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Direct Deposit

Direct deposit means that Foster Care payments or your monthly cash aid (CalWORKs or General Assistance) can be deposited directly into your checking or savings account. Switching to direct deposit is your choice. You can continue to have Foster Care checks mailed to you, or your cash aid payments deposited to your Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) account.

Direct deposit can make Foster Care benefit payments more secure. Because the cash goes directly to your checking or savings account there are:

  • No more lost or stolen checks
  • No more mail delays
  • No more standing in line to cash your check

If you do not have an account, you may open one at any time and begin using direct deposit. Some banks, savings and loans and credit unions offer free or low-cost checking. It pays to shop around.


If you receive cash aid through the CalWORKs, General Assistance (GA) or Foster Care programs, you qualify for direct deposit.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I apply for direct deposit?
You can sign up for direct deposit at any time. To apply if you're in the:

    CalWORKs or GA program recipients, Call (510) 670-8560 or (Toll-Free) 1(888) 999-4772. Foster Care Program payees, call your worker

2. How long does it take to change my case to direct deposit?
Please allow two to six weeks for direct deposit to begin. Your next check will be directly deposited to your account.

3. What if I want to stop direct deposit and start getting a check?
You can stop direct deposit at any time. Just ask your worker.

4. What happens if my bank account gets closed?
If your savings or checking account is closed, you may begin getting Foster Care payment checks. Cash aid payments will change to your EBT account. Please contact your worker as soon as possible if you change your bank account status.

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