California offers public assistance programs to low-income families to help those in crisis by providing access to timely public services, such as those offered through the County of Orange Social Services Agency. Here are a few:
- CalWORKs – The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program is a cash aid program for low income families with children which assists with basic needs, as well as provides education, employment, and training programs. Eligible families must have a child(ren) under age 18 who is/are deprived of parental support or care if either or both parent(s) are: deceased, physically or mentally incapacitated, unemployed, and/or continually absent from the home.
- CalFresh – The CalFresh program is a federal nutrition program that helps eligible, low-income people purchase food necessary for good health. CalFresh benefits are not cash. For most households, CalFresh benefits are only part of their food budget and some households will be required to spend some of their own cash along with their CalFresh benefits. Households that are eligible will receive an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card which can be used at most grocery stores when buying food items.
- Medi-Cal – The Medi-Cal program provides free or low cost medical services for children and adults with limited income and resources. Eligibility for Medi-Cal is primarily based on income with some programs requiring an asset test. An individual’s citizenship/immigration status, as well as California residency, is used to determine eligibility and level of Medi-Cal benefits. Medi-Cal benefits cover a core set of medical services, including doctor visits, hospital care, dental benefits, mental health services, COVID-19 testing and pregnancy-related services.
Apply for CalWORKs, CalFresh and Medi-Cal or check using one of the options below:
- Online: www.mybenefitscalwin.org
- By phone: (800) 281-9799, Monday – Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. or Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- In-person (for immediate needs): operating hours and locations subject to change; visit ssa.ocgov.com/locations for more information