WHAT IS CalWORKs?
CalWORKs is a public assistance program that provides cash aid and services to eligible families that have a child(ren) in the home. The program serves all 58 counties in the state and is operated locally by county welfare departments. If a family has little or no cash and needs housing, food, utilities, clothing or medical care, they may be eligible to receive immediate short-term help. Families that apply and qualify for ongoing assistance receive money each month to help pay for housing, food and other necessary expenses.
APPLY FOR CalWORKs
You may apply for CalWORKs online via BenefitsCal, in person at your local office, or by mail.
The easiest and quickest way to apply for CalWORKs, CalFresh and/or Medi-Cal is online at www.benefitscal.com.
See CalWORKs brochures for more information on eligibility criteria and requirements.
Are there time limits for receiving cash assistance (CalWORKs)?
Adults under the CalWORKs program are limited to receiving cash benefits for a lifetime cumulative period of 48 months.
How much cash assistance can be received?
The amount of cash assistance a family receives varies by the number of family members and income.
What are CalWORKs recipients’ responsibilities?
- Recipients must inform their worker about specific changes that might affect their benefits within 10 days. The worker will explain the Rights and Responsibilities on what must be reported. Correct and timely reporting is important because the recipient must pay back benefits if too much is issued.
- Recipients must submit a report semi-annually that gives the information needed to make sure that the rules are still being met. This report is called a SAR 7 Eligibility Status Report.
- The Welfare-to-Work program can help recipients get the skills needed to get a job. Recipients will be asked to attend an Orientation that will give information regarding the responsibilities in finding a job.
What is EBT?
- EBT is a benefit issuance system, using a debit-type card, which is run by Fidelity Information Services under a contract with the state.
- “Golden State Advantage Card” is the name of the EBT card that the client will use. Each client will have their own card and will use it via their own Personal Identification Number (PIN).
- The EBT card can be used just like a debit card at ATMs and Point-of-Sale (POS) devices.
- The client has separate accounts for CalFresh and for cash and they are both on the same card.
- If a client does not use all of their benefits in a given month, the balances will “roll over” to the next month. The EBT card can be used outside of San Bernardino County. All CalFresh cases are included.
What do I need to bring when I apply for CalWORKs?
On the day you apply for CalWORKs assistance, you will be asked to complete some forms and to listen to an explanation of your rights and responsibilities. You will be given an appointment to return within one working day to see an Eligibility Worker and complete the application process. To expedite the process, you are advised to bring the following items with you if applicable:
- Identification (Driver’s License or California Identification Card)
- Social Security Card or verification that they have applied for all family members
- Statements of Bank Accounts and any other resources
- Proof of United States (US) citizenship
- Proof from US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly INS) of permanent resident alien status.
- Verification of income, wages and Social Security Benefits
- A copy of vehicle registration
How do I apply for cash assistance (CalWORKs)?
- Needy families may apply for assistance online, or by coming in to one of our local offices.
- The easiest and quickest way to apply for Cash Assistance, CalFresh (Food Stamps) and/or Medi-Cal is online at www.benefitscal.com.
Who is eligible for cash assistance?
Cash benefits for the care of needy children may be available when:
- One or both parents is deceased
- One or both parents is physically or mentally incapacitated
- The principal wage earner parent is unemployed
- One or both parents is continually absent from the home in which the child is living