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Immediate Need – Emergency Assistance

Who is eligible to receive Immediate Need?

Immediate Need is for CalWORKs applicants who appear to be eligible to CalWORKs benefits. For most counties adults without children who apply for General Relief are not eligible to immediate need.

What should I do if I need financial help right away?

There are a number of ways that CalWORKs may help you if you need money immediately:

  • You may request an Immediate Need payment if you have a family emergency, such as no food, no essential clothing, emergency medical needs or no place to stay.
  • You must request Immediate Need in person at the county offices or on MyBenefits CalWIN application.
  • There are many rules regarding Immediate Need requests; you must be 'apparently eligible' for CalWORKs in order to qualify for this special payment. The county must give you an answer about your Immediate Need request within 1 working day from the time you requested the Immediate Need special payment.
  • You may receive up to $200 if you are found to have an Immediate Need.
  • You may receive a referral to a community resource to help with your Immediate Need while the county determines your eligibility.

What other help does the CalWORKs program offer?    

If you are applying to CalWORKs and need money for a special circumstance, such as a special dietary or other need due to a health condition, talk with an eligibility worker. Due to a health condition you may be eligible for ongoing extra payments to help with your special health related need.

Deductions: You may qualify to receive certain deductions. Make sure you report all and any expenses your household may have. Deductions include but are not limited to:

Heating and Cooking Fuel, Cooling and Electricity, Water, Sewage, Garbage and Trash, Rent or Mortgage, Telephone, Dependent Care payments, Medical Expenses, Alimony payment, Child Support Payments, etc.