- Do I have to have children to be eligible to CalWORKs?
Yes. In order to qualify for CalWORKs you must be the parent and/or caretaker relative of:
- A child under the age of 18 years old
- A child aged 18 who will graduate high school by their 19th birthday
- An 18 year old disabled child or a child with an IEP who will not graduate by their 19th birthday
- An unborn child and you are in your second trimester of pregnancy and you are 19 years old or older
- An unborn child and you have proof you are pregnant, at any point in your pregnancy, and you are under age 19.
- Do I have to be a US citizen to be eligible?
No, CalWORKs recipients must either be U.S citizens or have legal alien status.
- What if I have a cash emergency?
If you have a cash emergency, you may apply for an Immediate Need payment when you apply for CalWORKs. Tell your Eligibility Specialist if you have an emergency.
Immediate Need payments may be available to families in emergency situations while the CalWORKs application is being processed. The maximum immediate need payment is $200. If you are apparently eligible for the CalWORKs program, you may be eligible for an Immediate Need Payment, within 24 hours, based on an emergency situation that may include, but is not limited to the following:
- Lack of housing
- Pending eviction
- Lack of food
- Utility shutoff notice
- Clothing needs
- Other immediate health and safety issues
For more information, contact your worker or call 707-253-4511.
- How much income is used to calculate the CalWORKs cash aid amount?
The goal of CalWORKs is to provide cash aid to meet basic needs while a family moves toward increased self-sufficiency through employment. Benefits may not stop simply because a family member becomes employed.
Usually the amount of cash aid goes down as a family’s income increases. However, earned income is not counted dollar for dollar against the CalWORKs maximum aid payment. Certain earned income deductions are allowed that reduce the income used to calculate the cash aid amount to less than half the gross amount.
Some income, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is never used, while all of other income such as Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UIB) is counted. Student grants and loans are usually not used but some Veteran’s Administration (VA) school grants are counted minus the costs of books and tuition.
- If I receive Supplemental Security Income / State Supplemental Paymentam I eligible for CalWORKs?
No. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income / State Supplemental Payment (SSI / SSP), you already receive a cash form of public assistance and are not eligible for CalWORKs. You may apply for other household members who do not receive SSI / SSP.
- If I am approved to receive benefits, how do I access them?
You may choose to have your payments issued either on a plastic debit card called the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card or directly to your bank account each month.
Your cash aid benefits are automatically placed on your EBT card within the first three days of each month depending on your case number. If you have elected to receive your cash aid through direct deposit to your bank account, you will receive your benefits on the first day of each month.
If you would like more information on how to enroll in direct deposit, please review, complete, and return the SSSD 2005 – Direct Deposit Information and Authorization. You may choose to stop direct deposit payments by contacting your Eligibility Specialist.
- What happens if my Electronic Bank Transfer card is not working?
Electronic Bank Transfer (EBT) cards do not work for various reasons, such as the card may not be active, or there are no remaining benefits. You may call your Eligibility Specialist at 707-253-4511 or the EBT Customer Service Helpdesk at 877-328-9677 for assistance.
- What if I have lost my Electronic Bank Transfer card?
Call the EBT Customer Service Helpdesk at 877-328-9677 to report your card lost or stolen immediately. At this time you may also request a new card be mailed to you.
If you need a new card right away contact your Eligibility Specialist or go to 2751 Napa Valley Corporate Drive, Building A to obtain a new card.