Headlines and Hot Topics

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 changes in federal policy. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has stated that it will return to using policies in place before the 2019 Public Charge Final Rule. Therefore, 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) (Espanol)
  • All County Letter which provides additional information on these changes in federal policy.

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

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Information

Beware of Vaccine Scam

We have been made aware of a phone-based COVID-19 vaccine scam targeting Long Term Care facilities in which a caller presents themselves as a CVS employee seeking to verify a COVID-19 clinic date. The fake call goes on to say that the facility is being awarded a $100 gift card from CVS, and that there will be a $4 fee to ship the gift card, for which specific financial information will be required. This scam may also come as voicemail message, asking for a call back, where the fraudulent offer above is made. CVS Health is NOT offering financial awards to facilities. Further, representatives of CVS Health will NEVER ask you for payment information. If you receive one of these calls, please do not provide them with any information and report the number and circumstances to the Federal Trade Commission. You can also call 1-877-382-4357.

Beware of Scammers Seeking to Exploit California’s COVID-19 Contact Tracing Program

Contact tracers do not ask for financial information, social security numbers or immigration status

Contact tracing has been conducted by local public health departments for decades to fight infectious diseases such as COVID-19. When someone tests positive for COVID-19, contact tracers identify those who have been in close contact with that person to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce outbreaks. This allows us to maintain our healthcare capacity and confidently modify our stay-at-home order. To prevent the spread of the virus, public health workers check symptoms and connect Californians with confidential testing. If you suspect that you have been contacted by a scammer, please contact your local public health department to verify that the call or message is valid, before providing ANY information.

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.

Golden State Grant Program for CalWORKs Families

The Golden State Grant program will provide a one-time $600 payment to all eligible CalWORKs Assistance Units. These payments do not impact your CalWORKs or CalFresh eligibility or monthly benefits. The payments will be automatically sent to households. Learn more about how to qualify.

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.

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 7 days a week, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

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.

For information on COVID-19, please visit:

Data:

COVID-19 Guidance:

Wildfire Resources and Information

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Wildfire Disaster Assistance

If you sustained losses from the Northern California fires in Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, or Yolo Counties, you can now apply for assistance. 
 
To begin the process:
1. Apply online with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 
OR
2. Call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or 800-462-7585 (TTY). 
We encourage you to apply online whenever possible. 
 

Assistance flyer: (English) (Espanol) (繁體中文) (简体中文) (한국어) (Tagalog)

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.

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'.