Emergency Assistance • Family Services • Financial Assistance • Low-Income
California Work Opportunities and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) is temporary financial assistance for eligible needy families who have lost or had a reduction in their income. The program is designed to provide families the means to meet their basic needs in times of hardship, while helping them to enter or re-enter the workforce and become self-sufficient.
The CalWORKs Temporary Assistance program limits adults to 48 months of assistance. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule. Cash assistance is made available through the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) process. BT works very similar to a regular bank account with a debit card. Through the use of a plastic card (like an ATM card) and a Personal Identification Number (PIN), a CalWORKs recipient can access their account for a cash withdrawal at any time from a retailer, bank or ATM that displays the EBT logo. The card can also be used for purchases at any store that has an EBT display.
- Families eligible to receive CalWORKs Temporary Assistance must have minor children in the home who lack the necessary support because of the absence, disability, death or unemployment of one or both parents.
- Other relatives (such as grandparents) who are caring for minor children may also be eligible. A pregnant woman with no other children may also qualify for benefits.
- This service is free
- All ages welcome
How to Apply
Individuals may apply in person at a local DPSS Office or online. Please provide the following information:
- Value of real and personal property
- Citizenship status
- Age of children
- Social Security Number
- Residence in California
- School attendance status (including school age children)
- Immunizations for children under the age of six
This information may be requested for all people in the home. Also, adult family members will be fingerprinted and photographed. Should bring the following when applying:
- Photo ID for each parent or caretaker in the home
- Social Security cards for every family member for whom aid is requested
- Birth certificates for every family member in the home
- Immunization records for every child under the age of six years for whom aid is requested
- Registrations for each car owned, co-owned or being bought or leased
- Ownership papers for land and/or buildings owned, co-owned or being bought
- Receipts or bills of sale for any recreational vehicles such as boats, trailers, motor homes, etc.
- Proof of the value of mutual funds, stocks, bonds, trust funds or cash surrender value of life insurance policies
- Proof of citizenship or immigrant status such as a birth certificate or document from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) showing legal resident status.
- Proof of earned and unearned income such as pay stubs and award letters for unemployment benefits, Social Security income, Veteran’s payments, and school grants or loans