CalWorks Eligibility: Can non citizens get CalWORKs?

CalWorks Eligibility: Can non citizens get CalWORKs?

The year 2022 has witnessed a cost of living crisis across the United States.

The combination of supply chain shortages, brought on by the COVID-19 lockdowns combined with the ban on Russian oil imports has seen prices for basic necessities such as food, clothing and utilities such as gas and electricity sky rocket.

Individuals from low income households in particular have been affected with these residents relying heavily on welfare programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly called Food Stamps.

One such welfare program in the state of California is the CalWORKs program, which aims to provide cash aid and other services to needy families.

What is CalWORKs?

Operating in 58 counties, CalWORKs is a welfare scheme that helps low income households by providing short term help through cash payments or other services.

Who is eligible?

The program is open to anyone who is a lawful US resident legal alien or alien qualified. Furthermore, these individuals must be unemployed or underemployed and have low or very low income.

Finally individuals must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Have a child 18 years of age or younger, or
  • Be pregnant, or
  • Be 18 years of age or younger and the head of your household.

Are you eligible if you’re not a US citizen?

As stated above the program is open to qualified immigrants who are either permanent residents, residents granted refugee or asylum status, conditional entrants, people granted withholding of deportation or removal, Cuban/Haitian entrants, and certain victims of domestic violence. Victims of human trafficking (applicants for and holders of a “T” visa), and those who have applied for or hold of a “U” visa may also be eligible.

This applying for CalWORKs need not fear being reported to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement department (ICE), and can also avail these benefits for their children.


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