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The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program is California's version of the Federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. This program provides time-limited cash assistance to low-income families with children under age 19. Adults may receive temporary cash aid for up to 48 months during lifetime. The level of assistance is based upon a variety of factors, including family size and income level. If eligible for CalWORKs, families will automatically qualify for Medi-Cal and may also qualify for CalFresh.


Immediate Need

Immediate Need is a cash benefit of up to $200 available to CalWORKs applicant families within 24 hours who have an emergency situation and insufficient funds to meet the need. Aid payment is made in advance of a completed determination of eligibility for CalWORKs based on an emergency situation that may include, but is not limited to the following:

• Lack of housing

• Pending eviction

• Utility shutoff notice

• Other immediate health and safety needs


How to Apply:

To apply for benefits online, please visit the C4Yourself website or you may apply in person at any of our locations.


Using CalWORKs Benefits

CalWORKs benefits are distributed via the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, also known as the Golden State Advantage card. The EBT card is used like any other debit card with a four-digit PIN, and it offers you privacy when making purchases. EBT Card Logo


Beware of Scams!

Beware of Fake Smart Phone Apps and Internet scams. The State of California and Madera County will never ask you to provide private EBT-related information by phone, email or text message. Protecting your information is one of Madera County Department of Services’ main priorities.

Here are a few ways to minimize the risk of compromising your identity:

• know who you share information with;

• store and dispose of your personal information securely, especially your Social Security number;

• ask questions before deciding to share your personal information; and

• maintain appropriate security on your electronic devices.

If you receive a request to provide information in this way, contact Madera County Department of Social Services immediately at (559) 675-2406.

Beware of fake smart-phone apps and Internet, email, and text-message scams. To find out more, click here.


Policies, Procedures, & Guidelines

CalWORKs Policy & Procedures:

Work Number

Over Income Reporting Threshold/Household Composition without a 10-day Notice


Text messaging


California Department of Social Services:

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