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Self-Help Centers Public Benefits Crossover Issues AOC Conference San Francisco, California April 29, 2010 Self-Help Centers Public Benefits Crossover Issues AOC Conference San Francisco, California April 29, 2010 Legal Services of Northern California Fighting for Justice, Promoting Fairness

Session Goals ¡Review of Main Aid Programs ¡Focus on Cal. WORKs & DV ¡Crossover Session Goals ¡Review of Main Aid Programs ¡Focus on Cal. WORKs & DV ¡Crossover with Family Law Cases ¡Crossover with Guardianship for Relatives ¡Q & A 2

Public Benefits Program “Spotting” Public Benefits Program “Spotting”

Main Cash Aid Programs ¡ Children=Cal. WORKs ¡ Adults w/o Kids=GR/GA ¡ Disabled=Social Security Main Cash Aid Programs ¡ Children=Cal. WORKs ¡ Adults w/o Kids=GR/GA ¡ Disabled=Social Security Disability (Poor=SSI) or State Disability Insurance ¡ Elderly=Social Security (Poor=SSI) 4

Health Care Programs ¡ SSI & CWs=Medi-Cal l Social Security=Medicare ¡ GR/GA=County l County Health Care Programs ¡ SSI & CWs=Medi-Cal l Social Security=Medicare ¡ GR/GA=County l County Health Care hospitals, clinics, CMSP ¡ Children=Broader l Medi-Cal, ¡ Working Coverage Healthy Families Poor-Possibly Medi-Cal 5

Health & Welfare Rules: Common Factors ¡ Poor Enough: Income & Resource Limits ¡ Health & Welfare Rules: Common Factors ¡ Poor Enough: Income & Resource Limits ¡ Conduct l Work Eligibility ¡ Procedural l Reporting Hoops income l Other reporting 6

Cal. WORKs Cal. WORKs

Cal. WORKs What Does it Pay? ¡ Monthly Cash Aid ¡ Emergency Cash Aid Cal. WORKs What Does it Pay? ¡ Monthly Cash Aid ¡ Emergency Cash Aid l Homeless/Housing $$ l Immediate Need $$ l Diversion Payments ¡ Welfare to Work Services ¡ Medi-Cal & Food Stamps 8

Cal. WORKs Who Gets Help? ¡ Adults Caring for Related Children ¡ Children 18 Cal. WORKs Who Gets Help? ¡ Adults Caring for Related Children ¡ Children 18 & Under ¡ When Parent Is “Deprived” l Death, absent, underemployed l Can be 2 parents if unemployed or disabled ¡ California Residents 9

Cal. WORKs Who Gets Help (cont’d) ¡ Citizens l U, or Legal Immigration Status Cal. WORKs Who Gets Help (cont’d) ¡ Citizens l U, or Legal Immigration Status T and VAWA eligibility ¡ Mixed Families l Documented ¡ Who & Undocumented are Poor Enough 10

Cal. WORKs Income/Asset Limits ¡ Below l Aid Income Cap (see chart) table (Benchmark) Cal. WORKs Income/Asset Limits ¡ Below l Aid Income Cap (see chart) table (Benchmark) ¡ Below Resource Cap (see chart) l $2 k or $3 k for house w/indiv’l w/disability l $4650 of car not counted – rest counts against limit 11

Social Security Supplemental Income (SSI) Social Security Supplemental Income (SSI)

Social Security What Does it Pay For ? ¡ Social Security - Aged, Disabled, Social Security What Does it Pay For ? ¡ Social Security - Aged, Disabled, Retired l Worked enough l Few income issues, ¡ Monthly no resource limits Cash Aid l Varies--based on earnings 13

SSI What Does SSI Pay For? ¡ Monthly l $845 Cash Aid (blind-$908) ¡ SSI What Does SSI Pay For? ¡ Monthly l $845 Cash Aid (blind-$908) ¡ Medi-Cal l Maybe Medicare ¡ In Home Care –(IHSS) ¡ No Food Stamps ($$ in SSI Check) 14

SSI Who Gets SSI? ¡ Poor Aged or Disabled l Including disabled children l SSI Who Gets SSI? ¡ Poor Aged or Disabled l Including disabled children l Immigrants—State $$ if no Federal $$ ¡ Disabled l Over 12 months l Unable to work anymore l Kids—daily activities limited 15

SSI Income/Assets Limits ¡ Income Limits ¡ Resource Limits l $2, 000 for single SSI Income/Assets Limits ¡ Income Limits ¡ Resource Limits l $2, 000 for single adults l $3, 000 for couples 16

General Assistance General Relief General Assistance General Relief

General Assistance What Does It Pay For? ¡ Monthly l Very Cash Aid low---$221 General Assistance What Does It Pay For? ¡ Monthly l Very Cash Aid low---$221 in LA l Maybe emergency $$ l Time limits on aid ¡ SSI Application Help (maybe) ¡ Limited Help Finding a Job ¡ County Health Care ¡ Food Stamps 18

