You may qualify for Cal‑WORKs if you

  • have children under 18 (or 19 if still in high school),
  • do not live with your child’s other parent, or one or both of you is not working full-time,
  • are low-income,
  • do not own significant assets, and
  • are a U.S. citizen or qualified immigrant.

Important! Cal‑WORKs may require you to stay in school or work to keep getting benefits.

To decide if you will get benefits, Cal‑WORKs looks at

  • your income and property,
  • the number of people in your household,
  • the part of the state you live in,
  • the income of your family or the father of your child, if you live with either of them, and
  • your immigration status.

To decide whether your baby will get benefits, Cal‑WORKs looks at

  • your income and property,
  • the other parent’s income and property, and
  • the baby’s immigration status.

Remember: If your baby was born in the United States, she is a citizen, even if you or the father is undocumented.

Note: Cal‑WORKs eligibility rules are complicated and change frequently. The information in this guide is a guideline. Apply for benefits if you need them. Ask your benefits worker to tell you whether you are eligible.

If you were denied benefits, but you think you have the right to get benefits, you can

  • ask for a hearing, and
  • contact a Legal Aid office in your county for help.
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