Diversion Services

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 or CalWORKs Diversion 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 may opt to receive a one-time Diversion payment or referral for childcare assistance instead of an ongoing cash aid monthly payment.  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?

Only families that meet the eligibility requirements of CalWORKs are eligible for CalWORKs-Diversion services. This service is offered as an alternative to CalWORKs applicants that would prefer a one-time payment or referral in place of monthly cash aid benefits. 

When and where is this service offered?

CalWORKs can be applied for online at BenefitsCal anytime or in person at the Social Services offices near you.  Offices are open Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 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


CalWORKS Diversion assistance can help with any service that would be helpful to a short-term crisis or would otherwise divert a family from needing ongoing cash aid, including but not limited to, security deposit, rent, utility bills, moving costs, rehabilitative services and childcare referral services

It depends on the cost of the service needed, but there is a standard limit of no more than $1000 per diversion for CalWorks Diversion services.

Yes. CalWORKs Diversion services are only approved if it appears that referring or paying for a service will likely keep you from needing ongoing monthly support.  Depending on how much money was issued for the Diversion payment and how much time has gone by before re-applying for CalWORKs, the money may need to be repaid or your CalWORKs 48-month time clock and TANF 60-month time clock ticked.

Yes, it depends on how much money was issued and whether or not you re-applied for CalWORKs within a certain amount of time after your Diversion as to how many months would tick.