CA Welf & Inst Code Section 11322.5


It is the intent of the Legislature to do each of the following:


Maximize the ability of CalWORKs recipients to benefit from the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), including retroactive EITC credits and the Advance EITC, take advantage of the earned-income disregard to increase their federal Food Stamp Program benefits, and accumulate credit toward future social security income.


Educate and empower all CalWORKs participants who receive the federal EITC to save or invest part or all of their credits in instruments such as individual development accounts, 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, IRAs, 457 plans, Coverdell ESA plans, restricted accounts pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 11155.2, or 529 plans, and to take advantage of the federal Assets for Independence program and other matching funds, tools, and training available from public or private sources, in order to build their assets.


It is the intent of the Legislature that counties encourage CalWORKs recipients to participate in activities that will maximize their receipt of the EITC. To this end, counties may do all of the following:


Structure welfare-to-work activities pursuant to subdivisions (a) to (j), inclusive, of Section 11322.6 to give recipients the option of maximizing the portion of their CalWORKs benefits that meets the definition of “earned income” in Section 32(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code.


Inform CalWORKs recipients of each of the following:


That earned income, either previous or future, may make them eligible for the federal EITC, including retroactive EITC credits and the Advance EITC, increase their federal Food Stamp Program benefits, and accumulate credit toward future social security income.


That recipients, as part of their welfare-to-work plans, have the option of engaging in subsidized employment and grant-based on-the-job training, as specified in Section 11322.6, and that participating in these activities will increase their earned income to the extent that they meet the requirements of federal law.


That receipt of the federal EITC does not affect their CalWORKs grant and is additional tax-free income for them.


That a CalWORKs recipient who receives the federal EITC may invest these funds in an individual development account, 401(k) plan, 403(b) plan, IRA, 457 plan, 529 college savings plan, Coverdell ESA, or restricted account, and that investments in these accounts will not make the recipient ineligible for CalWORKs benefits or reduce the recipient’s CalWORKs benefits.


At each regular eligibility redetermination, the county shall ask a recipient whether the recipient is eligible for and takes advantage of the EITC. If the recipient may be eligible and does not participate, the county shall give the recipient the federal EITC form and encourage and assist the recipient to take advantage of it.


(1)No later than December 1, 2008, the State Department of Social Services shall develop guidelines that counties may adopt to carry out the intent of this section and shall present options to the Governor and Legislature for any legislation necessary to further carry out the intent of this section.


In developing the guidelines and legislative options, the department shall consult and convene at least one meeting of subject-matter experts, including representatives from the Assembly and Senate Committees on Human Services, Assets for All Alliance, Asset Policy Initiative of California, California Budget Project, California Catholic Conference, California Council of Churches, California Family Resource Association, California State Association of Counties, CFED, County Welfare Directors Association of California, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Legislative Analyst’s Office, Lifetime, National Council of Churches, Insight Center for Community Economic Development, New America Foundation, Public Policy Institute of California, University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, United States Internal Revenue Service, and Western Center on Law and Poverty. Nothing in this section requires the department to compensate or pay expenses for any person it consults or invites to the meeting or meetings.
Last Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 11322.5’s source at ca​.gov