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CalWORKs

CalWORKs (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids) is an employment-based program that requires employable adults to participate in work-related activities to receive aid. CalWORKs encourages people to view aid as temporary help in time of crisis rather than a way of life.

Welfare Reform in California assures that welfare is a temporary support in times of crisis, rather than a way of life; encourages and rewards personal responsibility and accountability by recipients; and fosters a "Work First" attitude. Currently, assistance is limited to 24 months (with a maximum of 48 months) for the parents of eligible minors, though the minors may continue to be eligible.

Needy families are encouraged to apply for CalWORKs at any of our facilities in Alameda County or apply online. A family can ask for immediate assistance if they have little or no cash and there is a need for emergency housing, food, utilities, clothing or medical care. Please bring proof of income, property, citizenship status, age, social security number, residence, shelter costs, work or school status, as well as any other information pertinent to determining a family's eligibility. Diversion payments and services are available, for CalWORKs eligible families who would prefer a one-time payment to accept or keep a job.

If you would like to know if you may be potentially eligible for the CalWORKs program, complete the CalWORKs Application Guideline questionnaire. This is a very broad eligibility guideline and does not substitute for an application for CalWORKs, nor is it an accurate eligibility determination. It is highly encouraged that you submit a formal application so that an official eligibility determination can be made.

Adults who apply for CalWORKs are fingerprinted and photo imaged. The purpose of this requirement is to protect your benefits from fraud or theft by protecting your ID. This information is not shared outside the Agency. Each Social Services Agency office has a site where individuals can be fingerprinted and photo imaged privately. Some aid recipients may not have to meet the fingerprinting and photo-imaging requirement due to an injury or disability. Staff at your local public contact office can see if you qualify for an exemption. For more information, please call 1.888.999.4772.

Services

The many programs and services for which a CalWORKs family may qualify include:

Eligibility

Although grant levels are based on family size, the same eligibility criteria apply to all families. Specific eligibility requirements take into account an applicant's citizenship, age, income, resources, assets and other factors. In general, services are available to:

  • Parents or caretaker relatives that have a child(ren) in the home who has been deprived of parental support or care because of the absence, disability or death of a parent.
  • Families with a child(ren) when both parents are in the home, but the primary wage earner is unemployed

Income Standards and Maximum Aid Payment

The Minimum Basic Standard of Care (MBSAC) helps determine a family's financial eligibility. It is the gross monthly income limit. For families with earned income, the county subtracts $90.00 from the gross income to determine if the family is within the income limits.

Family Size Maximum Aid Payment Maximum Gross Income
1 351 576
2 577 943
3 714 1,169
4 849 1,387
5 966 1,584
6 1086 1,781
7 1192 1,957
8 1301 2,131
9 1405 2,311
10 1510 2,509
More than 10 1510 Add $22 for each addtional person

Time limit

Welfare Reform in California assures that welfare is a temporary support in times of crisis, rather than a way of life; encourages and rewards personal responsibility and accountability by recipients; and fosters a "Work First" attitude. The law has changed the amount of time to receive cash assistance from 5-years (60 month) to 4-years (48-months) effective July 1, 2011.

How to Apply

Needy families are encouraged to apply for CalWORKs at any of our facilities in Alameda County or apply online. A family can ask for immediate assistance if there is little or no cash and there is a need for emergency housing, food, utilities, clothing or medical care. Please bring proof of income, property, citizenship status, age, social security number, residence, shelter costs, work or school status, as well as any other information pertinent to determining a family's eligibility. Diversion payments and services are available, if you are CalWORKs eligible, but would prefer a one-time payment to accept or keep a job.

If you would like to know if you may be potentially eligible for the CalWORKs program, complete the CalWORKs Application Guideline questionnaire. This is a very broad eligibility guideline and does not substitute for an application for CalWORKs, nor is it an accurate eligibility determination. It is highly encouraged that a formal application is submitted at one of the County offices so that an official eligibility determination can be made.

Other Requirements

As of February 1, 2001, adults who apply for CalWORKs are fingerprinted and photo imaged. Adults who already receive CalWORKs will be fingerprinted and photo imaged when they come in for their annual review. This is State law. The purpose of this requirement is to protect your benefits from fraud or theft by protecting your ID. The information will not be shared outside the Agency. Each Social Services Agency facility will have a site where individuals can be fingerprinted and photo imaged privately. Some aid recipients may not have to meet the fingerprinting and photo-imaging requirement due to an injury or disability. Please contact a public contact office to see if you qualify for an exemption. For more information, please call 1.888.999.4772.

 




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