Basic Eligibility Requirements
You may qualify for CalWORKs if you:
Note: The maximum aid payment is the amount of money that a CalWORKs customer can get for his/her family size. (See the CalWORKs Fact Sheet within the Additional Resources tab.)
Note: Effective July 1, 2021, this amount increased to $10,211 or $15,317 if someone in the household is disabled or age 60 or older.
Note: Effective June 1, 2022, the CalWORKs Earned Income Disregard will change from $550 to $600. $600 of the family's earnings or disability-based income will not be used to determine the CalWORKs grant.
If you have cash, bank accounts, a home or vehicles, here’s what you must know.
There are limits to the amount of cash that you can have. As a CalWORKs applicant or customer, you will have a property limit of $10,000 (cash on hand, savings, stocks, etc.) or $15,000 if someone in the household is disabled or is age 60 years or older.
Note: Effective July 1, 2021, property limits increased to $10,211 or $15,317 if someone in the household is disabled or age 60 or older.
You may keep vehicles that have an equity value of $25,000 ($25,483 as of July, 2021) or less. Equity is the amount of the Fair Market Value of the vehicle less the amount owed on the vehicle, if any. Any equity value more than the $25,000 limit will be counted towards the property/resource limit.
If the County agrees, you may also save money in a restricted bank account in which money can be used to buy a home, start a business or pay for college or job training for a household member. Some resources that do not count include:
The easiest and quickest way is to apply for CalWORKs online at BenefitsCal.
If you have children who are not in school and are under the age of six, here’s what you must know.
You must show proof that all children not in school and under the age of six have all immunizations within 30 days from the date your application is approved. You will receive a smaller amount of cash aid if you do not show proof of immunizations.
You must follow Child Support Services Department (CDSS) rules to get child support for the children and from any parent who is not in the home, unless the rules show that the parent who is not in the home does not have to follow the rules.
Beginning January 1, 2022, the amount of monthly child support that families getting cash aid will get to keep changed from "up to $50" to "up to $100" for a family with one child and "up to $200" for a family with two or more children living in the home. This applies for each month the parent who is not in the home pays on time.
If you do not fully follow the CSSD’s rules, you may have a 25 percent reduction in aid, unless there is a reason it is okay to not do so. You must also give child support rights to the County or give the County the right to collect support from the other parent who does not live in the home. If you do not give support rights, you will get a smaller amount of cash aid each month.