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General Assistance

General Assistance (GA) provides cash aid to indigent adults and emancipated minors who are legal residents of Alameda County and who have no other means of support. It is a state-mandated program that is locally administered and funded by the County of Alameda.

The maximum cash grant for a single person on GA is $336 per month. GA recipients who are 18 to 21 years old, pregnant, disabled or 65 and older may also be eligible for Medi-Cal benefits. If you are not eligible for Medi-Cal, you can receive medical treatment at the county clinics and hospitals. Many GA recipients are also eligible for Food Stamp benefits of up to $200 per month for a single person.


All GA benefits are considered a loan to the individual receiving aid. GA recipients must sign a reimbursement agreement as a condition of eligibility. Employable recipients may participate in employment service activities.

Recipients who are unemployable and/or 65 years and older who appear eligible for Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) are required to apply for these benefits through the Social Security Administration.

Legal Non-Citizens 65 years and older who meet certain residency requirements must apply for benefits through the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI).

Applicants and recipients may have up to $1,000 in personal property. The cash surrender value on a life insurance policy is counted as part of the personal property limit for an individual.

New General Assistance (GA) Program Rules

Time Limits

Individuals determined to be employable will only be eligible for cash aid for 3 full months in any 12-month period. This rule will apply whether aid was paid for 3 continuous months, or if there was a break in aid between months in any 12-month period.


The exceptions to the time limit rule are as follows:

  • Individuals who are permanently disabled and unable to work for 12 months or more. Note: Individuals who are temporarily disabled are exempt during the temporary period only;
  • Former Foster Care Youth and Independent Living Skills program participants 18 through 24 years of age;
  • Individuals 64 years of age and older;
  • Individuals living in Community Housing And Shelter Services (CHASS), Alternative General Assistance Program (AGAP) facilities or other approved living arrangements;
  • Individuals participating in certain Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Treatment Programs approved by the Agency.

How to Apply

To apply for general assistance, please visit the Workforce and Benefits Administration public contact office nearest you.