CDSS received waivers to implement the Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP) beginning October 1, 2017.
ESAP will do four things for elderly (age 60 or older) and/or disabled households:
- Waive the recertification interview requirement for elderly and/or disabled households with no earned income. Cases will not be denied at recertification without an attempt to schedule an interview. The county can require an interview if the information supplied is incomplete, questionable or contradictory. Households can request a rertification interview. An interview at initial certification is still required.
- Use data matching to reduce client-provided verifications for elderly and/or disabled households with no earned income.
- Extend the certification period to 36 months for elderly and/or disabled households with no earned income.
- Waive the requirement to contact ESAP households every 12 months, which eliminates the need to send and collect SAR-7 reports. [ACL 20-145.] The elimination of periodic reporting is added by the extension of the ESAP waivers and will be effective on March 1, 2022 through September 30, 2026. [ACL 22-15; see also Id.]
These waivers apply to households where all members are either elderly (age 60 or older) or disabled with no earned income. Households that include excluded or ineligible members who are also elderly or disabled are eligible for ESAP. [ACL 20-145.]
If an ESAP household becomes ineligible for ESAP but remains eligible for CalFresh (for example by becoming employed) the county will convert the case to a regular CalFresh household. However, the household must complete their 36-month certification period. The county cannot shorten the certification period once it is assigned. At the end of the 36-month certification period, the county must determine continuing CalFresh eligibility and whether the household continues to be ineligible for ESAP. The county must send a written notice to the household when it is converted from ESAP to a regular CalFresh household. [ACL 20-145.]
Until the periodic reporting waiver is implemented ESAP households will use the SAR-7 form to report any changes at 12 months and 24 months. When the periodic reporting waiver is effective, ESAP households will still need to complete mandatory mid-period reporting, including gross income over the Income Reporting Threshold during the 36 month-certification period.
ESAP households will get a notice in early March, 2022 informing them that they will no longer need to submit SAR 7 reports to maintain their CalFresh eligibility. Counties must continue to issue notices at the 12th and 24th months of the certification period to report income over the income reporting threshold. [ACL 22-15.] If an ESAP household submits a SAR 7 report due on or after March 1, 2022, the county must treat it as a voluntary mid-period report. [Id.]
ESAP applies to households with SSI/SSP recipients that do not have earned income. [ACL 19-44.]
ESAP is extended to September 30, 2026. [ACL 20-145.]