December 20, 2012

CalFresh_Color_Eng.jpg Program Guide Letter #578

 

Subject

CalFresh Program Guide Updates 12/2012

 

Effective Date

Upon receipt

 

Reference

All County Letters 11-05 Errata; 11-49; 11-72 Errata; and 11-78.

 

Purpose

To inform staff of the following revisions and updates to the CalFresh Program Guide:

·      Change in Policy:

o  The 20% earned income deduction shall be applied prior to subtracting court ordered legally obligated child support payment.

o  When one household member refuses to cooperate with a Quality Control review the ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD will be discontinued from the Transitional CalFresh case.

·      Policy Clarification:

o  An elderly household member must be also disabled in order to be evaluated for separate household status;

·      Incorporation of 10 question & answer Special Notices into the Program Guide; and

·      Other revisions and updates to the Program Guide as explained below.

 

Incorporated and/or Deleted Special Notice

The following Special Notices have been incorporated into the CalFresh Program Guide and have been removed from the list of documents available online:

Special Notice #

Title

04-02 Addendum E

QR/PB Questions and Answers

07-06

Food Stamp Questions and Answers

07-17

Food Stamp Questions and Answers

08-01

Food Stamp Questions and Answers

08-11

FS Questions & Answers

09-07

Food Stamps Q&A

09-03

FS Waiver of the Face-to-Face Interview

10-07

Food Stamp Questions and Answers

10-07 ADD A

Addendum A FS Questions and Answers

10-14

Questions and Answers

The following Special Notices are now obsolete and have been removed from the list of CalFresh documents available online:

Special Notice #

Title

09-08

Clarification of ARRA Overissuance Q&A

10-05

Exclusion of the $25 UIB ARRA Supplement

10-08

Exclusion of Filipino Veterans Compensation Payments

 

 

CalFresh Program Guide Updates and Revisions

The following CalFresh Program Guide sections have been revised and/or updated:

 

 

 

CHAPTER/SECTION

SECTION TITLE

REVISIONS/UPDATES

 

63-020

Civil Rights

·      The Civil Rights chapter has been removed from the CalFresh Program Guide.  Civil Rights regulations can now be found in the Eligibility Desk Guide (EDG).

·      Added a link to the EDG.

 

63-101.1

Determining Household Composition

·      Changed section title from “Policy” to “Determining Household Composition;”

·      Added opening statement of the requirement to explore the living situation as related to the household composition of the applicant;

·      Moved verification requirements information from Section 63-101.2 to this section.

 

63-101.2

Definitions

·      Changed section title from “Household Definition” to “Definitions.”

·      Added the following definitions to this section:

o  Joint Custody,

o  Parental Control, and

o  Spouse.

 

63-101.3

Separate Household Status

·      Added the definition of “other” individuals living with the CalFresh household.

·      Clarified that an elderly individual and his/her spouse could claim separate household status from other household members if the individual(s) is/are disabled.

 

63-101.4

Restricted Household Status

·      Deleted “separate living quarters” information.

·      Clarified that an elderly individual who is disabled and part of a household cannot claim separate household status from the others if the income of the others exceed 165% of the FPL.

·      Clarified that a Foster Care child is considered a boarder, but the household has a choice to include or exclude the child in the CalFresh household.

·      Deleted the joint custody, boarder and spouse definitions and added links to the definitions to Sections 63-101.2 and 63-101.8.

·      A case shall not be denied because an applicant is not a separate household. Prior to denying the case, the worker shall request information/verification related to other household members.

 

63-101.7

Foster Care Children

·      Changed section title from “Foster Care Children and Foster Care Payments” to “Foster Care Children.”

·      Added household composition example.

·      Added Non-Minor Dependant (NMD) children receiving CalWORKs under the Extended Foster Care Payment Program (AB 12) information.

·      Added Foster Care Wraparound Services information.

 

63-117.2

Requesting Verification at Application

Modified this section and added that a denial shall be rescinded and benefits issued back to the date of application when the denial for failure to provide verification of a deduction was caused by the County.

