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Financial Assistance for Adults without Dependent Children (General Assistance)

Santa Clara County Social Services Agency wants to keep you safe & healthy.
Agencia de Servicios Sociales del Condado de Santa Clara quiere mantenerlo seguro y saludable.
Sở Xã Hội của Hạt Santa Clara muốn quý vị được an toàn va khỏe mạnh.

Lobbies are temporarily closed.
Recepciones temporalmente cerradas.
Sảnh chính tạm thời đóng cửa.

General Assistance (GA) is a program that is run and funded by the County of Santa Clara. GA provides cash assistance and employment services to Santa Clara County adults with no dependent children who have no other means of support.

Are You Eligible?

If you are a needy adult without dependent children, you may be eligible for GA. This is based on income, residency, property, and citizenship.

Once you apply a County Eligibility Worker will decide if you qualify.

Application Process

Application Process

Using Benefits

Using Your Benefits

Renewing Coverage

Keeping Your Benefits

Application Process

  1. Complete & Submit Application
  2. Get an Interview – An in-person interview will be scheduled with a County Eligibility Worker.
  3. Paper documents may be needed if income, citizenship or other information cannot be verified electronically or is questionable. For a list of paper documents that could be needed view Commonly Used Verification Documents.
  4. Within 45 Days of the day you apply, you will get a Notice of Action (NOA) in mail. This will let you know if your GA application was approved or denied.
  5. If approved, you will receive an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card in mail. You may arrange through your County Eligibility Worker to pick up your EBT card at a County office.

Using Your Benefits

Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card

To use your General Assistance benefits you will get a plastic EBT card, also known as the Golden State Advantage card. You can use it just like a debit or ATM card by entering a four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN). For security the PIN will be sent in a separate mailing, follow instructions to change PIN.

How to check your EBT card balance, buying history and places to use your EBT card;

Protect yourself against scams, always keep your EBT card and PIN safe and secret. If you receive a text, email or phone call asking for your EBT card number or PIN, DO NOT provide your information, this is a SCAM!

If you lose your EBT card or are a victim of a scam call 1-877-328-9677.

Places Where You Can Use Your EBT Card

You can use your EBT card at any store or ATM that displays the Quest mark, to find locations visit: CA EBT Locator

Some locations charge a fee for using your EBT card, find out how to Get Your Cash Benefits at NO Cost!

Keeping Your Benefits

Regular Reporting

The County will send you a form in the mail every 6 months to report changes. These may be changes in your income, property or other factors that may affect your benefits. If you don't return the form your benefits will be stopped.

You can complete forms online through MyBenefitsCalWIN. For more info on How to Complete the Eligibility Status Report (SAR7) watch this video. You can choose the video in English, Spanish or Vietnamese.

The County will schedule a phone or in-person interview once a year.

Account Maintenance

If your mailing address or phone number change, please update your contact information through MyBenefitsCalWIN or contact your County Eligibility Worker.

Vocational Services

Vocational Services (VS) is a free program that helps you gain skills, tools and training to find a living wage job. With certain exceptions, all those getting GA must participate in the VS program.

Your County Eligibility Worker will let you know if you must participate in the VS program. County Employment Counselor will work with you on an employment plan.

General Assistance Program
Things to Know
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Did you know? Most people who qualify for General Assistance can also qualify for health coverage (Medi-Cal) and food assistance (CalFresh Food). Medi-Cal provides free or low-cost health insurance for eligible individuals that comes with a range of health benefits and services. CalFresh Food helps supplement your food budget and buy healthy nutritious food.​


Frequently Asked Questions

Is my General Assistance (GA) cash assistance considered a loan that I must repay?

No. You do not have pay back your GA cash assistance.

If cash assistance is issued to you while your application for Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) is being processed, the county may recovery money from your initial retroactive SSI/SSP payment once approved​.

How much cash will I get each month from GA?

The amount is determined by a County Eligibility Worker after taking into consideration your income, number of people; payment amounts range from $150 to $343 a month​.

Does what I have in the bank and/or what I own affect my eligibility for GA?

To be eligible for GA, you cannot have more than $500 in resources. Certain resources are not counted therefore an individual may own them and still get GA, such as a home you live in​.

Are there rules for immigrants to qualify for GA?

Yes. To qualify for GA, you must be a Santa Clara County resident and a US Citizen or a Qualified Non-Citizen​.​

How long may I continue to receive GA cash assistance?

There is no time limit on how long you may receive GA cash assistance, if you continue to meet all the GA and eligibility requirements​.

Do I have to work when I’m receiving GA cash assistance?

Employment of GA participants is a major objective of the GA program. Able-bodied individuals are expected to find employment or participate in approved activities; employment-related education, training and/or job-search preparation through the Vocational Services (VS) program​.

What if I am disabled and unable to work?

You will not be expected to participate in the Vocational Services (VS) program if you provide your County Eligibility Worker with a medical verification of your disability. You will be expected to apply for other available income such as Social Security Disability, Social Security Income (SSI) and/or State Disability (SDI or DIB)​.

Can I get GA cash assistance if I am homeless?

Yes. You must reside in Santa Clara County but residing in permanent housing or having a fixed address is not required​.

What do I do if I have a question or a complaint about my application or case?
  • Contact the County Worker that is handling your case. You will find their contact information of the top right corner of the last County Notice of Action (NOA).
  • If you are not satisfied with the response from your County Worker, ask to speak to a Supervisor.
  • If you are not satisfied with the response from a Supervisor;
  • You may request a free confidential case review from our County Ombudsman Office by emailing


    You have a right to ask for Hearing. To request a Hearing, follow the instructions on the back side of the County NOA you received.

    Fill out the back of the NOA and send or take page to;
    Appeals Unit
    County of Santa Clara Social Services
    333 W Julian St.
    San Jose, CA 95110-2335


    Call 1-800-952-5253
    TDD for hearing or speech impaired 1-800-952-8349


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Last updated: 6/23/2020 9:46 AM