General Assistance Who Gets GA? ¡ Singles, ¡ Not Couples w/o Children Eligible for General Assistance Who Gets GA? ¡ Singles, ¡ Not Couples w/o Children Eligible for Any Other Program l Elderly, Disabled not on Social Security ¡ Homeless, Veterans, People with Physical & Mental Health Issues 19

General Assistance Income/Asset Limits ¡Below Income & Resource Caps l Income--counties set--varies l Resources—county General Assistance Income/Asset Limits ¡Below Income & Resource Caps l Income--counties set--varies l Resources—county sets ¡LA $50. 00 ¡“Last Resort” l 100% county funded l Money is a loan not grant 20

Food Stamps (“SNAP”) Food Stamps (“SNAP”)

Food Stamps What Does It Pay For? ¡ Food (or needs to make food) Food Stamps What Does It Pay For? ¡ Food (or needs to make food) ¡ Amount Depends on Income, Housing Costs, Other Monthly Expenses ¡ Amount Varies by Family Size l For 1 Person maximum is $200/month l Family of 5=$793/mo. maximum ¡ Emergency Food Stamps in 3 Days 22

Food Stamps Who Gets It? ¡ Families ¡ Single Adults ¡ Working Poor ¡ Food Stamps Who Gets It? ¡ Families ¡ Single Adults ¡ Working Poor ¡ Disabled on Social Security (not SSI) l SSI—Cashed out—in SSI monthly grant 23

Food Stamps Income & Assets Limits ¡ Income l See ¡ Asset Limits chart Food Stamps Income & Assets Limits ¡ Income l See ¡ Asset Limits chart limits: l $2, 000 l $3, 000 seniors & disabled ¡ No Asset Limit for a Family with Children (not on Cal. WORKs) 24

Health Programs Health Programs

What Does Medi-Cal Pay For? ¡ Health l Drs, Care hospitals, very limited dental What Does Medi-Cal Pay For? ¡ Health l Drs, Care hospitals, very limited dental ¡ Medically Necessary & Prior Authorization ¡ Emergency Care is Broader ¡ Early Diagnosis & Treatment for Children (EPSDT) 26

Medi-Cal—Who Gets it? ¡ Aged, Disabled or Caring for Minors ¡ Citizen or Legal Medi-Cal—Who Gets it? ¡ Aged, Disabled or Caring for Minors ¡ Citizen or Legal Status l Broader than CW and FS ¡ Poor, Working Poor, Children, ¡ Over 50 “Programs”, Based on Income, Disease, Children, Emergencies, Etc 27

Medi-Cal Income & Assets Limits ¡ Income l See ¡ Asset Limits chart--varies by Medi-Cal Income & Assets Limits ¡ Income l See ¡ Asset Limits chart--varies by program Limits: l $2, 000 or l $3, 000 for seniors & disabled l Some programs --no asset limit (% of poverty) 28

County Health ¡ County’s Own Program l Own rules, but close to Medi-Cal in County Health ¡ County’s Own Program l Own rules, but close to Medi-Cal in most places ¡ County is in CMSP (State Pooled) Program l Run by Blue Cross, rules on-line 29

Cal. WORKs: Special Issues Cal. WORKs: Special Issues

Special Issues for Cal. WORKs Families ¡ Special Rules for Survivors of Domestic Violence Special Issues for Cal. WORKs Families ¡ Special Rules for Survivors of Domestic Violence ¡ Family Law Case Issues ¡ Guardianship Issues 31

Cal. WORKs Special Issues-DV DV Survivors & Cal. WORKs ¡ Counties Must Ensure Safety Cal. WORKs Special Issues-DV DV Survivors & Cal. WORKs ¡ Counties Must Ensure Safety and Confidentiality l In offices l With contracted service providers ¡ Allow Use of Safe At Home Address ¡ Ensure Flexibility with Rules, Process l E. G. tailoring Wt. W plans 32

Cal. WORKs Special Issues--DV Domestic Violence Waivers ¡ D. V. Waivers--Any Program Requirement l Cal. WORKs Special Issues--DV Domestic Violence Waivers ¡ D. V. Waivers--Any Program Requirement l If difficult to escape abuse, l or more likely to return, or l Rule unfairly penalizes family ¡ May Waive Retroactively, Even When Timed Off of Aid 33

Cal. WORKs Special Issues--DV Child Support Waivers ¡ Must Help County Collect l Assign Cal. WORKs Special Issues--DV Child Support Waivers ¡ Must Help County Collect l Assign rights to county l Cooperate or 25% penalty ¡ DV Good Cause Exceptions l Refer to legal aid for help ¡ $50. 00/mo. to Family if County Collects (“pass through”) 34

Special Programs D. V. & Cal. WORKs Immigrant Survivors of Violence ¡ VAWA—D. V. Special Programs D. V. & Cal. WORKs Immigrant Survivors of Violence ¡ VAWA—D. V. Survivors ¡ Victims of Crimes l U—certain violent crimes l T—trafficking ¡ Get Cal. WORKs, Medi-Cal & Food Stamps ¡ Refer to Legal Services for Help 35

