Los Angeles public assistance.

Public assistance, aid and cash programs are offered by the Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services. Resources are focused on the low income and people who are most at risk across the county. While not everyone will qualify for aid, some of the programs offered range from emergency cash assistance, food, health care, and job finding services. A summary of the services provided by the organization is below. Or feel free to call them at (877) 481-1044

Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants – Los Angeles residents who are immigrants and who are disabled, blind, or aged can receive cash assistance for bills and emergency expenses. Public assistance is only offered for those who are not eligible to receive government Security Income/State Supplemental Payment (SSI/SSP) due to their immigration status. In addition to cash assistance, these individuals may be able to get In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), Food Stamp benefits, and other public assistance such as Medi-Cal.

CalWORKs – Families with children may be able to receive financial assistance and cash aid. This is the Los Angeles version of TANF. The program provides cash assistance, career counseling and other employment focused services to low income families with minor children who meet state guidelines.

Los Angeles General Relief – This county run and administered program provides short term temporary cash aid to low income, indigent adults, and the working poor. In addition, certain legal immigrant families who are ineligible for other California or federal public assistance programs may qualify for aid.

General Relief (GR) is a County-funded program that provides financial assistance to indigent adults who are ineligible for federal or State programs. The Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services runs GR, and cash can be offered for food, housing, energy bills, and other basic needs.

The General Relief Opportunities for Work assistance program offers job training services, career counseling and employment resources to the low income and people who receive TANF or CalWORKs. This service was created to help qualified participants get a job and just as importantly become self–sufficient over time. Also keep in mind that substance abuse treatment is offered if needed. Participants in this resource will be assigned to a GROW Case Manager (GCM) who will work with participants to help them achieve their employment goals.





Another part of the general relief program mentioned above is the Supplemental Security Income Medi-Cal Advocacy Program (SSIMAP). This resource can help mentally and physically disabled General Relief families with the SSI application process. Referrals and information can be provided on public assistance and other Los Angeles resources and bill paying options.

Food, meals, and groceries can be provided in Los Angeles from CalFresh. This program was created in order to improve the health and nutrition of low income Los Angeles families and households. A voucher from Department of Public Social Services is provided to in effect increase the amount of buying power that people have for food. You will need to use this voucher/card at your local grocery store in order to get groceries. Read more on low cost or free food in California.

Uninsured residents, who are also low income, can get health care from Healthy Way LA (HWLA). It is a free medical care program for qualified patients and individuals in Los Angeles. Participants will be provided a contact and location as part of the DHS Comprehensive Health Centers or Community Partner. Some of the health care services provided include access to mental health services, primary and preventive medical care services, nurse advice lines, access to specialty health care services, and more. The Healthy Way LA is a comprehensive medical program for the uninsured.

The Medi-Cal Estate Recovery program pays the medical care for some people whose savings and income are too low for them to be able to pay for their own medical bills. Those people, in turn, may be required to pay the medical care costs back to Medi-Cal from what they owned when they died. The amount repaid can then be used to pay for care for others who need it at a future date.





Another job finding service/program is Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN). This resource can help participants in CalWORKs find, prepare for, and gain a new job in the Los Angeles county area. Services offered by this public funded program includes vocational assessment, job finding workshops, work experience, supervised job search, remedial education, vocational skills training, and much more. Post employment services and career counseling is also available by social workers to help employed participants work toward a better job, gain new skills, retain their jobs, and ultimately move to financial independence. GAIN also offers individuals help with child care expenses, transportation, special job-related expenses such as tools and work uniform. Also get counseling and case management such as mental health counseling, help with domestic violence situations, and substance abuse.

Another service is known as LA LINK. This can help a skilled worker be placed with an employer. Thousands of local individuals are placed annually.

Los Angeles Refugee Employment Program – Offers case management, information on cash assistance and public aid, outreach, and placement services to refugees and immigrants.




By Jon McNamara

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