FAQ of CalWORKS

The California State website for CalWORKS is not very helpful – and I know the program. So, let me simplify it and point you in all the right directions.

 

APPLICATION FORM

 (this is a link to the Application PDF – Read it, slowly and fill it out COMPLETELY. You can ask someone else to help you.

WHO is it for:  For families with minor children. These families must be low income due to because of the absence, disability or death of either parent, the primary wage earner is unemployed, the parents are under-employed, or the child is a foster child placed with a needy caregiver.

WHAT is it: It is a series of services aimed at making the trip into poverty a short stay through foodstamps, medical coverage and cash assistance. Families will be asked to take certain steps to increase their earnings level and that program is called “Welfare to Work” (which is where I live) Other supportive services such as childcare, transportation funds, and special services like therapies for mental health, substance abuse and domestic violence are available as needed. There are also DIVERSION services: Diversion services can help applicants who need some assistance but do not want or need to go on welfare. Diversion services allow you to choose to get a lump sum cash payment or non-cash services instead of going on aid. You can only choose to get Diversion services at time of application for cash aid, and you may be eligible for Medi-Cal, child care assistance, and food stamps if you get Diversion services.

 WHERE can I apply: check the blue pages of your phonebook and look for Department of Public Services in the Government section. Every one of the 53 California Counties runs a CalWORKS program. Details vary by county. Click here for a County List and link source.

WHEN? Apply when you think you need the services. If you have an urgen tneed – go in and let them know you need emergency services within 3 days because you have no food or cash.

 

WHAT QUALIFIES A CALWORKS HOUSEHOLD?

Unless someone is a senior or disabled in the household – the following income guideline applies.  The gross income limit is 130% of the federal poverty level.

Let me show you what that looks like:

Household Size Gross Monthly Income Limit Net Monthly Income Limit
1 $ 1,127 $ 867
2 $ 1,517 $ 1,167
3 $ 1,907 $ 1,467
4 $ 2,297 $ 1,767
5 $ 2,687 $ 2,067
6 $ 3,077 $ 2,367
7 $ 3,467 $ 2,667
8 $ 3,857 $ 2,967
Each additional person + $ 390 + $ 300

Leave a Reply