California Benefits

CalFresh (SNAP)

CalFresh is the new name for Food Stamps in California, and is nationally recognized as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Calfresh operates as a monthly electronic food assistance program to help qualified Californian households purchase healthy and nutritious food.


CalWORKS, RCA and Welfare-to-Work (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids) are programs that provide benefits to eligible California families. These programs can provide cash aid, education, employment, and training programs to help California families become self-sufficient. CalWORKS may also be known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Unless the CalWORKS recipient is exempt, they are required to participate in the Welfare-to-Work program in order to receive aid.

Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI)

Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) provides cash assistance to those who have been refused SSI only because of their immigration status. The program ensures that such immigrants are not left without help in case they are disabled, blind or aged.

Food Stamps (SNAP & WIC)

There are two programs in California for providing food assistance. The primary program is Calfresh, which is part of the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) federal program. The second program is called WIC which provides nutritional support for pregnant, breastfeeding and new mothers with infants under the age of five.

Head Start

California Head Start advises on implementation and overall development of early childhood education, health and nutrition services for low income children in California. Within the community, California Head Start program is involved in developing not only meaningful early childhood education but also promoting wholesome eating habits and physical fitness activities for children from low-income families.


LIHEAP is a Federally-funded program that assists low-income families in the state of California with their home energy bills. It keeps families safe and healthy during extreme weather conditions. Currently, California is receiving a share of about $150 million annually which is distributed to contracted community energy service providers. California LIHEAP keeps families safe and healthy during extreme weather conditions.


Medi-Cal is administered by California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), it provides medical benefits for persons with low-income living in California. The program provides medical services for children, elders, disabled, pregnant women and low-income people with certain diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis. State as well as federal government funds the program to ensure uninterrupted health care services for eligible persons.


Medicaid in California is known as Medi-Cal. Medi-Cal Medicaid provides medical benefits for persons with low-income living in California. The program provides medical services for children, elders, disabled, pregnant women and low-income people with certain diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis.


The state of California has always acknowledged that there are an increasing number of un-insured persons throughout the state. It has therefore provided solutions for insurance coverage that would not be feasible to families in low-income brackets. In some cases, private health insurance for children becomes out of reach to families relying on a lower or fixed income. California State Children Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) extends coverage to children that lie in this bracket of the population. This is in-line with a legislation that was approved by the congress in 1997 that allows states to work on their medical aid programs with a goal of providing comprehensive state health insurance to deserving children.


In California, you can receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits if you meet specific eligibility criteria. This support is offered to people who cannot work because of a disability.


CalWorks supports California families with children through financial aid, job training, and child care support. It focuses on helping parents find work and become self-sufficient. Families get cash assistance based on their income and size, and can also receive food stamps and Medi-Cal health benefits.


Through TEFAP, Californians can access USDA-provided nutritious foods like fresh fruits, whole grain pasta, and canned vegetables. Managed by local agencies and food banks, this federal assistance is distributed at various centers across the state.


The Unemployment Insurance Program, commonly referred to as UI, provides workers, who lose their jobs through no fault of their own with weekly unemployment insurance payments.Each state has its own program for workers in its jurisdiction through a state labor department. The Employment Development Department (EDD) manages unemployment benefits sorely in California. The UI program is fully funded by employers who pay taxes on wages paid to employees. You can also apply for UI if you are not working full time and have been working for the last 18 months.

Veterans Disability

California offers Veterans Disability benefits to veterans who sustained injuries or became ill during their active military duty. This financial compensation complements a wide range of benefits designed to honor their service and sacrifice. Beyond collecting disability benefits, California veterans can access Veterans Readiness and Employment, VA Life Insurance, VA pensions, and much more to aid their transition into civilian life.


Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is an energy conservation service for low-income Californians meant to significantly reduce home energy bills for a long time. One time measures such as insulating walls and roofs of your home guarantees life time savings. Other procedures such as making your cooling or heating equipment more efficient provides savings for over10 years. This is basically what is covered by Weatherization Assistance Program.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program (WIC)

Tough times have brought an increased influx in social services applications in all corners of United States. A number of federal funded programs such as WIC exist to help low income families meet basic needs. In California, pregnant women, new mothers infants and children below five years of age who meet income guidelines can apply for WIC services through California Department of Public Health.