CalWORKS

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Q: Who can apply for assistance?
A: Any person has the right to apply for assistance. An applicant who appears ineligible must still be allowed to exercise his/her right to make an application.

Q: Who is eligible for CalWORKs?
A: Families are eligible if there is a minor child in the home whose parents(s) are unable to provide adequate support because:

  • Either parent is deceased;
  • Either parent is physically or mentally incapacitated;
  • The principal earner is unemployed;
  • Either parent is continually absent from the home in which the child is living

Q: Where can I apply for CalWORKs?
A: To apply for CalWORKs, please visit the office located at 4468 East Kings Canyon Road on the Fresno County Fairgrounds lot, on the corner of Kings Canyon and Chance. Regular office hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We are closed on legal holidays. To start the application process, you may also apply online 24-hours a day, 7 days a week by going to our Benefits CalWIN website, www.MyBenefitsCalWIN.org . Once your application is received, you will be contacted by a Fresno County Department of Social Services Eligibility Worker, during normal business hours.

Q: How much cash aid can be received?
A: The chart below, effective October 2016, shows the maximum CalWORKs cash benefits a household can receive on a monthly basis.

 Person(s) on cash aid  Maximum Aid Payment
Effective October 1, 2016
 Maximum Aid Payment
Effective April 1, 2015
 1  $336  $331
 2  $549  $541
 3  $680  $670
 4  $810  $799
 5  $922  $909
 6  $1,035  $1,021
 7  $1,136  $1,120
 8  $1,239  $1,222
 9  $1,340  $1,321
 10 or more  $1,438  $1,418

 

The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program is the state implementation of the Federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program (TANF). It provides time-limited cash assistance to families with children. CalWORKs recipients are automatically eligible to Medi-Cal, and may qualify for CalFresh benefits. Cash benefits are based upon the number of individuals in the family, with any other sources of income taken into consideration. Additionally, cash benefits for the entire month are deposited to an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card during the first 3 days of each month depending on the last number of your case.

Adults in the program are required to participate in a work activity unless determined exempt. Employment services are available to work activity participants including counseling, job preparedness, job development, training, and supportive services such as childcare, transportation, work clothing and tools. Services are also available to address barriers to employment including substance abuse, domestic violence, mental health and legal issues.

The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program is the state implementation of the Federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program (TANF). It provides time-limited cash assistance to families with children. CalWORKs recipients are automatically eligible to Medi-Cal, and may qualify for CalFresh benefits. Cash benefits are based upon the number of individuals in the family, with any other sources of income taken into consideration. Additionally, cash benefits for the entire month are deposited to an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card during the first 3 days of each month depending on the last number of your case.

Adults in the program are required to participate in a work activity unless determined exempt. Employment services are available to work activity participants including counseling, job preparedness, job development, training, and supportive services such as childcare, transportation, work clothing and tools. Services are also available to address barriers to employment including substance abuse, domestic violence, mental health and legal issues. For more information see Welfare To Work.

Time Limits

Adults under the CalWORKs program are limited to receiving cash benefits for a lifetime cumulative period of 48 months. After 48 months of assistance, the adult will be ineligible for cash assistance and a family's grant will be reduced by the adult's portion of the grant. Fresno County has chosen to provide continuing aid for children after a parent has exhausted their 48-month limit.

For single parents, CalWORKs requires at least 32 hours/week of work activity. For two parent families, at least 35 hours/week. Both parents can meet this requirement if one is in a work activity at least 20 hours per week. However, no federal child care assistance may be paid unless both parents are in work activities for at least 55 hours per week total.

The adult's portion of a family grant will be sanctioned for failure to participate in a work activity without good cause.

CalWORKs Resource Limits

CalWORKs applicants are allowed a maximum of $2,250 in combined personal and real property, not including the value of an exempt primary residence. The property limit is $3,250 if a family member is over the age of 60 or disabled as defined by Social Security rules. The value of an automobile is exempt up to a maximum value of $9,500. Any amount in excess of $9,500 is counted in the personal property limit.  

CalWORKs recipients have the same property limitations as applicants but are allowed to accrue up to $5,000 in a restricted account to be used expressly for the purchase of a home, a college education for a member of the assistance unit, or business start up costs.