Selected Crossover Issues Cal. WORKs & Self Help ¡ Divorce Cases l Child support Selected Crossover Issues Cal. WORKs & Self Help ¡ Divorce Cases l Child support issues l Joint custody & visitation issues l Structuring settlements to maximize cash aid ¡ Guardianships v. Foster Care 36

Cal. WORKs Crossover Issues Child Support Issues ¡“Go to Work” Orders l Limits on Cal. WORKs Crossover Issues Child Support Issues ¡“Go to Work” Orders l Limits on Judges ability to order if it conflicts with Welfare to Work plan Barron v. Martinez, 173 Cal. App. 4 th 293 ¡ Imputing Income to Parents l Can’t impute income if primary caretaker of very young child County of Yolo v. Garcia, 20 CA 4 th 1771 37

Cal. WORKs Crossover Issues Custody & Visitation Issues ¡ Joint Physical Custody or Secondary Cal. WORKs Crossover Issues Custody & Visitation Issues ¡ Joint Physical Custody or Secondary Custody = May Lose Cash Aid l Parent needs care & control of child l Must be “ 1 st to the door” if 50 -50 ¡ Visitation -- Gone for One Entire Calendar Month, No Cash Aid! 38

Cal. WORKs Crossover Issues Assets & Settlements ¡ Cash Payout or Equalization Payment Will Cal. WORKs Crossover Issues Assets & Settlements ¡ Cash Payout or Equalization Payment Will Lose Cash Aid ¡ Structure to Avoid Loss of Aid l Pay off credit cards—no loss l Pay off past rent & mortgage---no loss l Future mortgage/rent –pay only part to lender/landlord no loss, but risky? 39

Relatives & Guardianship Issues Relatives & Guardianship Issues

Programs for Relative Caregivers ¡ Cal. WORKs ¡ Foster Care ¡ Kin-Gap ¡ Adoption Programs for Relative Caregivers ¡ Cal. WORKs ¡ Foster Care ¡ Kin-Gap ¡ Adoption Assistance l Separate or with Cal. WORKs 41

Guardianship or Foster Care? ¡ Guardianship Gets You… l The right to make decisions Guardianship or Foster Care? ¡ Guardianship Gets You… l The right to make decisions for child l Clarifies authority with schools, others l Can easily undo if parent returns ¡ Some Think Need for Cal. WORKs $$ l Do not need for CWs l Guardianship means no foster care $$ 42

Guardianship or Foster Care? ¡ Foster Care Gets you ¡ Foster Care risks l Guardianship or Foster Care? ¡ Foster Care Gets you ¡ Foster Care risks l More $$ l Help (maybe) to get parents back on track l Legal protections from troubled Parents l Court/CPS must undo l Alienation of relatives l Termination of parental rights (2 years) 43

Illegal Detentions ¡ CPS Does Not “Remove” Children l Relatives agree to care for Illegal Detentions ¡ CPS Does Not “Remove” Children l Relatives agree to care for children l Told to get guardianship l Not informed of foster care ¡ Impact: No Petition, No Foster Care, Less $ to Caregiver, No Reunification w/Parents 44

Financial Impact Guardianship v. Foster Care ¡ If Need Aid…. l SSI children/no impact Financial Impact Guardianship v. Foster Care ¡ If Need Aid…. l SSI children/no impact l Cal. WORKs Children ¡Family grant vs. per child aid ¡Limited and much lower special needs ¡No clothing allowance l Undoc's Children ¡No Cal. WORKs eligibility vs. county foster care 45

Guardianship Timing ¡ If Get Guardianship before Foster Care ¡ Unless Children Return to Guardianship Timing ¡ If Get Guardianship before Foster Care ¡ Unless Children Return to Parents, Permanently Lose l FC option and services l Kin-gap options l Adoption assistance 46

Foster Care Help at Legal Aid ¡ Know Local Legal Aid & Refer l Foster Care Help at Legal Aid ¡ Know Local Legal Aid & Refer l Even if don’t normally handle foster care/illegal detentions, can refer l Resources for training available for them NOTE: Best to refer for screening, eligibility for FC review needed, and efforts to obtain FC can be complicated 47

Resources ¡ Cal. WORKs Manual ¡ Foster Care Manual ¡ Food Stamp Guide ¡ Resources ¡ Cal. WORKs Manual ¡ Foster Care Manual ¡ Food Stamp Guide ¡ Medi-Cal Guide ¡ CMSP Rules ¡ See List of Websites 48

Contacts ¡ Jodie Berger, Regional Counsel Legal Services of Northern California; jberger@lsnc. net ¡ Contacts ¡ Jodie Berger, Regional Counsel Legal Services of Northern California; [email protected] net ¡ Julie Rivera Coo, Supervising Attorney Neighborhood Legal Services Julie. Rivera. [email protected] org ¡ Kate Meiss, Supervising Attorney Neighborhood Legal Services [email protected] org 49