D. Deprivation Due to Unemployment



Deprivation exists when the principle wager earner (PWE) is determined eligible based on unemployment whether the individual is included or excluded from the assistance unit.


The following terms apply to the process of establishing eligibility based on deprivation due to unemployment.





Unemployed Parent



U-Parent refers to:

  The natural or adoptive parent,

  Who lives in the same home as the child,

  Who is the principal wage earner (PWE), and,

  Who is not employed, or,

  Who is employed less than 100 hours per four-week period.


Hours of Employment


Hours of employment refers to the hours an individual spends providing a service or product, whether the individual is an employee or self-employed. Any hours spent working to acquire earned income, whether or not the individual receives the income, are considered when determining the 100 hour limit.



Principle Wage Earner (PWE)


In a home where both parents of an eligible child are living, the PWE is whichever parent earned the greater amount of income in the previous 24 months. When both parents have earned an identical amount, the parents must designate the PWE. Once the PWE has been determined that parent will continue to be the PWE for each consecutive month the family receives CalWORKs.


Establishing U-Parent Deprivation

When establishing unemployment as the basis of deprivation, all of the following requirements must be met:


  Unemployment Status Criteria,

  UIB Application Requirement, and,

  Welfare-to-Work Requirement.


Status Criteria

The unemployed parent is one of the natural or adoptive parents with whom a child is living, who is the PWE and who:


   Is not employed; or

   Is employed less than 100 hours during the four-week period prior to the date of eligibility for cash aid based on unemployment.


When the PWE is employed for less than 100 hours during the four-week period prior to the date of eligibility, he/she must NOT be considered employed for purposes of unemployment deprivation.


Last Employer

If questionable, a statement from the last known employer (if available) may be requested, when the U-Parent terminated his/her employment within four weeks prior to the date of application or claims to be underemployed (less than 100 hours per month).

Principle Earner Time Frame Requirements

Deprivation must be due to the unemployment of the PWE. Deprivation due to unemployment exists if the PWE is unemployed and the child would otherwise be deprived except that neither of his/her parents is deceased, incapacitated, or absent from the home.


The PWE must have worked less than 100 hours during the four week period prior to the date of eligibility for cash aid based on unemployment deprivation. The four-week period must be adjusted daily to determine the four-week period in which the applicant PWE worked less than 100 hours.


Example of PE Time Frame Requirements

An applicant principal earner was laid off on April 13th and worked a total of 40 hours in April and 40 hours per week in March. The family applied for aid on April 14th. The original four-week period would be from March 17th through April 13th. Since the PE worked 120 hours during this four-week period, a new four-week period would need to be identified.


March 18th through April 14th = 112 hours

March 19th through April 15th = 104 hours

March 20th through April 16th = 96 hours


The qualifying four-week period in which the PE worked less than 100 hours would be from March 20th through April 16th. The beginning date of aid for this family would be April 17th, if otherwise eligible


UIB Application Requirement

The U-Parent whose unemployment establishes deprivation must apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UIB) when he/she appears eligible for UIB. This condition applies regardless of whether or not the U-Parent is exempt from work registration requirements.


The U-Parent who applies for UIB must:


  Meet all the conditions established by Employment Development Department (EDD) for the payment of UIB (i.e. available for and looking for employment); and


  Accept any UIB to which EDD determines he/she may be entitled.

Welfare-to-Work Requirement

When deprivation changes to unemployment, the previously absent/incapacitated parent must be referred to Welfare-to-Work, unless otherwise exempt.

Meeting Needs

The HSS should inquire and verify as appropriate, how the family was meeting its needs (i.e., food, shelter, and utilities) when there was no income received by the family within four weeks prior to the date of application.