CalWORKs Cash Aid

What is the process?

Apply for CalWORKs

Applications for CalWORKs can be done at any Social Service office or online at BenefitsCal. Applicants will be asked to provide proof of all income and property as well as proof of citizenship and social security number.

Interview for CalWORKs

All applicants are required to have a face-to-face interview prior to approval of their CalWORKs application.  At this appointment, all applicant adults will be fingerprinted. 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.

Notification of CalWORKs

If an applicant provides all needed verifications and meets the eligibility qualifications, they will be approved for a monthly cash aid amount.  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.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible to CalWORKs, families must be under the state's income and property guidelines and include a child who has a parent that is either deceased, absent from the home, disabled or unemployed. 

When and where is this service offered?

CalWORKs can be applied for on-line at BenefitsCal anytime or in person at the Social Services offices near you.  Offices are open Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Closed on county-observed holidays).

Location, directions and hours of operation

Click on location name to show hours of operation, directions and phone information

Monday - Friday 8-4; 4-5 by appt only

1086 East Grand Avenue
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

Tel: (805) 474-2000

Monday - Friday 8-4; 4-5 by appt only

9630 El Camino Real
Atascadero, CA 93422

Tel: (805) 461-6000

Monday - Friday 8-4; 4-5 by appt only

600 Quintana Road
Morro Bay , CA 93442

Tel: (805) 772-6405

Fax: (805) 772-6409

Monday - Friday 8-4; 4-5 by appt only

681 West Tefft Street Suite 1
Nipomo, CA 93444

Tel: (805) 931-1800

Monday - Friday 8-4; 4-5 by appt only

406 Spring Street
Paso Robles, CA 93446

Tel: (805) 237-3110

Monday - Friday 8-4; 4-5 by appt only

3433 South Higuera
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Tel: (805) 781-1600


California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids - This is California's version of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) federal program.

Eligible adults in your family can get up to 48 months of cash aid in California, unless they meet a Welfare-to-Work exemption. Once all of the adults in your home have used up their 48 months, your child(ren) may remain on aid if the family is still under certain income and property limits.  Adults have a total of 60 federal months allowed, which means that they may be eligible to additional months of aid in another state once they've exhausted their CalWORKs 48 months.

On August 1, 2000, fingerprinting and photo imaging became a requirement for adults applying for CalWORKs assistance. To receive CalWORKs 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. 

CalWORKs benefits are provided to an eligible person through one of two 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.




Parents are responsible for the financial support of their children. The parent with custody or caretaker relative must provide sufficient information to locate the other parent(s) to determine the other parent's financial responsibility. The other parent will be contacted by the Department of Child Support Services to pay back all or part of the CalWORKs money received. 

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

  • Rent Receipt

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

Proof Expenses

  • Utility bills
  • Rent receipts

Proof of Property

  • Bank statements
  • Car registrations
  • Papers that show value of property