Keep in mind that when CalWORKs calculates your family size and income, it could not include everyone in your household. Depending on the size of your family and where you live, your family’s income must be below a specific threshold.
You can’t simply tally together all of your family’s pay and benefit checks to see if they meet the income requirements for CalWORKs.
This is so that CalWORKs can exclude certain sources of income, such as:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Grants and loans
- Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
- Federal Relocation/Disaster benefits
Steps taken by CalWORKs to evaluate your income
Step 1: Income you may have from the above-mentioned sources will be overlooked.
Step 2: Your earned income will be examined.
Step 3: For each member of the family that works, 90 dollars will be deducted from the earned income.
Step 4: Any other unearned income that isn’t already included, such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), investment income, or any other money you receive that isn’t a salary, gets added too.
Step 5 (final step): Your eligible countable income is the sum.
You may be eligible for CalWORKs payments if your countable income is below the family maximum. Based on the size of your family and where you live, a “needs standard” or “Minimum Basic Standard of Adequate Care” (MBSAC) restriction is established.
However, it must be noted that your countable income for benefit calculation purposes differs from your countable income for eligibility purposes. In other words, the MBSAC is not the amount of money you will receive if you are approved for CalWORKs.
How to apply for CalWORKs?
You’ll need to complete a short initial eligibility form. If you meet the fundamental eligibility requirements, a county representative will schedule an interview with you, offer you additional paperwork to complete, and request that you provide further documentation, such as proof of identity and birth certificates.
Ask the staff of your county social services department for assistance (referred to as a reasonable accommodation) if your disability makes it difficult for you to complete the standard application process, such as having the documents filled out for you or being read to you.
You may submit an application for general assistance or general relief if you are not qualified for CalWORKs. If you are experiencing an emergency, you could potentially be able to acquire some cash right away.