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Financial Assistance Programs

Between high rents, the cost of child care, and other bills, many California families have a hard time making ends meet at some point. There are many state and federal programs that can help families during these times.  Each program offers different services and has its own rules about who qualifies. There are also local programs in your community that can help. 

Help Paying for Child Care

There are many programs to help you pay for child care.

Cash Assistance

CalWORKS helps parents support their families.  It gives cash aid and services to families so that children can be cared for in their own home. It helps parents train for and find a job.  

Energy Assistance

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps families pay their energy bills and helps them fix their homes to make them more energy efficient. 

  • Eligibility is based on income.
  • Families receiving cash aid, Medi-Cal or CalFresh should automatically qualify.
  • Apply at the local service center  or call 1-866-675-6623.

Healthy Food for Families

CalFresh helps families put food on the table. You can apply online in just 10 minutes. If approved, you’ll receive an EBT card with up to $194 a month per household member for groceries. The EBT card is valid in most stores that sell food, farmer’s markets, and online through Amazon and WalMart.

  • Eligibility is based on income. You can check your eligibility during the application process.
  • Apply on-line, by phone at 1-877-847-3663, or in-person at your county office. 

Women, Infants, & Children (WIC) offers food and information about health care and breastfeeding to women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have recently had a baby. It also provides healthy food for infants and children up to age five.

  • Eligibility is based on income.
  • Families receiving cash aid, Medi-Cal, CalFresh, TANF, and/or FDPIR should automatically qualify.
  • Apply at your local WIC agency.

Health Care for Families

Covered California helps families find the health insurance that meets their needs. It also helps pay for health insurance for families who qualify. 

Medi-CAL pays for many health services for children and adults. Medi-CAL is California’s Medicaid program.

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) helps pay for health insurance for children in families who do not qualify for MediCal.   

  • Eligibility is based on income. 

Help for New Parents

California Home Visiting Program helps families who have just had a baby and are having a difficult time. The program offers tools that help families raise their children. It helps families who are at risk of violence, substance abuse and mental illness. 

Help for People with Developmental Disabilities

Regional Centers provide services, information, and support to people with developmental disabilities and delays. Some of the services include assessment and diagnosis, planning and coordination of services, advocacy, and intervention services for young children.

Housing Help for Families

California has many programs to help families with their housing needs.  These include public housing projects, vouchers to help pay for housing, and homeless services.  

Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) provides a voucher that families can use to help pay for safe housing. Housing can include single-family homes, townhouses, apartments and units in public housing projects. Families find their own home to rent and the owner has to agree to be part of the program. 

Find your local Public Housing Agency (PHA) contact or visit your local Public Housing Authority website.

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Last updated on October 18, 2022
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