 

63-117.8

Noncitizen Eligibility

Modified and updated Part A of the section: Determining Noncitizens Eligibility as follows:

·      Not to verify immigration status of noncitizens opting out of CalFresh.

·      Added steps to determine noncitizen eligibility and to verify eligibility through SAVE.

·      Allow at least 10 days for the applicant to provide noncitizen documentation.

·      The worker shall review immigration documentation and enter noncitizen status and date of admission into CalWIN.

·      Moved the desk guide links at the end to Part D of the section.

·      Deleted Part E, Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement (SAVE); moved SAVE information to new section 63-117.33.

 

63-117.14

Disability

Modified section and added how to verify:

·      Social Security Disability Title II;

·      Disability Retirement; and

·      Reasons to verify disability

 

63-117.33

NEW SECTION

Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement (SAVE)

Added SAVE information from Section 63-117.8-E and added:

·      Limitation of the use of the SAVE information by the County, and

·      CalWIN functionality after entering the alien number.

 

63-118.9

New Hire Registry (NHR)

Clarified what information the household shall include in the notification and clarified NHR process procedures.

 

63-1101.1

Resource and Income Eligibility Standards

Deleted the Resource Limits table.

 

63-1102.1

Income Deductions Table

·      Added clarification that legally obligated child support payments are considered “income exclusion” and

·      Link to Section 63-224.15, Legally Obligated Child Support Payments.

 

63-1102.2

NEW SECTION

CalWORKs and CalFresh Assistance Standards Table

Moved the CalWORKs and CalFresh Assistance Standards Table to a separate section.

 

63-1104.1

Definition of Separate Household Status for Elderly/Disabled

Policy Clarification

Revised this section to correctly explain that an elderly household member, who is living with others, may qualify as a separate household from the others when the elderly person is unable to purchase food and prepare meals because of a disability and the income of the others is under 165% FPL

 

63-1104.2

165% of FPL Gross Income Test

Policy Clarification

Revised this section to correctly explain that the elderly household member must also be disabled in order to be evaluated for separate household status.

 

63-154.6

Verification of Noncitizen Status

Clarified that the household applicants must provide verification of immigration status and the worker shall verify through SAVE.

 

63-157.3

Sponsorship Provisions and Indigence

Clarified that the 40 quarters regulation that qualifies a noncitizen to federal SNAP applies also to exempting a sponsored noncitizen from sponsorship deeming requirements.  Added link to Section 63-154.9, Qualifying Quarters.

 

63-221.1

Gross and Net Income Tests

Clarified that the income of SSN disqualified, ABAWD disqualified and ineligible noncitizens shall be prorated prior to the gross income test.

 

63-221.6

Income of Work Sanctioned/Disqualified and Intentional Program Violators (IPV)

The income of IPV or sanctioned/disqualified household members shall count in its entirety to the remaining CalFresh household members.

 

63-221.7

Income on Ineligible Noncitizens and SSN Disqualified

·      Changed section title from “Income on Non-Eligible Noncitizens and SSN Disqualified” to “Income on Ineligible Noncitizens and SSN Disqualified;”

·      Added link to Section 63-244, Treatment of Income of Excluded & Non-Household members.

 

63-222.2

Wages, Salaries and Self-Employment Income

Added that severance pay will count as income when paid over a period of time.

 

63-222.4

Title I, Volunteers in Service to America (Vista) Program Payments

·      Changed section title from “Title I Vista payments” to “Title I, Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) Program Payments.”

·      Modified the description of Title I (VISTA) payments.

 

63-223.3

Payments and Benefits

Added spousal support as a countable unearned income and links to the UIB/SDI reductions table.

 

63-224.14

Foster Care Payments

Clarified that foster care payments made to the foster parent shall not count against the child’s natural parents when the child is returned to their home.

 

63-224.15

Legally Obligated Child Support Payment

·      Modified section separating the information into four sections, Definition, Verification, Regulations, and Budgeting;

·      POLICY CHANGE

The 20% earned income deduction must be applied prior to subtracting the legally obligated child support payment.

