The People's Guide

35th Edition 2013-2014

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The People's Guide 2013-2014 12 CalWORKs • Child Support Repaid—All child support paid to the County by an absent parent takes time off your clock. Ask the County Child Support Division (800) 615-8858 to provide you with an accounting of the amount of child support they have col- lected on your behalf during the 48 -month period. Then ask your GAIN worker or fill out and submit an exemption form to find out how many months of credit you get for the child support that was paid. • Teen Parent—Any month you are a teen parent or pregnant, under age 19, do not yet have a GED or high school diploma, and either participate in or are excused from Cal Learn or another teen parent program approved by the DPSS. You can be excused from Cal Learn in any month in which you can show the DPSS you do not have necessary childcare or transportation, you are sick, disabled, or expelled and an alternative school program is not available. You can't use Cal Learn as a clock-stopper after you get the GED or diploma. (Note: CalLearn program is suspended for now due to budget cuts.) • Native American—You are a Native American who lives in "Indian Country," or on a reservation if 50% or more of the adults there are unemployed. In a family with two aided parents, both adults must meet one of the above clock stoppers for the month not to count. WHAT PENALTIES DO I FACE? If you don't follow the GAIN or REP re- quirements and don't have a good reason ("good cause,") DPSS will cut your cash aid. Your children's cash aid will not be cut. In some cases both parents can have their cash aid cut. DPSS can cut your part of the grant if they can show that you have: • Failed or refused to participate in your assigned activity • Failed to make good progress in your assigned activity • Failed or refused to accept a job • Failed or refused to keep a job • Failed to keep the same amount of earnings DPSS must try to contact you and give you a chance to comply. If you fail to comply, DPSS will send you a "Notice of Action" no sooner than 30 days before the cut in aid will take place. They will give you an appointment within 20 days to discuss the problem with your worker. It is very important for you to go to this meeting or call your worker to explain. You also have the right to ask for a fair hearing if you can't work it out with your worker. Your part of the grant will be cut until DPSS agrees that you are complying with the rules. Your cash aid cannot be cut if you have good cause for refusing to comply. "Good cause" includes: • You are homeless • You are a victim of domestic violence • You were ill, or caring for a sick member of the family • Your mental illness prevented you from doing what was asked of you • You need child care for a child 12 years or younger and none is available • Transportation is not available to your job or GAIN activity • There was discrimination at the job or training offered in terms of age, sex, race, religion, national origin, or physical or mental disability • The job or job offer exceeded the daily or weekly hours of work customary for that job • The round trip travel time to the job or activity is over two hours using public transportation, not counting time you need to take your children to school or child care • You can only get to the activity by walk- ing and you have to walk more than two miles round trip, not counting the distance needed to take children to school or child care • The job or activity violates health and safety standards or does not provide worker's compensation • Accepting the job or work activity would interrupt an approved job or training pro- gram that you have in progress • The job or community service would result in regular employees being fired, laid off, or having their hours or pay cut. • Any other good reason. During a sanction you continue to get childcare for the hours that you work. Your Medi-Cal must also continue. TEEN PARENTS If you are a teenager under 18 who is pregnant or who already has a child, has never been married, and you apply for CalWORKs, you must live with your own parent or parents, a guardian, another adult relative, or in an adult-supervised arrangement in order to qualify. There are exceptions, if: • You have no living parent or guardian, or their whereabouts are unknown • Your parents will not allow you to live with them, • You lived apart from your parents for at least 12 months before your child • was born, or before you applied for • CalWORKs • You believe your child's or your physi- cal or emotional health or safety would be in danger if you lived with these adults. In this situation DPSS should refer your case to the Minor Parent Program of the Department of Children and Family Ser- vices (DCFS). A DCFS social worker will visit your current home and decide if it is appropriate for you and your child. If you live at home, your parents' income will be counted against you and your child when you apply.

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