CalWORKs Temporary Assistance is financial help for eligible needy families who have lost or had a reduction in their income. The program is designed to provide families the means to meet their basic needs in times of hardship while helping them to enter or re-enter the workforce and become self-sufficient.
The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program is the California version of the Federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program (TANF). CalWORKs provides time-limited cash benefits to families with children when one or both parents is absent, disabled, deceased or unemployed.
Families eligible to CalWORKs program must have minor children in the home who lack the necessary support because of the absence, disability, death or unemployment of one or both parents. In addition to parents, relatives (such as grandparents) who are caring for minor children may also be eligible. A pregnant woman with no other children might also qualify for CalWORKs benefits.
Age - Children may be eligible for the CalWORKs program until their 18th birthday or if they are 18 years old and in high school or vocational school full-time and are expected to finish either school program by their 19th birthday.
Property - The property of a child and the parent(s) must fall under the following limits:
• Families with no elderly members in the home may have $2,000 in countable combined personal and real property. (Real property is undeveloped land or a house that is in addition to the family's current home).
• Families with elderly members (those who are 60 years old or older) may have $3,000 in countable combined personal and real property per family.
Buying or owning a home in which the family is living does not make a family ineligible. The value of the home is not considered in the eligibility determination. Families who own a car or several cars may also be eligible depending on their value.
Citizenship - CalWORKs recipients must either be U.S. citizens or have legal alien status in the U.S. Important Notice to Immigrants.
Because of the complexity of the CalWORKs program, an application must be completed and reviewed by the County before a decision of eligibility can be made. The only way to know for sure if you are eligible for the CalWORKs program is to meet or talk to your Eligibility Worker.
Applying for Assistance
You may apply online at C4Yourself.com, or in person at any Self Sufficiency Services office. You must have a face-to-face interview with an Eligibility Worker before benefits can be approved. If you are disabled and cannot come into the office, we may do a home visit or phone interview.
Where to apply for CalWORKs
Napa County Self Sufficiency Services – Elm Street Office
2261 Elm Street
Napa, CA 94559
Napa County Self Sufficiency Services – American Canyon Office
4381 Broadway, Suite 101, (City Hall)
American Canyon, CA 94503
What to bring:
The application process can be lengthy, requiring several hours over several days. However, if there is an urgent situation, such as eviction, utility shut-off, medical emergency or lack of food, the process may be faster. Be sure to tell the Eligibility Worker if any of these emergencies are affecting the family. Proof of these situations may be required so bringing them at the first visit will prevent additional delays.
The County will ask for proof of:
• Value of real and personal property
• Citizenship status
• Age of children
• Social Security Number
• Residence in California
• Immunizations for children under the age of six
This information may be requested for all people in the home. Also, adult family members will be fingerprinted and photographed.
To speed the application process, bring the following items when making application:
• Identification such as Driver’s License or Identification Card for each parent or caretaker in the home
• Social Security cards for every family member for whom aid is requested
• Birth certificates for every family member in the home
• Immunization records for every child under the age of six years for whom aid is requested
• Registrations for each car owned, co-owned or being bought or leased
• Ownership papers for land and/or buildings owned, co-owned or being bought
• Receipts or bills of sale for any recreational vehicles such as boats, trailers, motor homes, etc.
• Proof of the value of bank accounts, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, trust funds or cash surrender value of life insurance policies
• Proof of citizenship or immigrant status such as a birth certificate or document from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) showing legal resident status.
• Proof of earned and unearned income such as pay stubs and award letters for unemployment benefits, Social Security income, Veteran’s payments, and school grants or loans
There may be additional facts or proofs that the worker may need to find out to ensure that all the rules are met. The worker will give the applicant time to provide these. If the applicant needs help getting proofs, or needs help paying for proofs, the worker may help.