Bill Text: CA AB56 | 2021-2022 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Benefits: outgoing mail, identity verification, and direct deposit.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-01-11 - Referred to Coms. on P. & C.P. and INS. [AB56 Detail]

Download: California-2021-AB56-Introduced.html


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 56


Introduced by Assembly Member Salas

December 07, 2020


An act to amend Section 11019.7 of the Government Code, to amend Section 11105.9 of the Penal Code, and to add Sections 1253.93, 1326.1, 1326.7, 1326.8, 2701.1, and 3657 to the Unemployment Insurance Code, relating to benefits.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 56, as introduced, Salas. Benefits: outgoing mail, identity verification, and direct deposit.
(1) Existing law prohibits a state agency from sending any outgoing United States mail, as defined, to an individual that contains personal information about that individual, including, but not limited to, the individual’s social security number, unless that personal information is contained within sealed correspondence and cannot be viewed from the outside of that sealed correspondence. Existing law also prohibits, commencing on or before January 1, 2023, a state agency from sending any outgoing United States mail to an individual that contains the individual’s social security number, except as provided. Existing law requires state agencies that are unable to comply with this prohibition to submit an annual corrective action plan to the Legislature until it is in compliance. Existing law makes the corrective action plan and related correspondence confidential and prohibits their public disclosure.
This bill would prohibit, commencing on or before December 1, 2022, the Employment Development Department (department) from sending any outgoing United States mail, as defined, to an individual containing the individual’s full social security number, except as provided. The bill would require the department to submit an annual corrective action plan containing specified information to the Legislature every December 15 if the department fails to comply. If the department fails to comply by January 1, 2023, the bill would require, upon appropriation by the Legislature, the department to provide access to and pay for identity theft monitoring for any individual who receives outgoing United States mail from the department that contains full social security numbers in violation of the bill’s provisions.
(2) Existing law requires the Department of Justice to maintain state summary criminal history information, including the identification and criminal history of a person, including name, date of birth, social security number, physical description, fingerprints, photographs, dates of arrests, arresting agencies and booking numbers, charges, dispositions, sentencing information, and similar data about the person. Existing law requires the Attorney General to furnish this information to specified persons, agencies, or organizations, including the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, if needed in the course of their duties. Existing law makes it a crime for any person authorized by law to receive state summary criminal history information to knowingly furnish the information to a person who is not authorized by law to receive it.
Existing law authorizes the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide the social security numbers of current or former inmates to the department, the California Workforce Development Board, or the California Workforce Development Board’s designee for specified purposes relating to tracking the labor market and other workforce development outcomes.
This bill would require the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide the social security numbers of current or former inmates to the department for purposes of verifying whether an individual is currently incarcerated and ineligible for unemployment compensation, disability, or extended duration benefits. The bill would require the department to keep the social security numbers confidential and use them only to verify eligibility for these benefits. The bill would prohibit the department from disseminating social security numbers received from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for purposes of verifying eligibility for these benefits. By expanding the group of persons who can be convicted for knowingly furnishing state summary criminal history information to unauthorized persons, it would expand the scope of an existing crime and therefore impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
(3) Existing law authorizes the department to administer the state unemployment insurance and the disability compensation programs and to distribute those benefits.
This bill would require the department to distribute these benefits through direct deposit without the use of an EDD debit card upon request of an eligible claimant.
(4) Existing law sets forth requirements for eligibility and disqualification from the unemployment compensation benefit program. Existing law disqualifies an individual for unemployment compensation benefits if the individual willfully, for the purpose of obtaining unemployment compensation benefits, either made a false statement or representation, including, but not limited to, using a false social security number or other false identification, with actual knowledge of the falsity thereof, or withheld a material fact in order to obtain unemployment compensation benefits. Pursuant to existing law, department regulations require individuals to verify certain information, including social security numbers, in specified scenarios.
This bill would provide that an unemployed individual is not disqualified for eligibility for unemployment compensation benefits for, among other things, refusing to verify the individual’s social security number as being the one issued to the individual by the Social Security Administration, even if the information available to the department indicates the number is not valid or was never issued by the Social Security Administration, or indicates that the wages shown in the base period of the claim may belong to another individual. The bill would also prohibit the department, including the director, from requesting a claimant to verify the individual’s social security number as being the one issued to the individual by the Social Security Administration, from submitting verification of the individual’s social security number or a copy of the individual’s annual statement issued to the individual by the Social Security Administration, or from providing the individual’s driver’s license number or identification card number.
This bill would also require the department to request any personal identification information required from the claimant in accordance with the most recent federal National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 800-63 standards, as specified.
(5) This bill would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to penalize the department for failing to provide eligible unemployment insurance claimants with their benefits in a timely manner.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 11019.7 of the Government Code is amended to read:

