Failure or refusal to comply with program requirements
(a) (1) Whenever an individual has failed or refused to comply with program requirements without good cause in a program component to which he or she is assigned and refuses to agree to or fails, without good cause, to comply with a compliance plan agreed to between the county and the participant, the individual shall be subject to sanctions specified in Section 11327.5.
(2) For the purposes of this article, the phrase "failed or refused to comply with program requirements" shall be limited to: failing or refusing to sign a welfare-to-work plan, participate or provide required proof of satisfactory progress in any assigned program activity, pursuant to this article, including self-initiated programs described in Section 11325.23 or accept employment; terminating employment; or reducing earnings.
(b) (1) Upon determination that an individual has failed or refused to comply with program requirements, the county shall issue a notice of action effective no earlier than 30 calendar days from the date of issuance informing the individual that a sanction will be imposed if the individual fails to either attend an appointment scheduled by the county to be held within 20 calendar days of the notice, or contact the county by phone, within 20 calendar days of the notice, and fails to do either of the following:
(A) Provide information to the county that he or she had good cause for the refusal or failure that has led the county to make a finding of good cause for nonparticipation.
(B) Agree to a compliance plan to correct the failure or refusal to comply.
(2) The county shall schedule a time during which each individual who has failed or refused to comply with program requirements has an opportunity to demonstrate that he or she had good cause for that refusal or failure. The county shall schedule an appointment within 20 calendar days of the notice of action. The individual shall be allowed to reschedule the cause determination appointment once within the 20-calendar-day period.
(3) The written notice of action sent by the county shall do all of the following:
(A) Inform the individual of the specific act or acts that have caused the individual to be out of compliance with participation requirements.
(B) Inform the individual of his or her right to assert good cause for his or her refusal or failure.
(C) Inform the individual of the date and time of the scheduled appointment.
(D) Provide a general definition of good cause and examples of reasons that constitute good cause for not participating in the program.
(E) Inform the individual of the right to contact the county welfare department by telephone to establish good cause over the telephone in lieu of attending the appointment scheduled by the county.
(F) Inform the individual of the right to reschedule the appointment once within the 20-calendar-day period.
(G) Inform the individual that if good cause is not found, a compliance plan will be developed and the individual will be expected to agree to the plan or face a sanction.
(H) Inform the individual of the name, telephone number, and address of state and local legal aid and welfare rights organizations that may assist the individual with the good cause and compliance plan process.
(I) Describe the transportation and child care services that a person is entitled to, as needed in order to attend the appointment.
(c) If the individual fails to attend the appointment, the county shall attempt to contact the individual by telephone at the time of or after the appointment in order to establish a finding of good cause or no good cause, and, if a finding of no good cause is made, develop a compliance plan to correct the instance of nonparticipation.
(d) If the individual fails to attend the meeting and the county is not able to contact the individual in accordance with subdivision (c), and the individual fails to contact the county within the 20-calendar-day period, a sanction shall be imposed in accordance with Section 11327.5.
(e) If the individual attends the appointment or contacts the county by phone within the 20-calendar-day period and is either found by the county to have had good cause for his or her refusal or failure, or agrees to a compliance plan to correct the failure or refusal, the county shall rescind the notice of action issued pursuant to subdivision (b). If the individual agrees to a compliance plan at the appointment, the individual shall be provided a copy of the plan. If the individual agrees to a compliance plan over the telephone, a copy of the plan shall be mailed to the client.
(f) If the individual is found by the county to have had good cause for his or her refusal or failure, an instance of noncompliance shall not be considered to have occurred.
(g) If the individual is found by the county not to have had good cause, but agrees to a compliance plan and then fulfills the terms of the compliance plan, an instance of noncompliance shall not be considered to have occurred.
(h) If the individual enters into a written compliance plan, but does not fulfill the terms of the plan, and the county determines, based on available information, that the individual did not have good cause for failure to meet the terms of the plan, the county shall send a notice of action to impose a sanction. The procedures specified in subdivision (b) shall not be applicable to a sanction imposed under this subdivision.
(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 270, Sec. 118.)