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Last modified: 5/21/2012 3:37 PM

Frequently Asked Questions

​CalWORKs stands for the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids program.  It is California’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Program and provides temporary cash aid and assistance in finding and keeping a job. A major goal of the program is to transition CalWORKs recipients to employment and eventual self-sufficiency through upward mobility. When receiving CalWORKs cash aid, the family also receives Medi-Cal and may be eligible for Food Stamp benefits.
​Families with parents or caretaker relatives taking care of children who are considered to be deprived. For CalWORKs purposes, deprived means children who are without parental support because one or both parents are absent from the home, disabled, deceased, or unemployed. Pregnant women in their last 3 months of pregnancy may also be eligible provided they meet all applicable eligibility requirements. Other basic requirements relate to income and property limits, age of children, citizenship and/or legal immigrant status, and so on.
​No. The house you own and live in is exempt and not counted as property.
​The amount is determined by an Eligibility Worker after taking into consideration your income, the number of eligible family members in your home, and income limits and payment amounts set by the state.
​Employment of CalWORKs participants is a major objective of the CalWORKs Program. Able-bodied adults are expected to find employment or participate in approved activities that will prepare them to find employment. Activities include approved employment-related education/training and/or job-search preparation.
​No. If you qualify to receive CAPI payments, you do not have to pay them back.
​No. Receipt of CAPI payments does not affect your immigration/citizenship status.
​Yes. You are welcome to apply for the Medi-Cal program (medical insurance) at the same time that you apply for the CAPI program.
​Unless exempt, all CalWORKs recipients are required by state regulations to participate in Employment Services activities.
​Yes.  If you are working you may be eligible to receive child care cost assistance. You may also receive child care services while participating in other Employment Services activities such as job-related education or job-search preparation.
​Yes. An individual who is employed may receive money to by uniforms.
​General Assistance(GA) is a County-funded cash assistance program that provides cash loans to eligible individuals and couples who have no other means of adequate support.
​Only individuals or couples who meet the eligibility requirements will receive a GA loan.  Applicants must be low income, legally residing in Santa Clara County, and unemployed or unable to work because of a physical, mental, or functional disability. In addition, applicants must meet strict eligibility requirements concerning limits on income and property.
​Yes. Anyone who receives GA money must pay it back to the County. Unemployed GA recipients who are able to work are assigned to perform work at GA work projects. In order to receive GA, all participants must sign a reimbursement agreement which is recorded and places a lien against any current or future real property holdings.
​If I have to work at a GA work project, do I get credit for the hours I work that goes toward repayment?
People admitted to the United States as refugees who are within their first eight (8) months of residency in the United States. Refugees must also be in at least one of the following categories: individuals and couples with no minor children; families with minor children that are not CalWORKs eligible; women who are within the first 6 months of pregnancy; human trafficking victims; and persons granted asylum.
California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) Program may be eligible to receive cash assistance from that program.  They may also be eligible for medical services, Food Stamps, and other benefits. To find out if you are eligible for CalWORKs, you may phone or visit one of our Social Services Agency Intake Offices.
​At minimum, you will need to provide documentation of refugee status from the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS). If you decide to apply, your Eligibility Worker will tell you exactly what other documents you will need to provide.
​If you need more information before you decide if you should apply, you may call (408) 271-5600.
​Yes. Being married and/or having children is NOT a requirement.
Yes. A person must reside in the county in which an application is filed. However, residence in a permanent dwelling or a fixed mailing address is NOT required.
​Food stamps can be used to buy any food or food product that is produced for human consumption except hot foods or lunch counter items prepared or heated in the store; alcoholic beverages and tobacco; vitamins or medicines; or pet food. Seeds and plants for use in home gardens to produce food can also be purchased with food stamps. Food stamps cannot be used to buy nonfood items.

​Children who:

  • Live in Santa Clara County 
  • Are under 19 years of age
  • Have family income at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

​300% of the Federal Poverty Level is based on family size. See the chart below to determine 300% of the Federal Poverty Level for your family.

Effective 4/1/12 to 3/31/13


Family Size 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Gross Monthly Income $2,793 $3,783 $4,773 $5,763 $6,753 $7,783 $8,783 $9,723


​Yes. If your children live in Santa Clara County and meet the required income limits, the Healthy Kids program can provide full medical, dental and vision coverage to children who do not qualify for full coverage under the Medi-Cal or Healthy Families programs.

You will need to provide: 
1.  Proof that you live in Santa Clara County – one of the following: 

  • A utility bill; rental agreement; a pay check or voided personal check with your address; or driver’s license. 

2.   Proof of Income – one of the following: 

  • Copy of recent pay stub; last year’s federal income tax return; written statement from employer stating gross monthly income and when it was earned; proof of unearned income such as Social Security, unemployment, disability or child support; or
  • Day laborers may use a letter from a charitable organization stating income and when it was earned, or
  • Self-employed persons may use a federal income tax return with Schedule C. 

3.    Other information: 

  • If your child is a U.S. citizen, you will need a birth certificate and Social Security card.
  • If your child is a legal immigrant, you will need an INS card and a Social Security card.
  • If your child does not have these documents, you can still apply and get full health coverage for your child.  
If you need more information, you can call 1-888-244-5222 or (408) 817-6000.
You can also get more information from the CHI website at
​Yes, the State may file a claim against the deceased individual’s properties for the amount of Medi-Cal paid services received on or after the person’s 55th birthday if there is no surviving spouse, child under 21, or child (regardless of age) who is blind or disabled. Otherwise, the State may only file a lien against the deceased individual’s properties.
​Yes if other eligibility requirements are met. Medi-Cal may pay for health services that are not covered by the other health insurance.
​Yes, Medi-Cal pays for some dental services. However, all dental services require pre-authorization.