11019.7.
 (a) A state agency shall not send any outgoing United States mail to an individual that contains personal information about that individual, including, but not limited to, the individual’s social security number, telephone number, driver’s license number, or credit card account number, unless that personal information is contained within sealed correspondence and cannot be viewed from the outside of that sealed correspondence.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, and except as provided in paragraph (2), commencing on or before January 1, 2023, a state agency shall not send any outgoing United States mail to an individual that contains the individual’s social security number unless the number is truncated to its last four digits, except in the following circumstances:
(A) Federal law requires inclusion of the social security number.
(B) The documents are mailed to a current or prospective state employee.
(C) An individual erroneously mailed a document containing a social security number to a state agency, and the state agency is returning the original document by certified or registered United States mail.
(D) The Controller is returning documents to an individual previously submitted by the individual pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 1500) of Title 10 of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(E) The document is sent in response to a valid request for access to personal information, pursuant to Section 1798.34 of the Civil Code.
(2) Commencing on December 1, 2022, the Employment Development Department shall not send any outgoing United States mail to an individual that contains the individual’s social security number unless the number is truncated to its last four digits, except in the circumstances described in subparagraphs (A) to (E), inclusive, of paragraph (1).

(2)

(3) (A) On or before September 1, 2021, each state agency that mails an individual’s full or truncated part of a social security number to that individual, other than as permitted by paragraph (1), shall report to the Legislature regarding when and why it does so.
(B) A state agency that, in its own estimation, is unable to comply with the requirements of paragraph (1) of this subdivision shall submit an annual corrective action plan to the Legislature until it is in compliance with that paragraph.
(C) An annual corrective action plan submitted by the Employment Development Department shall be submitted every December 15 and shall also include all of the following:
(i) The steps the department has taken to stop including full social security numbers on outgoing United States mail.
(ii) The number of documents sent as outgoing United States mail from which the department has successfully removed full social security numbers and the approximate mailing volume corresponding with those documents.
(iii) The remaining steps that the department plans to take to remove or replace full social security numbers it includes on documents sent as outgoing United States mail.
(iv) The number of documents and approximate mailing volume associated with those documents that the department has yet to address.
(v) The expected date by which the department will stop sending documents that contain full social security numbers as outgoing United States mail to individuals.

(C)

(D) A report required by subparagraph (A) of this paragraph or corrective action plan required by subparagraph subparagraph (B) or (C) of this paragraph and communications made in connection with these documents that bear on what mailings do and do not contain an individual’s social security number, are confidential and shall not be disclosed to the public pursuant to any state law, including, but not limited to, the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code).
(3) (A) The requirement for submitting a report imposed under subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) (3) is inoperative on January 1, 2024, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.
(B) A report to be submitted pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (B) (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (2) (3) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(c) Upon appropriation by the Legislature, if the Employment Development Department fails to comply with paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) by January 1, 2023, the department shall provide access to and pay for identity theft monitoring for any individual who receives outgoing United States mail from the department that contains the individual’s social security number in violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b).

(c)

(d) “Outgoing United States mail” for the purposes of this section includes correspondence sent via a common carrier, including, but not limited to, a package express service and a courier service.

(d)

(e) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of Section 11000, “state agency” includes the California State University.

SEC. 2.

