volunteersThe County of San Luis Obispo Department of Social Services provides public services that provide a safety net for individuals and families who need assistance with basic necessities, such as food, housing and health care.

CalWORKs (CW) formerly Temporary Assistance for Need Families (TANF)

CalWORKs (CW) formerly Temporary Assistance for Need Families (TANF) provides cash aid benefits and services including Diversion.  CW is issued on a debit card called an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.

CalWORKs is for families that have children in the home:

  1. Parent(s) with Children under age 18
  2. Minor Parent Never married minor, under age 18, who is pregnant/has a child who is living with them.
  3. Pregnant Person Only
  4. Non-Needy or Needy Caretaker Relatives (Non-parent related within 5 degrees to the applicant child)

The amount of benefits you can receive depends on your family size, countable income and countable property.  Other requirements include: 

  • Applicant Child(ren) must have a deprivation (which provides linkage for the adults):
    • Absent Parent or Deceased Parent
    • Incapacitated or Unemployed Parent
  • Resources/Property/Asset Limit - $2,250 or $3,500 (AU member disabled, or age 60 or older)  
  • Income Limit (Based on family AU size)

How to apply: 

www.mybenefitscalwin.org

Processing time is 45 day regularly but could be sooner depending on when verifications are received or 1 day for immediate need requests.  To help the county process your application faster, please have ready for submission: 

  • Photo ID
  • Birth certificates for all members of the family
  • Income (including unemployment or disability benefits
  • Property and Assets
CalFresh (CF)

CalFresh (CF) is a food supplement program that issues electronic monthly benefits that can be used to buy nutritional food.  It is issued on a debit card called an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.

  • CalFresh is for families, single adults, and students.
  • The amount of benefits you can receive depends on your family size, countable income, and monthly expenses such as housing and utilities.
  • Monthly gross income limits change annually. 
  • How much money can you have and still get CalFresh?  You can:
    • Earn money from a job
    • Get unemployment insurance
    • Receive child support
    • Receive disability benefits
    • Have a bank account
    • Have a retirement account

How to apply:  

www.getcalfresh.com 

or

www.mybenefitscalwin.org

Processing time is 30 days regularly but could be sooner depending on when verifications are received or 3 day for expedited processing.  To help the county process your application faster, please have ready for submission: 

  • Photo ID
  • Income (including unemployment or disability benefits)
Food Bank’s Free Food for Pick Up

For information on food bank distribution sites, Food Pantries, and School Meal Program information. please visit https://www.slofoodbank.org/food-locator/

a. *You do not need to show proof of ID or income or residency at a food bank distribution. People should not fear for traceability and public charge by using public food distributions that are food bank run.

b. Unless otherwise stated, school meal programs are open to ALL children under the age of 18.

Medi-Cal (MC)

Medi-Cal (MC) is a public insurance heath care program which provides health care services

  • Medi-Cal is for low income individuals and families, children, pregnant women and aged and disabled adults
  • Eligibility requirements depend on household size, countable income and countable property
  • Many Medi-Cal programs do not have a cost, others have premiums and share of cost amounts.  These amounts vary depending on the program eligible to, the countable income and household size.

Apply at Covered CA 

  • or by phone at (800) 300-1506 or

MyBenefitsCalWin

Processing time is 45 days but could be sooner depending on when verifications are received.  To help the county process your application faster, please have ready for submission: 

  • Photo ID
  • Income (including unemployment or disability benefits)
  • Property and Assets (for certain programs
WIC

If you or someone you know has been financially affected by recent events and are pregnant, just had a baby or have children under the age of five, WIC is accepting applications for new families and is here to help provide healthy foods and other resources. Eligible families, dads, grandparents and foster parents caring for eligible children should contact the:

San Luis Obispo County WIC Program

North County: 237-3065

South County: 473-7130

San Luis Obispo & Coastal: 781-5570

or

Text SLOWIC to 85511

Meals for Seniors
Meals that Connect has meals served M-F, 12-1pm for individuals aged 60+. Call 805-541-3312 for more info.
General Assistance (GA)

General Assistance (GA):  The purpose of the County of San Luis Obispo’s General Assistance Program (GA) is to provide reasonable support and assistance for indigent persons residing in the county, who are not otherwise eligible to receive benefits through Federal and State assistance programs or through other community or personal resources.

  • Income limit: Maximum allowable monthly income is $355.00.
  • Asset limit: Maximum allowable amount of liquid assets is $500.00.
  • Disabled persons are required to apply for and follow through with disability benefits through state and/or federal agencies.
  • Employable persons are required to participate in job search and job readiness activities.  This requirement is currently waived due to the COVID-19 National Emergency.

Apply for General Assistance

Processing times are 30 days regularly but could be sooner depending on when verifications are received.  To help the county process your application faster, please have ready: 

  • Photo ID
  • Income (including unemployment or disability benefits)

For additional questions, call your local DSS office:

  • Paso Robles: 805-237-3110
  • Atascadero: 805-461-6000
  • San Luis Obispo: 805-781-1600
  • Morro Bay: 805-772-6405
  • Arroyo Grande: 805-474-2000
  • Nipomo: 805-931-1800