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California CalWORKs (TANF)

What Do You Need To Know?

The California CalWORKs also is known as the California Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a benefit program for families in the state of California. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families was created by the Congress under which the central government provides block grant to the states to be used for different benefits program in California and other states.

The program uses different ways to provided assistance to the eligible households including

  • Cash aid
  • Work training programs
  • Job hunting workshops
  • Education
  • Childcare services

The amount of assistance provided by the California CalWORKs program varies depending on certain factors which include the total members in the household, income level of each member and if the family requires special assistance.

The duration for the California CalWORKs program is a maximum of 48 months. The recipient will receive the benefits of the program for no more than 48 months after which they will stop receiving it. The goal is to temporarily provide needy individuals with assistance so that they can look for employment opportunities without worrying about household expenses. In case the applicant is unable to afford the household expenses even after 48 months they can apply for an extension of the benefits

During the time the recipients are receiving the California CalWORKs benefits, they will have to participate in the Welfare-to-Work program (WTW) arranged by the program. These are works and training workshops. All the adults in the family must take part in the training programs other than those who have been exempted based on either their age or certain disabilities. The program provides training workshops related to job hunting, interview skills, communication skills, job preparation.


Are You Eligible?

There are certain requirements that an applicant must fulfill to qualify for the California CalWORKs program (TANF)

  • The applicant must be a citizen of the United States of America or a legal alien
  • The applicant must be a citizen of California
  • The applicant must have dependent children (19 years or younger)
  • The applicant belongs to a poor household with low-income
  • The applicant must meet the income level limit guidelines provided by the program
  • The resource of the applicant must be within the limits described in the program guidelines

Other Important Documents

In order for the families to apply for the California CalWORKs program, the applicant needs to provide copies of the following documents along with the application form at the time of submission

  •  Personal Identification Number (PIN) of the applicants
  •  Employment and work status/history
  • Social Security Number (SSN)  and  Colorado ID of the applicant
  • Copy of Driving license
  • Documents providing your residential status
  • Attested affidavit

What is considered as a Resource?

Certain things are considered as resources which the California CalWORKs program take into account while determining the eligibility of the applicants. Those are,

  • Cash
  • Savings
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Real estate
  • Mortgages
  • Car
  • Property

In case your household circumstances changes, it is important to notify the County Welfare Department about it. The qualified candidates are supposed to report to their county office regarding their conditions (e.g. change in income).

There is quarterly reporting which happens every three months. The applicants will be required to fil a form known as QR 7. There will be questions regarding the household current income, any kind of job loss or increase /decrease in expenses and change in residential address and other such changes that an applicant will need to answer.


How To Apply?

The applicants can apply for the California CalWORKs (TANF) by visiting the official website page of the program. Upon opening the website you will find the online application form on the portal which you can access through the online account.

In case you are new, you will be required to create a new account on the portal before filling the application. This page also guides you about other benefit programs available in California. This makes the whole application process easy and effortless.

For Further Information?

To learn more about the California CalWORKs or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) kindly visit the California CalWORKs page. The website provides detailed information related to the program including the eligibility criteria, application process and any other help that might be required.


You can visit the nearby social service agency in your county if you want to apply in person for the California CalWORKs benefit program. You will be provided with an application which you can fill out and submit through an agent working in the office. It is important to note that before going to your local county office you should have copies of all the required documents to make sure your application is complete. There are also options for changing the language on the page so more people from the diverse background can easily use the website to learn about the program.




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