CalWORKs - 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.
Tribal TANF - Tribal TANF offers financial assistance to Native families residing in the Stanislaus County. Eligibility is limited to families with at least one child (biological, step, adopted, foster, or relative) under age 19 (if still attending high school) where at least one member of the assistance unit is a member of a federally recognized tribe, Alaska Native, member of the California Judgement rolls or of lineal descent. Click here for more information or call 1-844-303-TANF (8263) toll free.
CalWORKs Frequently Asked Questions
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 are absent, disabled, deceased or unemployed. If eligible for CalWORKs you automatically qualify for Medi-Cal and may also qualify for CalFresh.
You may apply by calling Community Service Agency (CSA) at 1-877-652-0734 for an application to be mailed to you, online at BenefitsCal.com, or in person at any CSA office (Please refer to office locations listed below). For CalWORKs, you must (both parents if a two-parent family) have a face-to-face interview with a case manager before benefits can be approved. If you are disabled and cannot come into the office, we may do a home visit or phone interview.
Apply online at: BenefitsCal
For information on completing the application through BenefitsCal visit the BenefitsCal Youtube Channel for How-To videos.
Community Services Agency (CSA)
251 E. Hackett Road
Modesto, CA 95358
Community Services Agency Housing & Homeless Access Center
(Homeless Customers only)
912 D St.
South County Community Center
1310 W. Main St
Turlock, CA 95380
East County Service Center
1405 West F St, Suite I
Oakdale, CA 95361
West County Service Center
101 W. Las Palmas Ave
Patterson, CA 95363
The only way to know for sure if you are eligible is to apply for CalWORKs. However, some basic eligibility factors are listed below in Question 6. If these are met, cash benefits may be available to the family for the care of a needy child or children.
You must have a child that is related to you, under the age of 18 or a child that is related to you, who is 18 years of age and who
is expected to graduate high school prior to their 19th birthday residing with you.
If you are pregnant and have no other eligible children in the home, you may be eligible for CalWORKs if you are in your second trimester of pregnancy.
- One or both parents are deceased
- One or both parents are physically or mentally incapacitated
- The principal wage earner parent is unemployed or working less than 100 hours per month
- One or both parents are continually absent from the home where the child is living
You should bring the following with you when you apply for CalWORKs if applicable:
- Identification (Driver's License or California Identification Card)
- Birth Certificates for all family members you are applying for
- Social Security cards or verification that all the family members have applied for a Social Security number
- Verification of rent or mortgage and utilities
- Statements of bank accounts, trust funds, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and any other resources
- Current Immunization records for children under 6 years of age
- Proof of citizenship status from US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) of Legal Permanent Resident status
- Pregnancy verification
- Verification of all income, wages and Social Security benefits, etc. and pay stubs for all persons who are currently working now or who got paid this month for a job that has ended.
There may be additional verifications needed to determine if you are eligible to the CalWORKs program. The case manager will give the applicant time to provide these verifications. If the applicant needs help getting verification or needs help paying for a verification, please inform the case manager who may be able to help.
No, CalWORKs recipients must be either U.S. citizens or have legal alien status.
To qualify for CalWORKs as an applicant, your monthly income must be below the Minimum Basic Standard for Adequate Care (MBSAC). The chart below gives you the MBSAC amount for your family size effective 07/2023. A $450 deduction is given to each person with earned income..
|Family Size||Income Limit|
The size of your household and your family's monthly income determines how much cash aid you will receive each month. Effective 10/2023, this chart reflects the maximum aid before any applicable deductions are applied.
|Family Size||Maximum Aid Amount|
The property of a child and the parent(s) must be under the following limits:
- Families without disabled or elderly members (over 60 years of age) may have $10,211 combined personal and real property per family (Real property is undeveloped land or a house that is in addition to the family’s current home)
- Families with at least one disabled or elderly member may have $15,317 combined personal and real property per family
- Furniture, clothing, and appliances are exempt. The family home is exempt provided the family lives in the home
- For any vehicle that does not meet an exemption, the first $32,045 of the vehicle’s equity value is exempt
No. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income/State Supplemental Payment (SSI/SSP), you are already receive a cash form of public assistance and are not eligible for CalWORKs. You may apply for other family members who do not receive SSI/SSP.
Yes. You will be asked to provide a contact address/phone number or you may use the Community Services Agency's address if you cannot provide an alternate contact.
If you have a cash emergency, you may apply for an Immediate Need payment when you apply for CalWORKs. Tell your case manager 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 to 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 shut-off notice
- Clothing needs
- Other immediate health and safety issues
You may choose to have your payments issued either on a plastic debit card or directly to your bank account each month. Most families have their benefits automatically deposited during the first three days of each month on a plastic debit card called an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. Your EBT card lets you access your benefits at Point of Sale (POS) devices in stores or at Automated Teller Machines (ATM). If you select Direct Deposit your monthly benefits are placed directly in your checking or savings account at your own bank each month.
EBT cards do not work for various reasons, such as the card may not be active, or there are no remaining benefits. Call 1-877-328-9677 for assistance.
Call 1-877-328-9677 to report your lost or stolen card immediately. At this time you may also request a new card be mailed to you, or if you need a new card right away, go to your local Community Services Agency office.
The following are different ways you can find out information about your benefits:
- Call our Contact Center 1-877-652-0734 for information or to speak to a Customer Service Representative.
- Online at BenefitsCal.com
- In person at any Community Services Agency community offices
Call our Contact Center at 1-877-652-0734 to speak to a Customer Service Representative.
This information is not a substitute for State CalWORKs regulations. You may contact your county or go the State of California Department of Services website at: http://www.cdss.ca.gov/CalWORKS
- Customer Service Center
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