Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) / Entrant Cash Assistance (ECA)
What is this service?
The Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) Program is for needy Refugees or Cuban/Haitian Entrants that are not otherwise eligible to the CalWORKs program because they do not have children or are ineligible for other reasons. The RCA program includes employment and supportive services.
Who can use this service?
This service is only available for Refugees or Cuban/Haitian Entrants that are not otherwise eligible to the CalWORKs program.
Is there a charge for this service?
This service is provided free of charge.
What is the process?
Step 1: Apply for RCA
Applications for RCA must be made in person at any social service office. Applicants will be asked to provide proof of all income and property as well as refugee status. The presence of children, their age and number of hours worked are not requirements for this program. If an applicant has a sponsor, they must provide this person’s information.
Step 2: Interview for RCA
All applicants are required to have a face-to-face interview prior to approval of their RCA application. At this interview, an applicant’s case manager will assess what exact verifications they will need to approve the case and will inform the applicant of these necessary verifications in written documentation with a due date.
Step 3: Notification of RCA
If an applicant provides all needed verifications and meets the eligibility qualifications, they will be approved for a monthly cash aid amount for up to eight months from the date they entered the United States. If the applicant does not submit required verifications or meet the eligibility qualifications, their case will be denied. Applicants who have been denied can re-apply at any time.
When and where is this service offered?
A person can walk into the Social Service's office nearest them to apply. Offices are open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (except county-observed holidays).
Location, directions and hours of operation
Click on location name to show hours of operation, directions and phone information
Morro Bay Social Services
600 Quintana Road Morro Bay , CA 93442
Tel: (805) 772-6405
Fax: (805) 772-6409
SLO Social Services- Higuera
3433 South Higuera San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Arroyo Grande Social Services
1086 East Grand Avenue Arroyo Grande, CA 93420
681 West Tefft Street Suite 1 Nipomo, CA 93444
Atascadero Social Services
9415 El Camino Real Atascadero, CA 93422
Paso Robles Social Services
406 Spring Street Paso Robles, CA 93446
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can I get RCA or ECA?
The RCA and ECA programs are limited to eight (8) months from the date you entered the United States.
Who is eligible for RCA or ECA benefits?
To be eligible for benefits, refugee families and adult refugees without children must fit into at least one of the following categories:
- Individuals and couples with no minor children.
- Families that are not CalWORKs eligible (You should be screened for CalWORKs first)
- Trafficking victims
- Persons granted asylum
What is considered proof of refugee status?
Applicants for RCA must provide documentation of refugee status from the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration (BCIS). The Resettlement Agency and/or your sponsor must also be contacted prior to issuing aid to determine what assistance is being provided.
What is the employment portion of RCA and ECA?
Unless you meet an exemption or already employed, you are required to participate in an employment program. The employment program may include, but not be limited to English language instruction, on-the-job training or job readiness activities. Supportive services may include but not be limited to childcare, citizenship and employment authorization document assistance, and transportation.
Why do I have to be fingerprinted?
On August 1, 2000, fingerprinting and photo imaging became a requirement for adults applying for cash assistance. To receive benefits, applicants must agree to have their fingerprints and photo images compared with the images of other welfare recipients in the Statewide Fingerprint Imaging System (SFIS) database. This is a statewide eligibility requirement that is meant to prevent fraud by not paying cash aid for the same person in more than one case.
How is the cash aid issued?
CalWORKs benefits are provided to an eligible person through one of the two following options:
- You can opt to have them deposited into your checking or savings account through direct deposit; or
- You can select to have them issued onto an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card that can be accessed through ATM and POS machines throughout the County.
What verification will I need to bring?
Your worker will tell you exactly what documents you will need to provide in order to be approved for CalWORKs. The following list contains examples of the types of documents you may need to provide:
Proof of Age
- Birth Certificates
- Naturalization Certificate
- Immigration Card
Proof of Residence
Proof of Citizenship, Noncitizen Status or Immigrant Status
- Birth Certificate
- Alien Registration Card
Social Security Number
- Social Security Card(s)
- Proof of Application for Social Security Card (For each person you’re applying for).
- Proof of Immunizations for Children Under the Age of Six
- Immunization (Shots) Record
Proof of Income
- Pay Stubs
- Award Letter
- Papers that show where the money came from
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Award Letter
- Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UIB) Approval or Denial Letter
- Utility bills
- Rent receipts
Proof of Property
- Bank statements
- Car registrations
- Papers that show value of property
Contact Social Services
Child and Adult Hotline Information:
- If you suspect there is an emergency requiring immediate intervention, call 911
- To report suspected child abuse or neglect call the 24 hour Child Abuse Hotline at (805) 781-KIDS (5437) or toll free 1-800-834-KIDS (5437)
- To report suspected elder abuse or neglect call the Adult Services Hotline at (805) 781-1790 during regular business hours, or after business hours call (844) 729-8011