The People's Guide

35th Edition 2013-2014

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The People's Guide 2013-2014 4 CalWorks CalWORKs CalWORKs is California's welfare program for people who have children under 19 years old. It provides monthly financial assistance for low income families. You should think about applying for CalWORKs if you have children and your income is very low. Most adults can only get Cal- WORKs cash assistance for 48 months in a lifetime, and will be required to work or go to training in order to receive the cash assistance. However if you get CalWORKs you are also entitled to Medi-Cal for health care and CalFresh to help you buy food Children age 18 and under and the adult relatives who care for them can get cash aid. Both one- parent and two-parent families can get cash aid. In two-parent families, one of the parents must be disabled or have worked less than 100 hours in the last four weeks before applying for cash aid. HOW DO I APPLY? You apply for CalWORKs at the nearest DPSS (Department of Public Social Ser- vices) office. (see page 70 Welfare Offices.) You can also apply online through YourBenefitsNow! website at: YourBenefitsNow! is a web site for Los Angeles County residents to apply for and to view their benefits online. Currently, you can apply for CalWORKs, CalFresh, and Medi-Cal on YourbenefitsNow! If you have an emergency, do not apply online. When you apply, you have a right to be treated with courtesy and without discrimi- nation for any reason. The DPSS workers must try to get you all the cash aid, food stamps and other benefits for which you are eligible. Often, eligible people who urgently need the aid don't get correct information, or don't understand or get discouraged. If that is happening to you, be strong, insist on talking to a supervisor, or the supervisor's manager, seek out the help of someone who will advocate for you, or insist on speaking to someone fluent in your language (DPSS must provide a free interpreter) or call a Legal Aid office. (see page 66 Hearings and Complaints.) WHAT TO BRING WHEN YOU APPLY When applying for CalWORKs, bring the following documents with you. If you lack some of them, go ahead and apply, and get a list of documents to be brought in later. Ask the worker to help you obtain missing documents. • Identification with your name and cur- rent address on it .This can be a birth certificate, driver's license, California ID card • Social Security Number or Card (or proof of application for the cards) • Proof of income (like check stubs, a W2, or copy of your tax return) and resources (like a bank statement) • Proof that you live in the county (a document that has your name and an address on it) for each person on the application • If you lack ID, you can also fill out a form called "PA 853" and swear that you are who you say you are • Proof of citizenship, alien or immigra- tion status for each person on the application that has it • Proof of your housing situation (rent receipts, lease agreement, etc.) • Auto payment papers and registration • Letters from a doctor if anyone in the household is pregnant, disabled, has a special medical need or needs a special diet • Any papers having to do with marriage, divorce, child support, or other cir- cumstances that apply to your family. HOW DO I QUALIFY? To be qualified to get CalWORKs, your income must be under the amount shown on table for your family size. Once you begin getting cash aid, you can make more money and still get cash assistance from CalWORKs. *Income Limits (MBSAC) Effective 7/1/12 # of people Gross Income Limit 1 $576 2 $943 3 $1,169 4 $1,387 5 $1,584 6 $1,781 7 $1,957 8 $2,131 9 $2,311 10 $2,509 Over 10 Add $22 for each extra person. Money you make from working and unem- ployment counts as income. SSI payments, loans from friends, most student loans, tax refunds and Earned Income Credit don't count. If your child is under age 19, Your child's income also doesn't count. To be qualified your resources must be less than $2,000. But if someone in the family on aid is 60 years or older, the limit is $3,000. Cash on hand, savings, some cars, and most other property count as resources. A home you live in, personal items like furniture and a computer, tools, and some retirement accounts don't count. While on cash aid, you can make an agreement with DPSS to have a special restricted savings account of up to $5000 for education, training, starting a business or buying a house, and it will not count . "Transfer of Assets." If you give away or sell a property or re- source for less than its fair market value while you are on cash aid, you might lose cash aid for one or more months. If you and the DPSS disagree about this, you need to consult with an attorney or legal services office. (pg 68 Good Advice).

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