 Section 11105.9 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

11105.9.
 (a) Notwithstanding subdivision (g) of Section 11105 and subdivision (a) of Section 13305, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation may provide the social security numbers of current or former inmates to the Employment Development Department, the California Workforce Development Board, or the California Workforce Development Board’s designee for the purposes set forth in subdivision (i) of Section 14013 of the Unemployment Insurance Code. The Employment Development Department, the California Workforce Development Board, and any board designee shall keep the social security numbers confidential and use them only to track the labor market and other employment outcomes of program participants, as described in subdivision (i) of Section 14013 of the Unemployment Insurance Code.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall provide the social security numbers of current or former inmates to the Employment Development Department for purposes of verifying whether an individual is currently incarcerated and ineligible for unemployment compensation, disability, or extended duration benefits pursuant to Part 1 (commencing with Section 100), Part 2 (commencing with Section 2601), or Part 3 (commencing with Section 3501) of Division 1 of the Unemployment Insurance Code, respectively. The Employment Development Department shall keep the social security numbers confidential and use them only to verify eligibility for these unemployment compensation, disability, or extended duration benefits.

(b)The

(c) (1) The Employment Development Department, the California Workforce Development Board, and any board designee shall not disseminate social security numbers obtained pursuant to this section subdivision (a) to an individual or public entity not identified in this section.
(2) The Employment Development Department shall not disseminate social security numbers obtained pursuant to subdivision (b).

SEC. 3.

 Section 1253.93 is added to the Unemployment Insurance Code, to read:

1253.93.
 An unemployed individual shall not be disqualified for eligibility for unemployment compensation benefits for any of the following reasons:
(a) Refusing to verify the individual’s social security number as being the one issued to the individual by the Social Security Administration, even if the information available to the department indicates the number is not valid or was never issued by the Social Security Administration, or indicates that the wages shown in the base period of the claim may belong to another individual.
(b) Refusing to submit verification of the individual’s social security number or a copy of the individual’s annual statement issued to the individual by the Social Security Administration.
(c) Refusing to provide the individual’s driver’s license number or identification card number.

SEC. 4.

 Section 1326.1 is added to the Unemployment Insurance Code, to read:

1326.1.
 Notwithstanding any other law, the department shall distribute unemployment compensation benefits through direct deposit by electronic fund transfer into an eligible claimant’s account at the financial institution of the eligible claimant’s choice without the use of an EDD debit card upon the request of an eligible claimant in the form and manner prescribed by the department.

SEC. 5.

 Section 1326.7 is added to the Unemployment Insurance Code, to read:

1326.7.
 The department, including the director, shall not request a claimant to do any of the following to be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits under this chapter:
(a) Verify the individual’s social security number as being the one issued to the individual by the Social Security Administration, even if the information available to the department indicates the number is not valid or was never issued by the Social Security Administration, or indicates that the wages shown in the base period of the claim may belong to another individual.
(b) Submit verification of the individual’s social security number or a copy of the individual’s annual statement issued to the individual by the Social Security Administration.
(c) Provide the individual’s driver’s license number or identification card number.

SEC. 6.

 Section 1326.8 is added to the Unemployment Insurance Code, to read:

1326.8.
 The department shall request any personal identification information required from the claimant under this part in accordance with the most recent federal National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 800-63 standards, relating to technical requirements for implementing digital identity services, and as those standards may be amended or updated from time to time.

SEC. 7.

 Section 2701.1 is added to the Unemployment Insurance Code, to read:

2701.1.
 Notwithstanding any other law, the department shall distribute disability benefits through direct deposit by electronic fund transfer into an eligible claimant’s account at the financial institution of the eligible claimant’s choice without the use of an EDD debit card upon the request of an eligible claimant in the form and manner prescribed by the department.

SEC. 8.

 Section 3657 is added to the Unemployment Insurance Code, to read:

3657.
 Notwithstanding any other law, the department shall distribute extended duration benefits through direct deposit by electronic fund transfer into an eligible claimant’s account at the financial institution of the eligible claimant’s choice without the use of an EDD debit card upon the request of an eligible claimant in the form and manner prescribed by the department.

SEC. 9.

 It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to penalize the Employment Development Department for failing to provide eligible unemployment insurance claimants with their benefits in a timely manner.

SEC. 10.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
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