CalWORKs

Our Mission

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CalWORKs is a welfare program that gives cash aid and services to eligible needy California families. 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.

For Whom

  • Families that have a child(ren) in the home who has been deprived of parental support or care because of the absence, disability or death of either parent.
  • Families with a child(ren) when both parents are in the home but the principal earner is unemployed.
  • Needy caretaker relatives of a foster child(ren).

The amount of a family’s monthly assistance payment depends on a number of factors, including the number of people who are eligible and the special needs of any of those family members. The income of the family is considered in calculating the amount of cash aid the family receives.

How to Inquire About CalWORKs

There are welfare offices located in each of the 58 California counties. Needy families may apply for CalWORKs at any office located in the county where they live. The county welfare department is listed under the County Government Section of the telephone book.

  • Families requesting assistance must complete application forms. The family can ask for immediate help if it has little or no cash and needs emergency housing, food, utilities, clothing or medical care.
  • Next, the welfare office will set up an interview with one of its workers to obtain facts and verify eligibility. Applicants must provide the County with proof of income and property, citizenship status, age, social security number, residence, shelter costs, work or school status and other information. Similar information may be requested for all of the people in the home. Additionally, adult family members must also be fingerprinted and photo imaged.
  • At the interview, the County will advise applicants of the rules that must be met to be eligible for CalWORKs. If the County determines that the applicants are eligible for CalWORKs, the family will receive monthly checks from the county welfare department until determined ineligible.


How to Apply:
Apply online: http://www.benefitscal.org/  
Or contact Social Services within your local county.

Contact Us

CDSS Employment Bureau 
744 P Street, MS 8-8-33
Sacramento, CA 95814  
(916) 654-2137

CDSS Eligibility Bureau 
744 P Street, MS 8-8-31
Sacramento, CA 95814  
(916) 654-1322

Resources and Information
Scheduled County Visits
Cal-Learn
Housing Support Program
Regulations and Policy
County Plans
County Expanded Subsidized Plans
County Reengagement Plans
Domestic Abuse Training
OCAT
Legislative Hearings

Quick Links
CalFRESH
Child Care
Tribal TANF

Highlights
CalWORKs Annual Summary 2017
http://www.cdss.ca.gov/inforesources/CalWORKs/County-Plans/A-D
CalWORKs Program Fact Sheet 2017
CalWORKs Key Facts & Figures 2017  
Public Assistance Facts and Figures