Support Services – Getting What You Need in the Welfare-to-Work Program

What are CalWORKs support services?

If you are in the Welfare-to-Work (WTW) program, CalWORKs should pay for help you need to do your assignments. This includes payments for:

  • Child care
  • Transportation
  • Books
  • Supplies
  • Clothing
  • Uniforms
  • Licensing fees
  • Counseling
  • Car insurance
  • Drug / alcohol services
  • Tools
  • Computer
  • Anything else needed to do your Welfare-to-Work plan 

Welfare-to-Work meetings and appointments

You can get support services for Welfare-to-Work meetings and appointments. This includes orientation, appraisal, assessment, job club, good cause meetings, and so on. You do not need to have a signed Welfare-to-Work plan to get support services for these pre-plan appointments.

Your Welfare-to-Work plan

You should receive services you need to be successful in your Welfare-to-Work plan. The plan should list your support services. Think of what you will need to do your plan, and ask for it.

As a volunteer participant

When you are a volunteer, the county should still work with you to create a signed Welfare-to-Work plan . The county should give you support services to help you complete your volunteer plan.
For a compliance or “cure” plan

The county should give you the services you need to complete:

  • A compliance plan, to avoid a sanction.
  • A cure plan, to end a sanction

Post-employment services

Many counties have some support services for recipients and former recipients who are working. Ask to see your county post-employment services policy. After you stop receiving cash aid, you are usually eligible for two years of child care.

Advance Pay

The county must pay your supportive services in advance, if you tell the county you cannot pay with your own money and wait to get reimbursed.

No Services? No participation

  • If you need support services and do not receive them,, you have good cause for not doing your Welfare-to-Work assignment or meeting. This includes when the county will not give you an advance payment for something - like transportation - that you need to participate. Good cause means you should not have your aid reduced for not following the rules.
  • Ask again for the service or ask to get another assignment.
  • Ask for a state hearing if the county denies you payment for a support service.

If you can’t do your assignment because of no support services, make sure to tell your worker about your problem. Send a follow up note, to prove you reported this. This will protect you against a grant reduction or suspension.

Don’t forget to ask for…

Be sure to ask for whatever you need to do your Welfare-to-Work tasks! If you need them, don’t forget to ask for…

  • Things you need to look for work or go to appointments, like child care, transportation, licensing fees, interview clothing...
  • Things you need at work like uniforms, child care, transportation, tools...
  • If you have to drive, ask for money for parking, repairs, insurance, registration, regular maintenance...
  • If your situation changes, ask for more or different services.

Denied support services?

Fill out the back of any Notice of Action or call (800) 952-5253.

PDF version of this fact sheet: Support Services – Getting What You Need in the Welfare-to-Work Program

If you need legal help, contact Legal Services of Northern California.