We realize county, state, and federal financial aid and support services can be confusing to understand. We’re here to help you figure out what you need to do and how to complete the paperwork. Feel free to call us when we are open with any questions you have. If we’re not open, take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions to see if you can find your answer here.
What is CalWORKs?
California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids, also known as CalWORKs, is California’s Welfare Reform Program that replaced AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children). This program began from the Federal program called WORKs (Work Opportunities and Responsibility for Kids). The ‘Cal’ is for California. You can read more about CalWORKs from California’s Department of Social Services website here: https://www.cdss.ca.gov/CalWORKS.
How do I know if I qualify for CalWORKs?
If you qualify for or are receiving TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) benefits, you qualify for CalWORKs. Find out more here: https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/1229.
What is GAIN? How is it connected to CalWORKs?
Greater Avenues for Independence, also called GAIN, is Los Angeles County’s program that offers people benefits from the CalWORKs program. GAIN has specific guidelines, timelines, and other factors that must be followed in order to comply with Welfare-to-Work (WtW) laws. GAIN literally moves people from Welfare-to-Work through educational opportunities, job training, and career preparation while offering supportive services that also include childcare.
How do I, as a student at LASC, request to see a counselor?
Call us at 323-241-5477, or stop by the CalWORKs office in Room 217 of the Student Services Building, and ask for an appointment. We look forward to seeing you!
Can I apply for both financial aid and CalWORKs?
Yes! If you are getting TANF benefits, you will be referred to LASC’s Financial Aid Office so you can get a ‘fee waiver’ so you won’t have to pay tuition fees. You will be asked to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) where you may also qualify for additional cash aid that you won’t have to pay back. Ask your Financial Aid counselor or associate to go over everything you need to know to get the financial support you’ll need to go to college. And, don’t forget to ask about all of our scholarships! Often, it’s money no one gets because no one completed the application.
How does CalWORKs contribute to the College? Is it taking college resources away from other students?
Funding for CalWORKs, called Maintenance of Efforts Funds, are given to all California community colleges to serve CalWORKs students so it doesn’t cause a financial burden on any college. CalWORKs helps the college by providing services that are needed but not generally offered by the college.