CalWorks: welfare and financial aid in California

USA Diario
CalWorks: welfare and financial aid in CaliforniaPhoto byUSA Diario

CalWorks is a public assistance plan managed locally by welfare agencies in California's 58 counties. This program is intended to help eligible households with children living at home through services and financial assistance.

If a family has little or no cash and is in need of housing, food, utilities or medical care they can apply for immediate short-term assistance.

However, there are families who apply for and then get approved for ongoing assistance. In this case, they receive money, each month, that helps them with housing expenses, food and other necessities.

They are eligible to receive assistance to pay for child care with a provider of their choice, current or former CalWorks recipients. All if they are employed or participating in county-approved welfare-to-work activities.

CalWorks also provides child care for children under age 12, and others with exceptional needs or severely disabled up to age 21.

But it is not only in this sense that the program benefits the people who are part of it, but also those who come from other programs. Such is the case of pregnant and parenting teens who participate in the Cal-Learn program. They will also be able to receive CalWorks child care.

How do I qualify for CalWorks?

Households where children have been deprived of parental support or care due to absence, disability or death are eligible. Families in which the primary income earner is not employed are also eligible.

The applicant's citizenship, age, income, resources and assets are listed as specific eligibility requirements. It is worth noting that most of the adults included in this program are single women of color. However, the scheme benefits about 360,000 families, including 750,000 children.

To apply for CalWorks online, simply go to or contact your local county social services agency.

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