HELPING YOU AND YOUR FAMILY BE SELF-SUFFICIENT
CalWORKs is designed to give families with children a way to meet their basic living needs. We want to help families in times of hardship enter or re-enter the workforce and become self-sufficient.
For working families, the CalWORKs program provides:
- Temporary cash assistance to eligible families with low or no income
- Employment and job training programs
- Work expenses
You may be eligible to receive cash assistance if:
- You have a child in the home who has a parent that is:
- Not living in the home
- You are a relative taking care of a child
- You are a pregnant woman with no other children.
The amount of cash assistance a family can receive depends on the number of people who are eligible and the amount of income they receive. After you apply, your Eligibility Technician (ET) will go over all of the eligibility requirements with you during the interview.
There are multiple ways to apply for CalWORKs. Choose the one that works best for you.
- Online through the BenefitsCal website
- In-person by visiting the DPSS office near you.
- Call toll free at 1-877-410-8827
You may be eligible for expedited application processing if you are facing one of the following challenges.
- Utility shut-off
- Medical Emergency
- Lack of food
Proof of these situations may be required in order to speed up your application process.
Welfare-to-Work Program (WTW)
If you are receiving CalWORKs, you may qualify or be required to participate in the Welfare-to-Work (WTW) program. This program helps recipients acquire the skills and training needed to obtain employment. With some exceptions, able-bodied adults who receive CalWORKs must participate in employment activities.
Families participating in the Welfare-to-Work (WTW) program are invited to take advantage of the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) Child Care program. Eligible families are provided payments for child care. From working CalWORKs recipients to parents of children receiving protective services, the Child Care program offers the customer prompt and accurate access to help with child care expenses.
All child care funds are paid on behalf of the customer directly to the provider of their choice. The State of California sets the maximum rate paid for child care. The amount is based on the age of the child, the type of care used, whether the provider is licensed or un-licensed, and the amount of time the child care is needed. In some cases, the child care provider may charge more than the maximum amount DPSS can pay. In this case, the customer pays the difference. In addition, some families may have to pay a part of the cost of child care because their gross income is over a certain amount for their family size.
Once every 12 months, eligible families qualify for sixteen non-consecutive days of temporary homeless assistance and a one-time payment for permanent housing assistance. Speak to your ET for more information. If you are homeless or at risk of experiencing homelessness and need housing assistance click here.
Refugee Cash Assistance
Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) provides cash aid to certain refugees who are not eligible for CalWORKs or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). For more information visit the California Department of Social Services Website.
Crisis Services are available to families receiving CalWORKs who may be struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, domestic abuse, or mental health issues. Most of these services are available in the CalWORKs office as well as in clinics and outreach centers across the county.
Home Visiting Program
CalWORKs offers a voluntary Home Visiting Program that pairs new parents with a nurse or trained professional who makes regular home visits to provide guidance, coaching, and access to prenatal and postnatal care. Visits may also be done by phone.
Families may be eligible to receive Home Visiting Program services for up to 24 months. The program is designed to:
- Support and train pregnant and parenting individuals
- Begin healthy development for infants
- Expand future educational, economic, and financial opportunities for families
- Help the families we serve out of poverty