CalWORKs (cash assistance)


California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs)  is a cash aid program for low income families to meet their basic needs. Education, employment, and training programs to help families get jobs and move towards self-sufficiency may be available through the CalWORKs Welfare to Work (WTW) program.



To be eligible for CalWORKs, there must be a child 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

Note: A child is defined as a person under age 18 (or under age 19 if the child is currently attending high school and will graduate before their 19th birthday)

CalWORKs benefits may be available to the following persons in a family:

    • An eligible child (described above)
    • 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)

In addition, a CalWORKs applicant must meet the residency, income, and resource requirements of the program.

Another condition of eligibility for the CalWORKs program may require parent(s) to participate in the Welfare to Work program. Pregnant or parenting teens may be required to participate in the Cal-Learn program.

Applying for CalWORKs

CalWORKs may be applied for online or in person:

Online - Visit MyBenefits CalWIN to begin the online application process. A face-to-face interview at the Department of Employment and Social Services will be required to complete the CalWORKs application process.

**If an Immediate Need (emergency benefits) is being requested, it is recommended that application be made in person**

In person – To apply in person, visit one of our two offices in Yolo County

25 N. Cottonwood Street, Woodland or

500-A Jefferson Blvd., West Sacramento


  1. What does CalWORKs provide and how long will it last?

    CalWORKs provides cash aid and employment services benefits. Generally, adults are eligible for CalWORKs for 48 months. Children may continue to receive cash aid until they turn 18 or are no longer eligible.

  2. How can I use my CalWORKs benefits?

    CalWORKs cash aid is intended to be used for your family's basic needs, such as housing, utilities food, and clothing.

  3. What do I need to do after I start receiving CalWORKs?

    Once your CalWORKs Program benefits have been approved, you will have to periodically report your income and living situation. In addition, there are certain changes you must report within 10 calendar days. The County will explain your reporting responsibilities during your interview.

    Once a year all households must attend an interview to determine continued eligibility. The purpose of the interview is to verify address, family size, children's school attendance, employment, income, property and expenses.

  4. If I am on SSI can I also get CalWORKs?

    No. People who receive SSI are not eligible for CalWORKs or CalFresh (Food Stamps) but the other members of your family who are not getting SSI may be eligible for CalWORKs or CalFresh benefits.

  5. Are there rules for immigrants to qualify for CalWORKs?

    Yes. To qualify for CalWORKs you must be a California resident and either a U.S. citizen, or a certain Qualified Alien.

    Refugee families with children may qualify for cash aid, medical assistance, employment services and other support services through the CalWORKs program.

  6. Does working have any effect on my CalWORKs benefits?

Yes. There are deductions for both earned and unearned income in the CalWORKs program up to a certain limit, depending on your family size. Current CalWORKs rules ensure that individuals who work are better off financially than if they do not work. If your family's countable income does exceed the limit for your family size, you will no longer be eligible for CalWORKs, but you may be eligible to other post aid services through the Welfare to Work program.

Contact Us

25 N. Cottonwood Street
Woodland, CA 95695
530-661-2750 or 1-866-226-5415 

500-A Jefferson Blvd., Suite 100
W. Sacramento, CA 95605
916-375-6200 or 1-866-226-5415

Days and Hours of Operation:

Monday through Friday, 8:00 am - 4:00 p.m.