August 1, 2013

CalFresh Program Guide Letter #585



Sponsorship Deeming and Indigent Determination


Effective Date

Upon Receipt



All County Letter 11-06 Errata



The purpose of this letter is to transmit new information regarding indigent determinations for sponsored noncitizens in the CalFresh program and to simplify instructions regarding indigent determinations for staff.


Background & Policy Change

On January 31, 2011, CalFresh Program issued Letter #553, in response to the release of All County Letter 11-06 which clarified that a sponsored noncitizen does not need to provide verification from the sponsor for a determination of indigence.

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) issued further clarification on May 23, 2013, which informed Counties that:

·         The value of in-kind assistance used solely for the purpose of making the indigence determination shall be a chart value which will be released each Federal Fiscal year (October)

·         Individuals turning eighteen years old who were previously exempt from sponsor deeming will not require evaluation/deeming until the next recertification.

The new CalFresh Assistance Standard Chart, which includes an in-kind value for indigence, has been uploaded to 63-1102.2


Required Actions

Evaluate a sponsored noncitizen for exemptions from sponsorship deeming.  If not exempt, (other than indigence) the worker shall explain to the noncitizen three options for participation in the program as outlined in 63-157.3:

1.    Determine if the individual is indigent and explain the reporting requirement to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); or

2.    If the noncitizen is not indigent or chooses not to be evaluated for indigence, obtain the sponsor’s income and Household circumstances to determine sponsor deeming; or

3.    “Opt-out” from receiving CalFresh benefits and the remaining household members will receive benefits if found eligible.

The worker must document in Case Comments that the options were explained to the sponsored noncitizen, which option they chose and the determination that was made.

If the noncitizen is receiving in-kind assistance from the sponsor, use the chart value for the indigence determination on the Assistance Standard Chart for CalFresh. located in CFPG 63-1102.2


In-kind assistance is only used for determining indigence.  STAFF SHALL NOT COUNT IN-KIND in the CalFresh budget.



Summary of changes

Updates to the CalFresh Program Guide are noted with highlighted




Section Title



Determining Whether Sponsorship Provisions Apply

·         Added information and links to identify sponsored noncitizens

·         Changed section A. to clarify “Not Subject to” Sponsorship Provisions

·         Added language to assist in simplifying the process as a three option determination

·         Added In-Kind definition and determination

·         Included “has not opted out” in this section for when deeming and when indigence may apply

·         Changed “the Letter” to form 09-99 HHSA USCIS Letter for Indigent Sponsored Noncitizen Reporting

·         Changed Corrective Action Supervisor to “Corrective Action Liaison”


CFAP Deeming Regulations

·         Added a reminder regarding the CFAP two year gap in sponsorship provisions.


Responsibilities of Sponsored Noncitizens

·         Added that workers will “assist noncitizens in obtaining verification.”


Determining Eligibility of a Sponsored Noncitizen

·         Included, “unless determined indigent” for clarification


Qualified Noncitizens

·         Added clarification of parolees and additional code reported on I-94


Refusal to Provide Legal Noncitizen Documentation


·         Included individuals who have not been determined indigent and those noncitizens that chose to “opt out”


Reporting of Illegal Noncitizens

·         Updated County names and Acronyms


CalFresh Assistance Standards Chart

·         Added a hyperlink for the new Assistance Standards Chart for CalFresh



Automation Impact

No Impact.


Forms Impact

The “Letter” referred to in 63-157.3  has now been given the form number 09-99 HHSA USCIS Letter for Indigent Sponsored Noncitizen Reporting and the 09-99 HHSA (Spanish) USCIS Letter for Indigent Sponsored Noncitizen Reporting (SP) which has been translated into Spanish. The form is available for ordering through Xerox.


Imaging Impact

Because form 09-99 HHSA USCIS Letter for Indigent Sponsored Noncitizen Reporting is not a recognized form for indexing in KOFAX and filing in DoReS, this form shall be filed and located under form type “CW 22: Sponsor’s Statement Of Facts Income And Resources”.


Other Programs Impact

No impact.


Quality Control Impact

Quality Control (QC) will cite the appropriate error when instructions in this material are not followed or are followed incorrectly. The key to avoiding errors is to document the determination.



Director Approval

Rick Wanne, MA, MFT

Eligibility Operations Director