For Information, call 211

General Assistance Programs

General Assistance Programs

CalFresh Program:

If you have been affected by a disaster and are in need of food assistance, you can apply for benefits through CalFresh, a supplemental program that helps limited-income individuals and families buy the food they need in order to stay healthy. Benefits are provided on an electronic card that works like a bank debit card, and can be used to buy food at most grocery stores and markets (including some Farmer’s Markets).

Who is eligible for CalFresh? Generally, households must have gross income below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) and net income (after certain deductions) below 100% of FPG. You must be a citizen or legal resident to receive CalFresh (undocumented individuals are not eligible, but can apply for their children if the children are legal residents or citizens).

There are many myths about CalFresh eligibility for certain populations. If you are a student, senior citizen, immigrant, or former foster youth, please don’t assume that you can’t qualify: talk to us, or check out these fact sheets .

For information and how to apply, go to .


Administered through the Santa Barbara County Department of Social Services, CalWORKs provides cash aid and services to help eligible needy families obtain food, shelter and essentials. For most adults (those who are able to work and not exempt), there is a four-year lifetime limit on CalWORKs cash assistance; and cash assistance is conditional on participation in work activities through the Welfare to Work program (see below). For information about eligibility and to apply, go to .

Welfare to Work (WTW):
WTW provides assessment and case management services to assist CalWORKs adults in developing goals and a plan to obtain employment, and provides transitional supportive services such as subsidized child care , transportation assistance, and work- or training-related expenses to address barriers to finding and keeping a job. We will evaluate whether you are required to participate in WTW when CalWORKs is granted, and re-evaluate periodically. If your family is facing exceptional challenges, such as homelessness, domestic violence, addiction, mental health needs, etc., our new Family Advocates can help you obtain services to address those challenges.

Senior and Disabled Adult Services
The California Department of Aging contracts with and provides leadership and direction to Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) that coordinate a wide array of services to seniors and adults with disabilities. You can locate an AAA in your area by calling (800) 510-2020; TDD (800) 735-2929 or visit the website at .

Social Security
For information on applying for social security benefits, survivor benefits, or for assistance expediting the delivery of your check delayed by the disaster, call the Social Security Administration (SSA) automated telephone services at (800) 772-1213, or TTY/TDD for hearing or speech impaired (800) 325-0778. To speak to a representative, call between 4 a.m. and 4 p.m. (PST) Monday through Friday. Information and services can also be found at .

The County on Twitter

Be Radio Ready

Radio Ready

During an emergency when the power is out and when critical and timely information must get out to the general public, the County Office of Emergency Management will utilize satellite equipment to regularly communicate with designated County radio stations that have generators and can continue to broadcast. Visit this link for a list of stations to check if you lose power and cannot access the Internet.

Contact The County

105 E. Anapamu St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: 211