is granted aid.

February 2, 2009

Signed a WTW plan approving a nursing program as a SIP.

September 2, 2008 through

January 16, 2009

Received rides to school from a friend, free of charge.

January 19, 2009

Began driving her own car to school and roundtrip travel time exceeds two hours.

January 24, 2009

Requests mileage reimbursement from her home to school from the beginning date of aid of January 7th.

 

Is eligible for mileage reimbursement beginning January 19th, the date she incurred transportation costs.

 

Is not reimbursed for transportation costs from January 7th through January 16th, as there is no out-of-pocket expense.

 

 

 

Child care retroactive payment

A WTW participant in an approved SIP is eligible for retroactive payments of child care services for up to 30 days from the date the recipient requested child care services and services were provided.

 

The following is an example of applying the 30-day retroactive Child Care payment period:

 

On...

The Recipient....

August 29, 2008

Applies and is granted aid.

September 2, 2008

Began taking courses for a nursing program at a local college.

September 2, 2008

Began receiving and paying for child care services.

October 10, 2008

     Signed a WTW plan approving a nursing program as a SIP.

     Requested reimbursement for child care services.

September 10, 2008

Eligibility date for child care, since the services were requested within 30 days time period (10/10/08).

 

In this example, the child care services would be reimbursed for the period of 30 days from the date services were requested.

 

Child Care staff must evaluate for the reimbursement of supportive service expenses that an approved SIP participant incurs 30 days prior to the date the services were requested and after the beginning date of aid.

 

program impact

No impact to Food Stamps or Medi-Cal programs.

 

child care impact

Stage One Child Care Case Managers (CCM) will evaluate eligibility for retroactive Child Care.Once eligibility has been established, the CCM will follow instructions in How to #829 Process a Retro or Appeals Payment.

 

form impact

No impact

 

automation impact

No impact

 

qa impact

Quality Assurance will cite case accuracy errors should the procedures in this notice be incorrectly/not applied.Quality Assurance will cite benefit errors should participants be incorrectly sanctioned or incorrectly aided based on the erroneous interpretations of this Special Notice.

 

contact

Strategic Planning & Operational Support - CalWORKs Program