Monthly Archives: May 2016

Student Eligibility for CalFresh by Participation in EOPS

Q:  I’m a non-minor dependent attending college full-time. I’m not able to work and am struggling with my monthly expenses. I know that students attending college at least half-time are generally not eligible for food stamps unless they meet certain requirements or exemptions.

I recently heard that participation in Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) qualifies an otherwise Cal-Fresh eligible student for the CalFresh (food stamps) exemption. Is this true?


A: Yes, you are correct. Generally, students enrolled at least half-time as defined by the post-secondary educational institution are not eligible for CalFresh unless special criteria apply (see below).

In 2014, Assembly Bill 1930 (Skinner) gave the California Department of Social Services the authority to determine certain educational programs considered employment training programs, thereby qualifying a student participating in one of those programs for an exemption. All County Letter 15-70 (2015) indicated that enrollment in EOPS qualifies an otherwise CalFresh-eligible student for the CalFresh exemption. Students who provide proof of enrollment in EOPS shall be eligible for CalFresh if they meet all other conditions of CalFresh eligibility.


Citation: Assembly Bill 1930 (2014), Manual of Policies and Procedures 63-406.216, All County Letter 15-70 (September 15, 2015)

How to Request a Foster Care Verification Letter from the State

Q: I’m trying obtain proof of my status as a former foster youth, and am having trouble getting in contact with my county. I hear that the ACIN has been issued on Assembly Bill 592, which gave the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) the authority to provide former foster youth with written verification of their foster care status. How do I contact CDSS, and does the ACIN provide any new information I should note?

A: Yes, the ACIN has been issued. It indicates that former foster youth can contact CDSS to request the verification letter by calling the Foster Care Ombudsman’s Office, toll free at 1-877-846-1602, or by calling the Foster Care Support Services Bureau, at (916) 651-7465. Initial requests need to be received by telephone so that the CDSS staff person may verify the youth’s identity, ask any clarifying questions to find the youth’s case on the CWS/CMS system, and if necessary, to help resolve any issues the youth may have experienced in reaching their county agency of jurisdiction. Completed verification letters will be provided to the youth by fax, email, U.S. mail or in person, depending on the youth’s preference.

Youth should note that CDSS only has the authority to provide this verification to former foster youth. If a current foster youth requests this verification from CDSS, they will be directed to contact the county child welfare agency or probation office that currently serves them. If a youth is currently in foster care and expresses difficulty with getting this verification from their county agency, CDSS will assist the youth with reaching someone from the county agency to help.

Citation: All County Information Notice I-27-16 (April 27, 2016)

Adult Residential Treatment Facility – a SILP?

Q: Can an Adult Residential Treatment Facility be considered a Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP) for a Non-Minor Dependent (NMD)?

A:  This question was answered by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and was posted on the CDSS website, in their section, Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Foster Care Benefits. Their answer is provided below and also available directly at this link.

Yes, an Adult Residential Treatment Facility may be considered a SILP under certain conditions. Federal policy permits a state to consider a youth age 18 or older who is residing in a substance abuse, mental health or other residential treatment facility to be in a supervised independent living setting for title IV-E purposes, as long as that youth is living in the facility voluntarily and the arrangement is paired with supervision of the child welfare agency. See Child Welfare Policy Manual, Section 8.3A.8d, Question 2.  Therefore, a treatment facility may be approved as a SILP if the NMD is living independently and voluntarily within the facility, and continues to be subject to the court’s jurisdiction and agency supervision.

As previously stated in ACL 11-77: “Many NMDs can benefit from the experience of a SILP prior to independent living. Although NMDs have varying levels of independence readiness, SILPs cover a wide range of living situations; therefore, NMDs do not have to be ready for complete independence to try out a SILP. The SILP settings can also have varying levels of independence. For example, for those NMDs who may require extra assistance, a SILP can consist of renting a room from a permanent connection that can assist the young adult in preparing for more independence. This can help to prepare NMDs for more independent SILPs, such as an apartment with a roommate. It is important to understand that SILP assessments are based upon the type of SILP being considered.”

Therefore and as with all other SILPs, the readiness assessment should factor in the needs of the youth and the supports offered in the SILP environment. Please refer to ACL 11-77 for additional information regarding readiness assessments and the SILP approval process.