CalWORKs Program

What is CalWORKs?

The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program is the State implementation of the Federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. It provides time-limited cash assistance to families with children. CalWORKs recipients are automatically eligible for Medi-Cal, and may qualify for CalFresh benefits. Adults in the program are required to participate in a work activity unless determined exempt.

If a family has little or no cash and needs housing, food, utilities, clothing or medical care, they may be eligible to receive immediate short-term help. Families that apply and qualify for ongoing assistance receive money each month to help pay for housing, food and other necessary expenses.

The amount of a family’s monthly assistance payment depends on a number of factors, including the number of people who are eligible and the special needs of any of those family members. The income of the family is considered in calculating the amount of cash aid the family receives.

There are other programs and benefits, such as Homeless Assistance, for which a family may qualify by being on CalWORKs.

Specific eligibility requirements take into account an applicant’s citizenship, age, income, resources, and other factors. Generally, services are available to:

What are some of the basic requirements?

How can I apply for CalWORKs?

Renewing/Continuing CalWORKs Benefits

Once a customer starts to receive CalWORKs, the customer must keep the Eligibility Specialist (ES) informed about changes in order to:

All CalWORKs recipients, with the exception of Annual Reporting Child Only (AR/CO) recipients, are required to submit a Semi-Annual Eligibility Status Report (SAR 7) once per year (due in the sixth month of the first semi-annual period) followed by the re-certification of eligibility in the sixth month of the second semi-annual period.

Your Eligibility Specialist will inform you if you are an AR/CO recipient and what the reporting requirements are for that program.