Aside from funding for cash grants, counties receive various funding allocations from the state to administer Cal WORKs.As will be discussed in greater detail below, the largest of these—referred to as the “single allocation”—provides funding for employment services, eligibility determination and other administrative costs, and child care subsidies.Existing law requires that necessary supportive services be available to participants in welfare-to-work activities, including child care.Existing law declares the intent of the Legislature that the annual Budget Act appropriate state and federal funds in a single allocation to counties for the support of administrative activities undertaken by the counties to provide benefit payments to recipients of aid under the Cal WORKs program and to provide required work activities and support services.
Existing law generally requires a recipient of Cal WORKs benefits to participate in welfare-to-work activities as a condition of eligibility for aid.The bill would also require the department to design the EBT system to, automatically and upon issuance of an EBT card, allow federal law limits a participant who is an able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD) to 3 months of Cal Fresh benefits in a 3-year period unless that participant has met specified work participation requirements.Existing law directs the State Department of Social Services to annually seek a federal waiver of this limitation, and provides that an eligible county is included in this waiver unless the county declines to participate in the waiver request.Families enrolled in Cal WORKs are generally also eligible for food assistance through the Cal Fresh program and health coverage through Medi-Cal.As a condition of receiving aid, able-bodied adults are generally subject to a work requirement, meaning that they must be employed or participate in specified activities—known as “welfare-to-work activities”—intended to lead to employment.
Calworks single allocation
Existing law authorizes counties to participate in the Cal Fresh Employment and Training program (Cal Fresh E&T), established by federal law, and requires participating counties to demonstrate in its Cal Fresh E&T plan how it is effectively using Cal Fresh E&T funds for each of the specified components that the county offers, including work experience or training and job search.This bill would include subsidized employment as a Cal Fresh E&T component that a county may offer, and would, to the extent permitted by federal law, require the State Department of Social Services to seek a federal waiver that would allow 50% federal reimbursement for eligible Cal Fresh E&T activities to be used to provide a wage subsidy for ABAWD participants in counties that do not participate in the waiver of the ABAWD time limit.The Cal WORKs program is administered locally by counties and overseen by the state Department of Social Services (DSS).Grant amounts vary across the state and are adjusted for family size, income, and other factors.Existing law requires the State Department of Social Services to develop an allocation methodology to distribute additional funding for expanded subsidized employment programs for Cal WORKs recipients, or recipients who have exceeded the 48-month time limit, and authorizes the allocated funds to be utilized to cover all expenditures related to the operational costs of the program.
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This bill would authorize a county to use existing funds provided under these provisions to provide employment services for noncustodial parents of children receiving benefits under the Cal WORKs program.The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (Cal WORKs) program was created in 1997 in response to the 1996 federal welfare reform legislation that created the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.Cal WORKs provides cash grants and employment services to families whose income is inadequate to meet their basic needs.Existing federal law authorizes eligible counties to participate in the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP), which allows eligible recipients to purchase meals at qualified restaurants.This bill, the Reducing Hunger Among Vulnerable Californians Act of 2017, would require the State Department of Social Services to issue an annual all-county letter providing guidance that lists which counties or regions are eligible to participate in the Restaurant Meals Program and the instructions for how a county may choose to participate in RMP or appeal a noneligible determination by the department.