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ABAWD Time Limit

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ABAWD Time Limit

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  1. ABAWD Time Limit Preparing for implementation of the Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) rule in Contra Costa County

  2. Basic Calfresh eligibility • Who is eligible? • Households that meet the gross income guidelines ($2,024 for 1 person, $2,744 for 2 people, $3,464 for 3 people, etc.) • Households that have at least one member who is a citizen or legal permanent resident • Individuals on SSI - this rule changed June 1, 2019 • What is a household? • Anyone that purchases and prepares food together • Expedited Services (Emergency CalFresh) • If their monthly gross income is less than $150 and • They have less than $100 in cash, checking or savings

  3. INTRODUCTION • A person classified as an ABAWD may be subject to a 3-month time limit on CalFresh (during a period of three years) • Not a “new” rule, but is being implemented in a small number of counties after a federal waiver of the rule expired • CA lost statewide waiver but was able to apply for area waivers • Counties currently implementing ABAWD rule: San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara • Counties scheduled to begin implementation effective September 1, 2019: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin • Statewide clock • Clock started in 2017 and will “restart” in January 2020 • The three-year period is the same for everyone in California

  4. Who is an abawd? • Between 18 and 49 years old • Not disabled • Not living with children • Not otherwise exempt • As the acronym suggests, these are individuals who should theoretically be able to work • However, we know that many people face barriers to work or are underemployed

  5. Time limits • Benefits are limited to 3 full months per 3 year period to childless adults age 18-49 UNLESS: • Individual is working 20 hours a week (job search does not count) • Individual is in a qualifying job slot (e.g., Employment & Training) 20 hours a week or volunteering • Meets one of the exemptions • The time limit effectively reduces access to CalFresh, and it is important to understand the rules to prevent as many people from having their benefits discontinued as possible

  6. ABAWDs in Contra costa county • There are approximately 31,000 households receiving CalFresh in Contra Costa County • Estimated 4,398 persons are classified as ABAWDs, which will mean that they need to be screened for an exemption or meet the work requirement • Many are facing significant barriers. For example: • In a survey of 112 individuals who enrolled in Opportunity Junction’s 5-7 month fulltime intensive training program for the administrative field: 98% indicated a lack of skills for an administrative job, 82% indicated past trauma, 29% indicated they were terminated from past employment, and 29% indicated a history of domestic violence

  7. Exemptions • Goal: make sure everyone who qualifies for an exemption has one • Exemptions: • In a CalFresh household with a member under 18 • Pregnant (any stage of pregnancy) • Physically or mentally unable to work 20 hours a week • Look for factors like chronically homeless, experiencing domestic violence, dealing with a drug or alcohol issue, dealing with a mental health issue, etc. • Student attending school at least half time (student rule may apply) • Applied for or receiving disability benefits (temporary or permanent) (private or government benefits qualify) – Includes SSI • Requalifying (worked 20 hours a week in recent past)

  8. Exemptions continued • Exemptions continued: • Already exempt from CalFresh work requirements because: • Responsible for the care of a child under 6 or an incapacitated person • Applied for or receiving Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UIB) • Expected to return to work in the next 60 days • Former Foster Youth • Re-entry/Probation/Criminal Record • Seasonally Employed • Dependent Child Ages Out • Family Reunification

  9. Unable to work • How is someone deemed unable to work? • Medically certified as physically or mentally unable to work • Applied for or receives temporary or permanent public or private disability benefits • Is obviously unfit as determined by Employment and Human Services case worker • If not obvious, a medical professional can provide verification • Examples include: • Physician • Physician’s assistant • Nurse • Nurse practitioner • Physician’s office • Psychologist • Social Worker • Any other medical personnel • Exemptions can be verified retroactively!

  10. Meeting the work requirement in contra costa county • Contra Costa County administers its Employment & Training program through its Fresh Success program • The following are Employment & Training providers in Contra Costa County who may be able to help persons who are not exempt meet work requirement. • Note: some E&T programs will not automatically meet work requirements because they may be fewer than 20 hours per week or 80 hours per month • Opportunity Junction – East County • Rubicon – West and East County

  11. Reporting work participation • Ensure forms include information about the work activity and number of hours per week/month • Qualifying work activity includes: • Paid work • In-kind work • Volunteer work • CalFresh E&T (but not job search alone) • Work and volunteer hours can be combined • Example: Person works 10 hours, and volunteers for 10 hours

  12. Areas of advocacy • How you can help people obtain and keep CalFresh benefits under this new rule: • Support effective county screening for exemptions and work opportunities • Making appropriate referrals to E&T providers • Identifying ABAWDs • Helping ABAWDs keep or restore benefits • Help educate and clarify misunderstandings • Help determine exemptions • Help people know how to effectively contact EHSD • Informing the community • More resources can be found at: www.foodbankccs.org/abawd

  13. Questions? Caitlin Sly Program Director Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano csly@foodbankccs.org www.foodbankccs.org/abawd 925-677-7004