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California Public Benefits Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Collections and Public Benefits for California on
Q: Would a lien on my brother's inheritance prevent it from being counted as income or asset by SSI and Medicaid?

I'm executor of my father's estate. The funds will be divided among 6 siblings, about $6000 each. One brother is on SSI, SSDI, and Medicaid, in Vermont. If he inherits $6000, he is in danger of losing his Medicaid until he spends $4000. Losing his Medicaid could cost him a lot more than... Read more »

Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman answered on Sep 14, 2020

This is a question that needs to be answered by an attorney licensed in Vermont and familiar with its Medicaid rules and regulations as every state is different. There are likely ways he can spend that amount of money down without interrupting his SSI/MEDICAID benefits and/or can create an ABLE... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Public Benefits for California on
Q: I would like to receive the Opinion of the California Supreme Court rendered on July 30, 2020, regarding pensions.

The opinion of the Court resolved the eligibility of former public employees to receive pensions that are based on incomes that include overtime, or increased pay for extra work on the part of the employees. This opinion was rendered on July 30, 2020, and it interpreted legislation that was... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 14, 2020

California Supreme Court opinions are published without charge onto the internet. I think this is the case you seek:

Good luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Public Benefits for California on
Q: Can the state/government take a house that was left to me by parents if I've collected welfare?

My parents are planning to make a will but unsure if state/government will be able to seize it after its in my name because ive collected welfare (cash, food stamps, medical)

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge answered on Aug 18, 2020

No. If you receive Medi-Cal, SSI, TANF, SSDI, VA or IHSS benefits, a house in which you reside is considered a non-countable resource in your benefits determination. If you receive Section 8 housing however, a house will jeopardize those benefits. Food stamps are based on income, not assets,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Public Benefits for California on
Q: Why would it be ok in 1 program to live in a tent as being homeless and not the other program ?
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jul 9, 2020

It depends on the terms of the programs. More information is needed. Consult the Legal Aid society in Sacramento. If you cannot find a listing, contact the Sacramento Bar Assn.

Justia disclaimers below, incorporated herein.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Appeals / Appellate Law, Child Support and Public Benefits for California on
Q: I've had money taken from me for A child that's not mine from over 20 years and they're grown I want my money back

My stimulas has been taken and in the past it was made to stop garnishing wges but didn't know I can't get unemployment either I am not the father

Chris M. Bradford
Chris M. Bradford answered on Jul 1, 2020

The judge is going to ask you: Why did you wait 20 years to challenge that you are not the father? Why didn't you do that 20 years ago? If you look back at the original order it no doubt says that you are the father in the original order. If you were not the original father, it should... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Public Benefits, Social Security and Medical Malpractice for California on
Q: My Doctors&Clinic kept inaccurate records & have altered them to avoid dealing with a complaint. Is this malpractice?

I can prove they altered them. The result has been denial for SSDI benefits and a severe deterioration in my quality of life and has endangered my overall health permanently. I don't know what to do to fix this?

William John Light
William John Light answered on Jun 23, 2020

It might be a HIPAA complaint, but damages are not available for that under the statute.

It might be Negligent Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage, but it's unclear that there would be enough money at stake to justify this type of claim.

Also, I don't know...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Public Benefits and Social Security for California on
Q: Applying for SSDI after receiving Unemployment assistance?

I have a progressing illness which qualifies me for SSDI.

Now I lost my job because of COVID-19.

I am planning to collect my unemployment now and then, if no luck finding a job that I can do (if any), I will apply for SSDI.

My question: Can (will) the fact of me receiving... Read more »

Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace answered on May 14, 2020

EDD has Unemployment Insurance or State Disability Insurance (SDI). Self employed do not get UI. Self employed do not get SDI (it's a deduction on workers checks ). Social Security Disability ftom the Federal govt is a possibility. But it requires doctors writing you cannot work, and it... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Public Benefits and Social Security for California on
Q: Receiving Government relief and Unemployment while applying for Disability?

I am in the process of filing for SSDI in CA which coincidentally happens during the ongoing COVID19

Following announcements I have filed for temporary relief and unemployment insurance- just as the Governor said.

The condition of applying for SSDI is absolutely no income from any... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on May 12, 2020

To get SSDI you need to certify that you are physically or mentally incapable of performing work. To get unemployment insurance benefits you need to certify that you are ready willing and able to work full time and that you are seeking full time employment. The two are mutually exclusive. If you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Insurance Bad Faith, Public Benefits and Social Security for California on
Q: I was paid short term disability but now ins. co. sys they made a mistake. Do I have to pay them back?
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Apr 27, 2020

There is no way anyone here can answer that question without knowing far more. However the general rule is that the law does not usually allow someone to benefit from the mistake of another, and in most situations where a contract is concerned, money received by mistake needs to be paid back or a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Landlord - Tenant and Public Benefits for California on
Q: Can family homeless shelters kick families out during the Corinavirus quarantine?

My newborn, medically fragile son and I were kicked out while the entire facility was quarantined due to another family having Coronavirus symptoms.

Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi answered on Apr 18, 2020

In these most unusual of times, administrators of shelters must make terribly tragic decisions based on the conditions which exist. I'm sure you are grateful for the fact that you and your son do not presently have the coronavirus, but that can be little consolation while you are still... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Public Benefits for California on
Q: We came to the United States 4 years ago and we have sponser(my uncle),we don't have good financial situation right now

my uncle never support us from first day and we don't speak with he, actually he left us!

Can we apply for food stamps?

does this affect on US citizenship?


Manuel Alzamora Juarez
Manuel Alzamora Juarez answered on Apr 12, 2020

If you are citizens or permanent residents who have sponsored a relative, you are presumed to have sufficient income to sponsor said relative. Since 4 years have gone by, you should go and request your food stamps based on loss of income and job due to Corina virus.

1 Answer | Asked in Immigration Law, Health Care Law, Public Benefits and Social Security for California on
Q: Permanent resident can't receive CalFresh not cash assistance?

My GF has had applied for CalFresh assistance and just has received a phone call from the worker asking all sorts of questions.

According this worker, they expect that GF would supply details about how she had obtained the green card many years ago, along with detailed information about her... Read more »

Kevin L Dixler
Kevin L Dixler answered on Apr 1, 2020

She only needs to provide proof of lawful permanent resident status by way of her alien number. Perhaps, she can also show a copy of her ‘valid card.’ She has no other status, so other questions seem irrelevant, perhaps, unless this concerns more, which seems questionable.

Any other...
Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law, Immigration Law and Public Benefits for California on
Q: Can illegal immigrants apply for unemployment? If not, what other solution is there?

Due of the corona virus, people are being let off from work, including illegal immigrants. Because of this, can they apply for unemployment? If not, what other solution is there for them to receive money or aid from the government? What can be done when bills and rest must still be paid and food... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Mar 24, 2020

In California your immigration status should not disqualify you from unemployment insurance benefits. However if the employer has not paid into the fund on your behalf if you have a fictitious or fraudulent social security number you will face difficulties. Nonetheless apply and work through... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Gov & Administrative Law and Public Benefits for California on
Q: Coronavirus: Postponing gym membership or do nothing?


William John Light
William John Light answered on Mar 18, 2020

Whether you have a right to cancel your membership is set forth in your Gym contract and Civil Code section 1813.80, and following statutes. The terms by which you might be entitled to a freeze on the membership are likely also specified in the contract. Whether the gym's current offer to... Read more »

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Q: Can I deposit my Daughters $19K Jackpot winnings into her Special Needs Trust so that SSI doesn’t stop her monthly pmnt

She is on SSI and is Bi Polar. There is a Special Needs Trust set up for her. She won this playing Bingo and the Casino took all the taxes out and gave her $5,000 cash and the rest in a check because that is what she asked them to do. I found out about it and have all of it now and wondering what I... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Mar 10, 2020

Yes if her special needs trust is a first party SNT; otherwise no. If it is not a first party SNT the best choice is probably an ABLE account if she is eligible.

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1 Answer | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law, Criminal Law and Public Benefits for California on
Q: Hi, EDD has assessed an overpayment and sent me Notice of Overpayment. Will they press criminal charges against me?

Will they charge me with fraud if I agree to pay the overpayment?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 30, 2019

It is not likely that criminal charges would be brought if you agree to repay the money. Nonetheless, because criminal charges are possible it would be wise to consult with a criminal defense attorney before approaching the EDD. Good luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Public Benefits for California on
Q: I've been on disability for health reasons, and my employer fired me. Can I request unemployment while on sdi still?

I read unemployment is viable if I'm ready to work, but I'm still ok disability, so I can't work. I don't know what to do.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Oct 25, 2019

No, you cannot get SDI and Unemployment Insurance benefits at the same time. SDI is available if you have a disability that prevents you from working. UI benefits require that you are ready, willing and able to perform full time work and are actively seeking such work.

Good luck to you.

Q: how do i appeal the state hearing division decision for a rehearing?

In Dec., 2018 i filed a request for hearing on food stamp benefits that were issued to me from 2007-2013 on a EBT card that i never had. Their paperwork confirms my first EBT card was issued in 2014. Their Case Comment Summary from my workers also confirms that no NOA was ever mailed to me through... Read more »

Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi answered on Aug 27, 2019

You should contact the San Mateo County Bar Association and request a referral to a lawyer who can help you with this issue. Make sure you keep all the evidence you have and take it to a lawyer to see if s/he can be of any assistance to you. I advise you to prepare a chronological story of what... Read more »

Q: Awarded full year of back pay from my job over a year & a half ago and still get no answers or explanation.

if there anything I can do to make them honor my Arbitration award for my back pay? They've done others since I've started my process also, but mines for some reason is in limbo.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Aug 23, 2019

An arbitration award does not, by itself, mean you get paid if the employer does not voluntarily pay it. You have to take that award and enter it as a judgment in the Superior Court, and then start efforts to collect that judgment. This takes time and money. It would be wise for you to locate an... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Federal Crimes, Gov & Administrative Law and Public Benefits for California on
Q: Do you have to get drug tested for all 3 years on probation?

For California San Mateo County

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow answered on Apr 29, 2019

more info needed.

everything is controlled by the judges orders or terms and conditions.

you should pose any questions like this to the lawyer who represented you on the case as s/he will understand the sentence.

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