CalWORKs
Eligibility
Basic Requirements
  • Reside in California and intend to stay;
  • Have an eligible child(ren) or are pregnant and;

    • One or both parents are absent from the home, deceased or disabled; or

    • Both parents are in the home, but the principal wage earner is either unemployed or working less than 100 hours per month at the time they apply for assistance.
  • Be a United States citizen or a lawful immigrant;
  • Have a Social Security number or have applied for one;
  • Have a net monthly income less than the maximum aid payment for family size;
  • Have less than $2000 in cash, bank, accounts and other resources ($3000 if 60 years or older);
  • Provide proof of regular school attendance for all school age children;
  • Provide proof of immunizations for all children under the age of six;
  • Cooperate with child support requirements;
  • Participate in welfare-to-work activities; and
  • Perform 20 hours per week of WtW related activities for a single-adults with a child under six years old; 30 hours per week for single-adults with no children under six years old; and 35 hours per week for two-parent families (hours may be combined between both parents).
Property and Resources

For CalWORKs applicants and participants there is a property limit of $2,000 (cash on hand, savings, stocks, etc.) or $3,250 if someone in the Assistance Unit is aged 60 years or older.

Applicants/Participants may keep non-exempt vehicles that have an equity value of $9,500 or less. Equity is the amount of the Fair Market Value (FMV) of the vehicle less encumbrances (amount owed on vehicle, if any). Any equity value in excess of the $9,500 limit will be counted towards the property/resource limit.

If the County agrees, participants may also save up to $5,000 in restricted bank accounts to buy a home, start a business or pay for college or vocational training for a household member. Some resources that do not count include:

  • A home, if the family lives in it.
  • Personal and household items such as furniture, appliances, computers, etc.
  • Tools needed for employment (trade/profession).
  • Vehicles in the home in which ownership has been transferred to the applicant/participant as a gift/donation or family transfer.
  • Participants may hold special restricted savings accounts to be used for education/training, business or to purchase a home.
  • Federal relocation and disaster relief benefits.
  • If property is owned with someone else, only the participant's share counts.

Child Support

Every parent/caretaker relative participating in CalWORKs must cooperate with the Child Support Services Department (CSSD) to collect child support for the children from any absent parent. Families on aid will get to keep $50 of the monthly child support payment for each month the absent parent pays on time. Failure to fully cooperate with the CSSD could result in a 25% reduction in aid, unless good cause is determined.

School Attendance and Immunizations

All school-age children, except those in the Cal-Learn or other approved teen parent program, must attend school to receive aid. Parents must also show proof that all children not in school and under the age of 6 have received appropriate immunizations within 30 days from the date of eligibility. A financial penalty will be imposed on the parent/caretaker relative for failure to comply with the immunization requirements.


For Los Angeles County Health Department facilities that provide immunizations, click here.

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