The People's Guide

35th Edition 2013-2014

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5 The People's Guide 2013-2014 CalWORKs Rules about Cars There is a limit to the value of a car you can own if you are getting CalWORKs. Gener- ally, your car can be worth no more than $4,650. If you have no other resources (no money in the bank) you can use the $2000 resource limit for extra value for your car (so it could be worth up to $6,650.) If there's more than one car, only the value over $4,650 counts if you can show it is used by a family member to go to work or training. A car you live in, a car used to make money like a gardener's truck, or a car used to transport a physically disabled person in your home don't count. WHAT CAN I GET? CalWORKs divides people who get aid into "exempt" and "non exempt" recipients. You are considered "exempt" if you are getting disability payments such as SSDI, SSI, State Disabilty or Workers'Comp. The chart below shows the "Maximum Aid Payment" for these two groups. This maximum grant is cut dollar for dollar by any "unearned" income you have, such as social security survivor's benefits, interest (like on a bank account), or unemploy- ment money. Earned income, wages from work, or income based on a disability is not counted dollar for dollar. Maximum Aid Payments (As of 2013) # of people "Nonexempt" "Exempt" Grant Grant 1 $ 317 $ 351 2 $ 516 $ 577 3 $ 638 $ 714 4 $ 762 $ 849 5 $ 866 $ 966 6 $ 972 $ 1086 7 $ 1069 $ 1192 8 $ 1164 $ 1301 9 $ 1258 $ 1405 10 $ 1351 $ 1510 You will not get more cash aid for children born while your family is getting CalWORKs unless you weren't getting cash aid for two consecutive months in the ten months previous to the birth or the child was born as result of failed contraception. If you are convicted of a drug-related felony you cannot get CalWORKs aid or child care or other GAIN supportive services (such as substance abuse recovery services) for yourself. Your children can still qualify for cash aid. 1. Think About Time Limits Before You Take Cash Aid You may not want to get cash aid if you have other income. Any month you get cash aid counts against the 48-month time limit, even if you are entitled only to a few dollars a month. You can get Medi- Cal, Food Stamps and child care money even when you do not get cash aid. Is the cash aid you will get worth "using up" a month of eligibility? Should you "save" the month in case you need it more at a later time in your life? Call legal services to discuss your options. 2. What Else Is Available? • Medi-Cal to pay for health care • CalFresh (food stamps) in most cases • Immediate Needs: an advance of up to $200 at the time you apply, or your whole check within 3 days if you have an eviction notice • Homeless and Housing Assistance in- cluding eviction prevention, temporary shelter, move-in costs, rent subsidy, and help with cost of moving • Non-Recurring Special Needs: You can get up to $600 each time if you have to replace clothing, household items, and appliances because of a fire, disaster, theft or other event beyond your control. You can also get this money for shelter if your home is so damaged or unlivable you can't stay there and you are not eligible for the Homeless Assistance program You must have less than $100 to get this money. • Special Needs: You can get an extra $9 to $15 if you have special needs such as higher food costs because of a necessary special diet, or higher transportation or utility costs due to a medical condition. Breast-feeding mothers can add $15 to their grant to help with their dietary needs. Tell your worker if you have these special needs. • Money For Pregnant Women: After 6 months of pregnancy if you have no other children on CalWORKs, you may get a grant for one person plus an additional $47. You get this money from the time your pregnancy is veri- fied until the baby is born. Here are some other rules for the $47: • Pregnant teens with no other children can get cash aid from the date of application with proof of pregnancy, but must go to Cal Learn. • If there are no other children, the father cannot get CalWORKs until the child is born, but he can get General Relief for himself, if eligible. • If you are undocumented, or receive SSI, and have no other children on CalWORKs, you must wait until the child is born to get benefits for the baby.Bring in proof of the baby's birth such as a hospital certificate or a wristband. • Child Support: You can get $50 extra each month if the other parent pays at least $50 of child support to the County's Department of Child Support Services on time. The Department should give you a list that shows when the other parent paid (an "account- ing"). Check it to make sure you got $50 extra cash aid for every month the other parent paid on time. To get an accounting call 323-890-9800. 3. Diversion Payments Instead of going on to cash aid you can apply for a large amount of money called a "diversion payment" to help you get or keep a job. To get it, you must be appar- ently eligible for CalWORKs, have a job or immediate job opportunity, and have an unexpected one-time need. For example, you could pay for car repairs or insurance, work tools or clothing, rent or utilities, license fees, or childcare expenses. If you get a diversion payment you may also get Medi-Cal, Food Stamps and supportive services. (see page 9 "Services To Help You.") The usual payment is up to the grant amount for your size family for three months or $2,000, whichever is larger. For a "compelling need." you can get up to $4,000. The diversion payment counts as months of cash against the 48 month life-time limit (amount of payment divided by monthly grant=months used up) After you get a diversion payment, you can still get cash aid if you need it. Diversion payments must be paid to you within 5 days after the application, or 1 day in an emergency. Starting work the next day is an example of an emergency.

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