Los Angeles Human and Social Services programs.

The county offers the less fortunate programs and various social services that can address a hardship and promote economic independence. Tens of thousands of families in Los Angeles County receive some form of financial assistance, social services, counseling, free advice, and more. Resources and human services are offered to a diverse group of people, including pregnant women, families with children, immigrants and disabled adults. A summary of some of the assistance programs and services available are below.

Most of the benefits are provided to low income families, however other services may be targeted at more moderate income residents. Some of those can include consumer credit issues, foreclosure prevention, or assistance with housing issues. Many of the less fortunate in Los Angeles also are working towards self-sufficiency, and this is when employment services, health care, and support for other basic needs can be helpful.

Each program will have a formal application process in place. Case management and partnering with a county social worker is also usually required as well. To learn more on these or other services, call the Human Services Department at (800) 339-6993 or (877) 481-1044 for information and applications

CalFresh, which use to be called Food Stamps, can help low-income families buy nutritious groceries and food. Clients will be issued Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards which can be used to shop and buy food with at retailers across Los Angeles County.

Women, Infants and Children will offer free food and grocery vouchers to pregnant and breast-feeding mothers. Assistance is also available from WIC to infants and children under the age of 5 when the family's income is low enough.

CalWORKs provide cash assistance and grants to dependent children that come from low income, immigrants and poor families who meet qualifications. The child needs to be under the age of 18 and their caretaker/parent can also benefit. Participants will also be offered social services, employment assistance and self-sufficiency. Some ages limitations can be changed for those children in school, job training, or other vocational programs.




More domestic services for families include Adoption Services, Foster Recruitment, The Family Preservation Program, Child Abuse and Treatment (CAPIT), Family Support/Promoting Safe, Baby Surrender Program and Stable Families. These and other Los Angeles county services are available to all income qualified families with children. Other programs can provide residents with educational activities, child care information, job training, and other human services.

Child Support Services can offer free advice and resources to guardians or parents. Programs can, among other things, help them establish paternity, obtain medical support and child orders, and collect Los Angeles County court-ordered child support.

Subsidized Child Care is offered by non-profits. Social workers and staff from the Human Services offices can assist families seeking affordable or free child care services. Some government subsidies may be offered as well as referrals to family child care homes and day care centers.

The Los Angeles Office of Education Head Start-State Preschool offers early age day care and also free childhood education programs. All of this is done in an effort to help children get ready for success in school. Another social service program is Early Head Start, which serves pregnant women and children from birth to 3 years old. Disabled children can also benefit. Food, meals, educational services and more is offered.

Medical care provided by the health and human service office includes health and dental screening. Other resources includes referrals, Nutrition, Family Services, Mental Health services and more. The office can also answer and help people enroll into government health insurance including Medi-Cal.

Social Security Disability Programs are administered at the national level by the Social Security Administration. This is the main federal government agency that oversees government benefit programs, including SSDI, for people with disabilities. The program provides cash benefits to those Los Angeles County families who cannot perform substantial work on their own.

Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants, or CAPI, will support refugees and immigrants in the county who are blind, aged, or disabled and who do not otherwise qualify for Supplemental Security Income (see above) due to immigration status.

Other social service programs for the disabled, elderly and immigrants include Adult Protective Services, In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP), and the California Relay Service (CRS).

Income Support for Adults is available. There are several components to it, and one of the main ones is known as General Relief. This is a Los Angeles County funded program that provides cash grants and financial assistance to adults with very low incomes who are ineligible for Federal Government or State of California programs. It can also support people with medical conditions, disabilities, or those who are considered unemployable, provided they meet certain conditions.

The state’s General Relief Opportunities for Work, or GROW, program offers job training assistance and related employment services to participants in order to help them reach self-sufficiency. Substance abuse treatment is also offered as part of GROW, if needed.

Another social service that Los Angeles families can apply for is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This is a federal tax credit for low-income qualified workers.





