K. Income Eligibility



State regulations require that an applicant family will not be eligible for cash aid unless the family’s income, exclusive of the first ninety dollars ($90) of earned income for each employed person, is less than the Minimum Basic Standard of Adequate Care (MBSAC) for the family.


Determining Financial Eligibility

Financial eligibility is determined on the basis of:

·           actual net nonexempt income, or

·           a reasonable estimate of net nonexempt income expected to be received during the month.

This estimate must be based on all relevant information available to the Human services Specialist (HSS) and the applicant. It is critical that the HSS do the following.





Make every effort to obtain all necessary verifications


Thoroughly document the reason for their determination of all reasonably anticipated income as part of the application approval or denial process.



Once financial eligibility is established for the QR Payment Quarter, financial eligibility continues for the assistance unit (AU) for the entire Quarterly Report (QR) Payment Quarter unless the family’s income exceeds the income reporting threshold (IRT) and the family’s reasonably anticipated monthly income for the remainder of the QR Payment Quarter exceeds the maximum aid payment (MAP) for the AU.


If aid is discontinued because the monthly reasonably anticipated income is expected to result in financial ineligibility for the QR Payment Quarter and the AU reports that the family reasonably anticipated the income will no longer exceed the MAP amount for the AU prior to the effective date of the discontinuance, the HSS shall rescind the discontinuance if the HSS determines the updated report is a reasonable estimate.


Applicant Eligibility Test

An applicant family’s gross nonexempt income, excluding the first $90 of earned income for each employed person, cannot exceed the MBSAC for the family.


Example 1


Applicant applies for aid for herself and one dependent child. The mother (applicant) works part-time earning $800 per month. No other income.


Earned Income


$90 Earned Income Disregard


Total Net Nonexempt Income


MBSAC for 2 (Family is potentially eligible MBSAC > Gross nonexempt income)


Example 2


Applicant applies for aid for herself and one dependent child. The applicant is unemployed and receives $600 a month in UIB.



MBSAC for 2


Net Nonexempt Unearned Income (Family is potentially eligible MBSAC > Net Nonexempt Income)


The HSS will complete the Recipient Eligibility Test to determine eligibility.



MAP for 2

- 600

Nonexempt UIB Income

$    0

Potential Grant (Family is not eligible due to excess income. Application is denied)


If the family is not financially eligible for the first (application) month, but the HSS determines that the family will become financially eligible within 60 days of the application date, the HSS must do another applicant test using the second month’s reasonably anticipated income. If eligible, the HSS would pend the application and approve aid effective the first of the second month.


Financial Eligibility Test

An applicant family who meets the applicant net income test and is otherwise eligible for CalWORKs is subject to financial eligibility test prior to the authorization of aid. The AU is financially eligible for any month when on the first of the month the combined actual or estimated net nonexempt income plus all other countable income is less than the Maximum Aid Payment (MAP) for the AU plus the value of any special need.


Recipient Financial Eligibility

The determination of recipient financial eligibility occurs under two circumstances:


·           When the HSS reviews a QR7 submitted by a recipient, the HSS must determine if the AU/household (HH) will continue to be financial eligible in the upcoming QR Payment Quarter based on income that the AU/HH reasonably anticipates it will receive in the future quarter.

·           When the AU/HH reports income that exceeds a specified Income Reporting Threshold (IRT) of 130% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), the HSS must determine the AU/HH’s continued financial eligibility in the current QR Payment Quarter.


If the AU/HH has income that has been previously used to determine eligibility and benefit amount, but expects the amount of income to change in the next QR Payment Quarter, the HSS must attempt to find out the amount of income the AU/HH expects to receive.


Adding a person to the AU

When adding a new person to an existing AU, the AU is subject to the Financial Eligibility Test for determining financial eligibility of the reconfigured AU.

If the new person has income that once considered, would result in the AU/HH being financially ineligible to cash aid, the HSS will not take any action to change the AU/HH’s benefits in the current quarter.


Net Nonexempt Income

Net Nonexempt income is gross income for the AU and the other family members minus all applicable income exemptions and income disregards.