 

63-224.16

Simplified Treatment of Income

Deleted definitions of the eight income types excluded per CalWORKs regulation.  Added the definitions to eight new sections, 63-224.18 through 63-224.25.

 

63-224.18

Through 63-224.25

NEW SECTIONS

 

·      Added excluded income and definitions listed under Simplified Treatment of Income into eight separate sections.

·      Added examples to Section 63-224.25.

 

63-224.26

NEW SECTION

Board of Governors’ Grant (BOGG) Fee Waiver

Clarified the value of the BOGG Fee Waiver is exempt.

 

63-225.5

Workforce Investment Act (WIA)

Added income from Job Corps, which falls under WIA and expanded information of when WIA income is excluded.

 

63-225.15

Payments under Title I of the Domestic Volunteer Services Act

Modified the description of Title I of the Domestic Volunteer Services Act income.

 

63-225.18

Title I of the National and Community Service Act (NCSA)

Added the Youthbuild Program as an example of Title I of the NACSA.

 

63-231.1

Standard Deduction

Added standard deduction definition and table.

 

63-231.2

Earned Income Deduction

Expanded the earned income deduction definition.

 

63-243.1

Boarders

Changed section name from “Boarders: Treatment of Payments for Room and Board” to “Boarders.”

 

63-244.1

Excluded Members: SSN Disqualified, Ineligible Noncitizen, or Failure to Meet ABAWD Work Requirement

Clarified that the income of SSN disqualified, ABAWD disqualified and ineligible noncitizens shall be prorated prior to the gross income test.

 

63-244.3

Excluded SSI/SSP Recipients or Ineligible Students

Added note to clarify that an SSI/SSP recipient does not qualify the household for the unlimited excess shelter deduction unless the household includes an elderly or disabled household member who is not SSI/SSP.

 

63-245.5

Alcoholic/Drug Addict Leaving the Treatment Center

Added statement that alcohol/drug treatment centers shall advise the household to return the DFA 377.5 to the FRC within 10 days from the date they leave the center.

 

63-245.7

Group Residents Leaving the Facility

Added statement that group residential facilities shall advise the household to return the DFA 377.5 to the FRC within 10 days from the date they leave the center.

 

63-248

Homeless Households/ Households Losing County Residency

Section deleted.

·      Homeless information can be found in section 63-152.5

·      Households losing County residence information can be found in section 63-359.

 

63-251.2

Proration of Benefits during the Initial Month of Certification

Clarified that no benefits shall be issued in the application month when the allotment for the whole month is less than $10.

 

63-253.3

Billed Medical Expenses

Added statement clarifying medical expenses are allowable only for elderly or disabled household members.

 

63-253.4

Averaging Expenses

Added examples of expenses that cover a time period.

 

63-253.9

Anticipating/Estimating Medical Expenses

·   Modified section dividing information into two parts: Application and Recertification and During the Certification Period;

·   Added that the worker shall not:

o  Verify medical expenses that have changed by $25 or less, and

o  Take action on changes in medical expense information obtained from other sources unless the worker contacts the household to verify the expense.

 

63-254.2

Calculating Net Monthly Income for Quarterly Reporting (QR) Households

POLICY CHANGE

Updated the net income determination section.  The 20% earned income deduction shall be applied PRIOR to subtracting the legally obligated child support payment exclusion.

 

63-254.3

Calculating Net Monthly Income of Households That Include an Elderly or Disabled Member

POLICY CHANGE

·   The 20% earned income deduction shall be applied PRIOR to subtracting the legally obligated child support payment exclusion;

·   Updated example.  

 

63-274.2

QR 7 Not Received or Incomplete

Added:

·      Links to forms and other sections of the CalFresh Program Guide.

·      How to process a QR 7 based on a report of “no income” as explained on ACL 09-41.

 

63-274.3

QR 7 Notices of Action

·      Added explanation of suspense notice NA 960Y QR.

·      Clarified that the worker is not required to send a second NOA to the household after receiving an incomplete QR 7 if the worker has sent timely suspense notice (NA 960X or NA 960Y) to the household.  However, the household must be contacted.

