In April 2017, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) entered into an agreement with the Department of Health Services (DHS) to provide CBEST services to General Relief (GR) participants at the 14 GR District Offices. DHS partners with eight community-based organizations. CBEST participants are also able to see benefits advocates at various community-based locations across Los Angeles County.
The goal of CBEST is to increase the income of disabled individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness by providing advocacy services to assist them with applying for either veterans’ benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI). CBEST is a comprehensive program that provides advocacy, case management services, and linkage to needed health, mental health and substance abuse services.
SSI is a federally funded program that provides income support to individuals 65 or older, blind or disabled. SSI benefits are also available to qualified blind or disabled children. The State Supplementary Payment (SSP) Program is the state program which augments SSI. Both SSI and SSP benefits are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Eligibility for both programs is determined by the SSA using Federal criteria. Individuals qualifying for SSI also qualify for SSP. Individuals with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind or age 65 or older are entitled to both a cash benefit and medical insurance (Medicaid).
SSDI is a cash benefit for individuals who have worked and paid FICA taxes and who now have a disability meeting SSA disability rules. It also provides Medicaid coverage.
CAPI is a state-funded program designed to provide monthly cash benefits to aged, blind, and disabled non-citizens who are ineligible for SSI/SSP solely due to their immigrant status. In Los Angeles County, this program is administered by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS).
The Veteran Administration (VA) Disability Compensation is a tax-free benefit paid to a veteran for disabilities that are a result of or made worse by injuries or diseases that happened while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training. The Los Angeles County Office of Military and Veteran’s Affairs is the lead on this strategy and works closely with the CBEST advocates to provide services to veterans.
The easiest and quickest way is to apply online at BenefitsCal.