CalWORKs and CalFresh Income Exemption Requests for Guaranteed Income Demonstration Projects

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has implemented a process for reviewing demonstration project income exemption requests from California counties in partnership with cities and other local municipalities seeking to reduce poverty by administering Guaranteed Income (GI) pilots and projects in their jurisdictions. Under the CalWORKs income exemption request process for GI demonstration projects, participants in GI pilots and projects may be eligible to have their GI income exempted for purposes of CalWORKs and/or CalFresh eligibility. Counties seeking a GI income exemption must make a request to CDSS and comply with statutorily mandated criteria. If an income exemption request is granted, recipients of GI who are also receiving CalWORKs benefits can avoid any negative impacts that GI components of demonstration projects might otherwise have on CalWORKs participation, eligibility, and benefits.  

For the purposes of CalFresh, payments received by guaranteed income project or pilot participants must come from a private source to be excluded. If an approved guaranteed income project or pilot is both privately and publicly funded, the private funding must be sufficient to cover the cost of all payments received by CalFresh households participating in the project or pilot. This determination will be made by the CDSS and communicated directly through order of the CDSS Director.

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