Headlines and Hot Topics

Beware of EBT Theft and Scams

California has been experiencing an increase in occurrence of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) theft. In an effort to educate EBT cardholders and mitigate this activity, the California Department of Social Services is providing security tips for those who use EBT cards to receive food and cash assistance in the following linked video. If you think your benefits may have been stolen, you should immediately call the customer service telephone number on the back of your EBT card, (877) 328-9677, or contact your county social services agency.

A new mobile app and web-based portal called ebtEDGE provides new features for EBT cardholders in California, allowing them to better protect their CalFresh and CalWORKs benefits. The free app is available for download in the Apple App store and Google Play store. Web-based access is available here.

VIDEO: Watch Out for EBT Scams!

VIDEO: Tenga Cuidado Con Las Estafas De Las Tarjetas EBT!!!

Disaster Help Center

See below for information on public assistance and services available to individuals and families impacted by California disasters:

To support those who have been impacted but are not eligible for federal assistance due to immigration status, California created the Storm Assistance for Immigrants Project, which will help people with the recovery process by providing funding for food, shelter, and other basic needs. Learn more and see a list of eligible providers.

Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI)

You may qualify for cash assistance if you are an immigrant living in California and are:

  • 65 years or older, or
  • blind, or
  • disabled

CAPI is a program that is based on meeting certain immigration, income, and resource requirements. Please visit the CAPI program website for more information and how to apply!

Alert: Important Change to Public Charge Rule

Immigrants and their loved ones across California can seek and accept medical care, food assistance, and public housing without fear or confusion about public charge consequences thanks to a new public charge rule published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which goes into effect December 23, 2022.  Under the final rule, participation in CalFresh, public housing, or Medi-Cal (except for long-term care), will not be considered as part of the public charge determination.  Also, a reminder that medical testing, treatment, and preventive services for COVID-19, including vaccines, are not considered for public charge purposes.  For additional information, please see the following:

  • Joint statement  from California health and human services leaders in response to the federal public charge changes.  
  • Public Charge Guide for individuals and families with questions about the these changes in federal policy:  (English) ( Español)

Individuals in California seeking assistance are encouraged to consult one of many state-funded organizations that provide legal services to immigrants.  Here is a  list of immigration services providers  funded by CDSS.

Free Access to State Parks and Beaches for CalWORKs Recipients

Recipients of California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) benefits are eligible for free access to state parks and beaches through the Golden Bear Pass program. Sign up for a 2023 pass.

Adult Protective Services Hotline

If you or someone you know needs protection from abuse and neglect, call the statewide Adult Protective Services hotline: (833) 401-0832. Individuals can enter their 5-digit ZIP code to be connected to their county Adult Protective Services staff, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

Statewide Adult Protective Services Data Dashboard

CDSS offers a dashboard containing data submitted by every county Adult Protective Services APS agency in California. Data is sent to the Department by counties monthly via the SOC 242 data collection tool. Included are the number of reports received, recidivism rates, the types of allegations of abuse, and demographic information on clients. See the dashboard.

Foster Care Ombudsperson Hotline

If you are concerned about the care, placement, services, or rights of children in foster care, call the Foster Care Ombudsperson hotline: (877) 846-1602. Service is available Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, from 8 am to 5 pm.

Recognizing Child Abuse and Neglect Through Distance Learning

If you are an educator involved in distance learning, this guide from CDSS and CDE offers tips to help you fulfill your role as a mandated reporter of suspected child abuse and neglect.

Afghan Arrival Response

Concerned about the Afghanistan evacuation? Interested in locating resources or offering assistance to Afghan newcomers? Visit the Refugee Programs Bureau webpage for all of these details and more.

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Information

Rent and Utility Relief

Rent and utility relief is available through the California COVID-19 Rent Relief program for income-eligible California renters and their landlords who have been impacted by COVID-19. Verify eligibility and apply today!

Apply for Rent and Utility Relief Call to Action Text Image with phone number 833-430-2122

COVID-19 Community-Based Outreach Campaign

The Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) and the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) are working in partnership with The Center at Sierra Health Foundation and the California Community Foundation to administer funding, as authorized by Senate Bill 115 (SB 115), to support outreach via community-based organizations. to disproportionately impacted populations, including workers in higher-risk industries. The outreach will prioritize interactive engagements designed to connect individuals with information and resources related to the COVID-19 vaccine, public health guidance, workers’ rights, and other State resources, including the public safety net. Community-based organizations selected to participate will be awarded funding to conduct outreach over a period of 6 months that will end in August.

For information on COVID-19, please visit:

About CDSS

California Department of Social Services
744 P Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

For public assistance case issues, inquiries, or complaints, e-mail our Public Inquiry and Response Unit at piar@dss.ca.gov.

For assistance with Pandemic EBT, please call the P-EBT Helpline at 1-877-328-9677.

To sign up for direct outreach from CDSS visit our Statewide Outreach page to lean more.

For assistance with Golden State Grants, please call the Golden State Grant Program Helpline at 1-866-312-3100.

For Out of State Inquiries please use the following list to reach the appropriate county.

Work With a Purpose

The California Department of Social Services supports programs which serve more than eight million people across our state. This work, accomplished everyday, provides stability, opportunity and promotes wellness in communities throughout California. Come join our team to experience what it is like to enjoy 'Work With a Purpose'.