The People's Guide

35th Edition 2013-2014

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35 The People's Guide 2013-2014 CalFresh 3. CalFresh/Food Stamp Work Registration NOTE: Effective January 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013, work- fare is temporarily suspended in Los Angeles County. Here are the usual rules: All CalFresh/Food Stamp household members age 16 through age 59 are re- quired to be registered for work (excep- tions described below). That means you must agree to: • Respond to a request of additional information regarding employment status or availability for employ- ment • Report to a suitable employer, if referred • Accept an offer of suitable employ- ment • If working more than 30 hours per week, not voluntarily reduce work hours to less than 30 hours per week, without good cause • Cooperate with the requirements of any welfare-to-work program you are assigned to. You will be exempt from work registra- tion if you are earning at least 30 hours times the federal minimum wage, or working at least 30 hours per week, or any one of the following: • Under age 16 or age 60 or over • A student in school or training pro- gram at least half time. • Caring for a disabled person or child under age 6 • Receiving or applied for unemploy- ment benefits • Participating in a drug or alcohol treatment and rehabilitation pro- gram • Determined by DPSS to be unem- ployable, due to a physical and/or mental disability • Participating in GAIN or a CalWORKs program. Under CalFresh/Food Stamp law, certain kinds of employment are considered "unsuitable," so you do not have to accept these jobs to qualify or remain eligible for CalFresh/Food Stamps. A job is unsuitable if one of the following applies: • It does not pay the federal or state minimum wage • It is harmful to your health or unsafe • It is beyond your mental or physical capacity, as documented by medical evidence or information from other sources • The daily commute is over 2 hours • It forces you to resign from a union or prohibits you from joining a union • It forces you to break a strike or lockout • Adequate transportation is unavail- able • If within the first 30 days of registra- tion, the job offer is not within the member's major field of experience • The working hours or nature of the employment interferes with the member's religious observances or beliefs, for example, working on a religious holiday. WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES? If you quit a job without good cause, you can be cut off from CalFresh/Food Stamps until you correct the problem. The penalties get worse each time: 1. The first time DPSS says you have not complied, you can be denied CalFresh/Food Stamps for at least one month. 2. The second time, you can be denied CalFresh/Food Stamps for at least three months. 3. The third time and after, you can be denied CalFresh/Food Stamps for at least six months. Only the person breaking the rules will be denied, not the whole household. If you are penalized for any reason, you can get back on the program if you be- come exempt from having to comply with the requirement for any of the reasons listed above. "Good Cause" "Good cause" for quitting a job or not doing a work project includes events beyond your control, such as: • Illness of yourself or a household member who needs your care • Injury • Transportation problems • Inability to speak or write English • A household emergency • Lack of adequate childcare for a child age 6 to 11. WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS? 1. Fair Hearing You have a right to a "fair hearing" if you feel you were unfairly denied benefits or to correct any mistakes with your benefits (see pg 66). If you appeal within 10 days or up to the day the action takes effect (whichever period of time is longer), your usual benefits will continue until the matter is resolved. You have a right to look at your own case file and read a copy of the CalFresh/ Food Stamp program rules if you have a dispute with the county. If you have are in need of legal assistance, contact the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles at (800) 399-4529, Neighborhood Legal Services at (800) 433-6251, or Public Counsel at (213) 385-2977. 2. Lost or Stolen Card You must report a lost, stolen or de- magnetized card immediately to the EBT 24 hour Customer Service Center (877)328-9677.) Once reported, the card will be deactivated so that the benefits cannot be used by anyone else using your card. A new card should be issued right away and might receive it by mail within three business days. You can also visit any DPSS district office to request a replacement card. Ask to speak to a supervisor if the DPSS district office denies you a replacement card.

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