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​California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs)


What is CalWORKs?​

CalWORKs is a welfare program that gives cash aid and services to eligible California families in need. 

The eligibility for CalWORKs and the amount of a family's monthly assistance payment depends on several factors, including the number of people who are eligible, special needs of any eligible family members, and the net income of the family.

The State of California has set the amount of time a parent can receive CalWORKs at 60 months unless an exemption is applied.

Benefits can be loaded to an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card​ for use at stores or ATM's or to a customer's personal checking or savings account.


How to Apply or Submit Documents for CalWORKs:

Online at: www.benefitscal.com

By phone: 1-800-560-0976 Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

By fax: (916) 875-8262 or e-fax (916) 854-9263

In person:

2700 Fulton Ave.
Sacramento, CA 9582
Office Hours:
Mon – Fri 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
3960 Research Dr.
Sacramento, CA 95838
Office Hours:
Mon – Fri 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
5747 Watt Ave.
North Highlands, CA 95660
Office Hours:
Mon – Fri 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
2450 Florin Road
Sacramento, CA 95822
Office Hours:
Mon – Fri 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
210 North Lincoln Way
Galt, CA 95632
Office Hours:
Mon – Fri 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM


CalWORKs application:

SAWS 2 PLUS: EnglishSpanish , Russian


For information about your case:

Call the Service Center and follow the prompts at 1-800-560-0976  

Service Center Hours Mon – Fri 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Online: visit  www.BenefitsCal.com 24 hours a day

In person: See Office Locations and hours of operation above


Immediate Need (IN)

IN is available to certain applicants. If you are eligible for IN, your application must be processed within one (1) days of your CalWORKs application. You may be eligible to IN if you are apparently eligible to CalWORKs and meet one (1) of the following requirements:

  • Homeless
  • Have an eviction notice or a notice to pay rent or leave
  • Your utilities have been shut off or you received a shut-off notice
  • Your food will run out in 3 days or less
  • You need help with transportation to get food, clothing, medical care, or other emergency item(s)
  • You need essential clothing, such as diapers or clothing needed for cold weather
  • You have a household personal emergency related to pregnancy, immediate medical need, child abuse, domestic abuse, elder abuse, or another emergency which threatens health or safety.

SAR 7 Information

Many households must complete a SAR 7 six (6) months after applying for CalWORKs or recertifying. The SAR 7 is due by the 5th of the month.

Complete your SAR 7 online at www.BenefitsCal.com or find the form here SAR 7 and submit by mail or in person.

Need help completing the SAR7:

Call 1-800-560-0976 

Watch the video SAR 7 video

See written Instructions HOW TO FILL OUT YOUR SAR 7

Home Visiting Program (HVP)

The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) Home Visiting Program (HVP) is a voluntary program supervised by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and administered by participating California counties. In Sacramento County, the HVP program is known as the Family Support Initiative (FSI). FSI aims to support positive health, development, and well-being outcomes for pregnant and parenting people, families, and infants born into poverty through evidence-based home visiting models.

If a family member is eligible or apparently eligible to CalWORKs, and the family includes a pregnant person or a parent/caretaker of a child under three years old, they may qualify for FSI services. Participating families can access parenting information and classes that are customized to their specific needs and preferences. Once enrolled, home visiting services can be provided for up to 24 months or until the child's fifth birthday, whichever comes first. To determine eligibility, please consult your DHA worker or click here for more information.

Reasonable Accommodations

Do you have any physical, mental, developmental, or emotional conditions that make it hard for you to apply for benefits or meet program requirements? We can give you extra help. We call this type of help a reasonable accommodation.

To request a reasonable accommodation for CalWORKs you may:

Verbally by calling the Service Center at  1-800-560-0976 or while speaking to a worker about your case

Submit a written request online, by mail, by fax, or in person

The law protects people with physical, mental, emotional, and developmental disabilities as well as others with serious health problems (42 U.S.C. § 12132). For more information please review the PUB 13 and USDA Nondiscrimination Statement.

​​For more information on the CalWORKs program, see: