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What is CalWORKS?

CalWORKs (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids) is a cash aid program for low-income families, to help meet their basic needs. It also provides education, employment, and training programs to help families get jobs and move towards self-sufficiency. Childcare, transportation, work expenses, and counseling are available for families in work activities. There is a 48-month time limit for adults, but children can remain on aid if otherwise eligible under the Safety Net program. There are special services for pregnant and parenting teens through the Cal-Learn program.

Who is Eligible for CalWORKs?

  • There must be a child (under age 18 or under age 19 if the child is currently attending high school and will graduate before the child's 19th birthday) in the home who is deprived of parental support and care because one or both of their parents are:
    • Deceased
    • Disabled
    • Unemployed, or
    • Continuously absent from the home
  • Parents or caretakers of the eligible child
  • Pregnant women in their last trimester
  • Certain pregnant or parenting teens
  • Certain non-parent relatives who are caring for the child(ren)
  • California resident
  • US citizen, legal alien or qualified alien
  • Unemployed or underemployed and have low or very low income

How to Apply for CalWORKs