 

63-275.7

Resource Eligibility

Deleted QR resource eligibility determination information.

 

63-281.2

Reasonably Anticipated Income

Revised section to clarify reasonably anticipated income based on ACL 09-41and 11-49.

 

63-281.4

Guidelines for Determining Income That Can Be Reasonably Anticipated

Clarified the following information:

·      The worker shall clearly document the reason the household’s estimate of anticipated income is not accepted;

·      Clarified that UIB shall be anticipated only when the amount and the dates of receipt are known (ACL 11-49).

 

63-281.5

Examples of Reasonably Anticipated Income Determination

Added three examples of reasonably anticipated income determinations.

 

63-281.10

Weekly and Bi-Weekly Conversion Factor Usage

Reworded section and added information from ACL 09-41.

 

63-281.11

Examples of Weekly and Bi-Weekly Conversion Factor Usage

Added an example of the use of weekly conversion factor when one irregular pay check is received.

 

63-283.13

Two or More Changes Reported at the Same Time

Moved examples to section 283.14.

 

63-283.14

NEW SECTION

Examples: Multiple Mid-Quarter Changes

Added new section to include multiple mid-quarter change examples.

 

63-284.3

Household Composition Changes Resulting in Decreased Benefits

Added example; child placed in Foster Care in the middle of the quarter.

 

63-321.7

Quality Control

Policy Change

CDSS clarified that if one household member refuses to cooperate with a Quality Control review the entire household shall be discontinued from the Transitional CalFresh case.

 ACL 11-72E

 

63-325.1

Recertification Prior to the End of the Five-Month Certification Period

Clarified that Family Resource Centers (FRC) can also accept the SAWS series forms to recertify a Transitional CalFresh case at the end of the Transitional CalFresh period, or when the household re-applies for CalWORKs.

 

63-402.2

Benefits Availability/ Staggered Issuance

Update CalFresh staggered issuance dates.

NOTE: The Issuance Chapter will be updated shortly.

 

63-455.1

Other Repayment Actions

·      In addition to “in person” claim payments, households can also send check payments to the FRC via mail.

·      Revised the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency Authorization for Benefit Collection from EBT Account form 16-102 HHSA.  The updated form includes a claim number and household’s authorization to deduct overissuance payments from the EBT account.

 

63-600

Questions and Answers

Added questions and answers that were not incorporated into the body of the Program Guide.

 

 

 

 

 

Forms Impact

The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency Authorization for Benefit Collection from EBT Account form 16-102 HHSA has been uploaded to the XEROX Print Center.  Please recycle previous versions of the form.

The Scratch Budget located in the S Drive (S:\ENTERPRISE\QR Excel Spreadsheet) has been updated to correctly apply the 20% earned income deduction prior to subtracting the legally obligated child support payment.

 

Automation Impact

The CalWIN system has not been programmed to deduct the 20% earned income deduction prior to deducting the child support exclusion. Therefore, workers will follow BENDS 5881 instructions to:

·            Apply the 20% earned income deduction PRIOR to subtracting the legally obligated child support payment exclusion; and 

·            To re-compute a budget to determine the correct overissuance (claim) amount when the household member has a legally obligated (court ordered) child support expense.

CalWIN programming updates will take place February 11, 2013 with Release 32 (Change Request 5881).

 

Other Programs Impact

No impact.

 

Operational Impact

Staff shall follow all instructions and regulations as stated in this letter.

COURT ORDERED CHILD SUPPORT EXCLUSION

When a case that includes a household member paying court ordered child support is discovered, the worker will conduct a review of the case and restore or issue supplement benefits as appropriate based on new budget policy; back one year from the time of review.

 

ACCESS Impact

No impact.

 

Quality Control (QC) Impact

QC will cite the appropriate error when instructions in the CalFresh Program Guide are not followed or are followed incorrectly.

 

Director Approval

 

 

 

RICK WANNE, MA, MFT

Eligibility Operations

 

OA