Many of the human services available in Los Angeles County focus on satisfying medical needs. The state offers a few programs that are often combined with federal government resources. The main one is Medi-Cal, which provides state of California medical insurance to underinsured and uninsured individuals who meet certain eligibility requirements. It can help income qualified families with dependent children, individuals age 65 and older, pregnant women, children to age 21, or those individuals that are determined to be blind or permanently disabled.

The main health care programs for seniors in Los Angeles is Medicare. This is health insurance for people 65 years old or over. It can also meet the medical needs of certain disabled people under 65. Components of it include Part A, which covers inpatient care in a skilled nursing facility or hospital for a limited period of time. Part B pay for medical bills such as doctor's services and outpatient hospital services.

The Medicare Savings Programs helps residents with paying Medicare co pays, premiums and deductibles for persons with limited assets and low income. Other medical services include Healthy Families, Child Health and Disability Prevention, Healthy Kids, Los Angeles County Alcohol and Drug Program and also Healthy Way LA.

Free or low cost Health Clinics help peoples of all incomes, whether they have insurance or not. Sliding fees billing scales are in place and they are called the Ability to Pay plan or another option is the Outpatient Reduced-Cost Simplified Application (ORSA) plan. This is offered for residents who are under and/or uninsured. It offers a number of human services and medical care, including free prescriptions, check ups and more.

Medi-Cal Presumptive Eligibility for Pregnant Women offers immediate, emergency and temporary coverage for prescription drugs and ambulatory prenatal care for conditions related to pregnancy to low-income pregnant women. It is available for those who do not have health insurance, meet low income levels and believe they are pregnant.

California Children's Services is available in Los Angeles and statewide. It assists children 20 years of age or younger with some form of serious medical condition that requires specialty medical services, therapy or more.

Consumer Protection laws are available. Some examples are as follows. Landlord/Tenant issues, including Eviction Prevention, Repairs, and Mediation. If you need help getting a security deposit back or are facing eviction, or if your apartment in Los Angeles requires repairs, then the Department of Consumer Affairs can help. Counselors are available as part of the Human Services programs for clients.

Credit disputes can be addressed for Credit Card Bills and Debt Collection Agencies as well. Numerous state of California and federal government laws give you the right to dispute credit card billing errors and illegal debt collection calls. Counselors from the County can answer your questions, provide counseling and referrals, and investigate your complaint. Or call the county if you think you are the victim of a fraud.

Fraud, Repairs, Warranties on Car Purchases can be addressed. If you need free advice on how to purchase a new or used car, the Los Angeles Department of Consumer Affairs and Social Services can help in this process. They can ensure you are treated fairly by the seller, offer legal advocacy, and address the underlying issue.

Seniors in Los Angeles can get free advice on dealing with financial fraud. If you need tips in avoiding senior financial abuse or think you have been the victim of fraud, then support is available. Receive counseling and referrals, get questions answers, and obtain other support.




Other consumer issues that can be supported include support with problematic Internet Sales, Identity Theft, Foreclosure Prevention Counseling, Disputes with Friends or Neighbors, Review of Contacts for Home Buyers, Fraudulent Telemarketing Sweepstakes, and much more.

Several housing assistance programs are being administered. There are several main programs and resources that are offered by local housing authorities and social service offices within Los Angeles County. One of the main ones is Section 8, which is the federal government funded Housing Choice Voucher Program. This is for low-income and working poor families. The second component is for Public Housing, which can assist families and provide them with affordable, low income housing units and apartments. These will be owned and managed by the county’s Housing Authority.

Residents can also get information on Affordable Housing Programs. These are offered by the Community Development Commission of the County of Los Angeles, working in partnership with the Human and Social Services office. They offer referrals, support, and even low interest rate loan programs for first time homebuyers that meet certain low and moderate income guidelines. Emergency housing, food, and other human services may be provided for the homeless in the region.


By Jon McNamara

“Related Links” are listed below.




Contact Us

About Us


Privacy policy