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Guaranteed Income Pilot Program


As part of the Fiscal Year 2021-22 budget agreed to by California’s Governor and the Legislature, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) will oversee a guaranteed income pilot program.

Guaranteed income pilot programs traditionally provide unconditional, individual, regular cash payments intended to support the basic needs of the recipients.

What is the Guaranteed Income Pilot Program?

The California Guaranteed Income Pilot Program was established to provide grants to eligible entities for the purpose of administering pilot programs and projects that provide a guaranteed income to participants. The department will prioritize funding for pilot programs and projects that serve California residents who age out of the extended foster care program at or after 21 years of age or who are pregnant individuals. Guaranteed Income projects can also address benefit and eligibility impacts through the inclusion of “benefits counseling” – empowering participants to make informed decisions.

Notice of Intent to Award Guaranteed Income Pilot Program Grants

Impact on Other Social Safety Net Benefits

CDSS recognizes that receipt of guaranteed income may lead to impacts on eligibility for other safety-net benefits.

To that end, the CDSS has implemented a process for reviewing demonstration project income exemption requests from California counties, cities, and other local municipalities seeking to reduce poverty by administering guaranteed income pilots and projects in their jurisdictions. If an income exemption request is granted, recipients of guaranteed income who are also receiving CalWORKs benefits can avoid any negative impacts that guaranteed income components of demonstration projects might otherwise have on CalWORKs participant eligibility and benefits.

In order for GI payments to be excluded for CalFresh purposes, the payments themselves must be at least partially funded by private dollars regardless of the amount or the source of the private funds. The determination of GI payment excludability for CalFresh will be made by the CDSS and communicated directly through order of the CDSS Director.

All demonstration project income exemption requests that are approved will be posted to the CDSS Income Exemption Request webpage. For more information regarding exemptions for CalWORKs and CalFresh, please email

Evaluation of the Guaranteed Income Pilot Program

Following a competitive Request for Information (RFI) process, the Urban Institute and the University of California, Berkeley were selected as the evaluation partners for the Guaranteed Income Pilot Program.

Stakeholder Engagement

Prior to the release of the State’s Request for Application (RFA) and awarding of grant funds, the Department engaged in a series of stakeholder sessions to benefit from stakeholder feedback on the RFA and evaluation. Slides from those stakeholder sessions may be found below:

October 25th Guaranteed Income Stakeholder Session Slides

December 6th Guaranteed Income Stakeholder Session Slides

December 7th Guaranteed Income Stakeholder Listening Session for Former Foster Youth Slides

August 8th Guaranteed Income Request for Application (RFA) Overview Stakeholder Session Slides

Stay in Touch

For the latest information regarding the State’s Guaranteed Income Pilot Program, please sign up for email updates via the CDSS Guaranteed Income Listserv.

For questions regarding the Guaranteed Income Pilot Program, please email our team at