Government Programs in California

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California Assistance Programs

Federally funded programs in California provide residents with the services and assistance necessary to maintain a basic living and possibly gain better opportunities. Programs funded by the federal government assist California residents in fulfilling everyday tasks, like giving them access to driving-related services and helping them obtain legal identification for various purposes. Federally funded programs for low income families in CA serve individuals and families who have limited financial support, by providing extra help through services such as medical assistance or reemployment assistance. There are five main areas responsible for managing these statewide benefits and each develops and organizes multiple programs funded by the government. Learn more about these departments below.

California Department of Social Services

California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is the state agency that provides and distributes a number of social programs including subsistence payments for low-income families. The social services department in California obtains its funding from federal and state sources. CDSS manages the CalFresh, CalWORKs and the school meal programs, which provide the neediest California residents and families with food, cash and other benefits. For comprehensive information about the assistance programs in California, including how to apply for benefits successfully and the eligibility requirements to qualify, download our complimentary guide. READ MORE

California Employment Development and Education Assistance

Unemployment benefits, student financial aid opportunities and California Paid Family Leave (PFL) are just three of many of the services offered by the California Employment Development Department (EDD). As well as providing these services, the EDD also handles the collection of taxes, maintains employment records and works with groups throughout the local community to develop programs and resources that facilitate educational and employment opportunities for people with special needs. Continue reading this page to find out more about unemployment compensation, student financial aid assistance, wrongful termination in California and California Paid Family Leave (PFL). READ MORE

California Department of Housing and Urban Development

The California Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) is part of the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. Besides the benefits offered by the HUD, this department has the role of building policies, developing housing codes, regulating manufactured homes, regulating mobile home parks, dealing with economic development and administering community development programs. HUD has home renting benefits and home buying benefits for low-income families, first-time buyers and other qualified residents. HUD offers reduced rent and financing options as dedication to improving the quality of life for families throughout California. READ MORE

California Health Services

There are affordable insurance plans in California to residents who meet the eligibility requirements. There are two main California health care programs specially designed to provide necessary health care services for low-income individuals and families with children, disabled persons, seniors, pregnant women, foster care household members and people suffering from disease such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and breast cancer. The two programs are Medicaid insurance and Medicare insurance, each of which is funded by the state and federal government. Medicaid is specifically for low-income families and individuals, while Medicare is for seniors. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a federal statute designed to reduce the number of Americas without health insurance. It protects people who use these forms of low cost health insurance in California, ensuring that they obtain fair and equal treatment from the health insurance companies that participate as providers of these healthcare plans. Continue reading to find out more about the provisions and rules of the ACA, Medicaid and Medicare and which California residents are eligible for these programs. READ MORE

California Department of Motor Vehicles

California drivers can obtain an ID card, drivers license, commercial drivers license (CDL) and motorcycle license through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The CA DMV also handles services such as the smog check procedure, car registration, registration renewal and applications to store an unused vehicle rather than register it. Additionally, drivers may obtain information on driving school, demerit points and traffic tickets from the CA DMV. Many DMV services can be completed online or by mail, whereas others may require visiting an office in person. Self-service DMV Now kiosks also allow drivers to complete DMV procedures, such as vehicle registration renewal, through an automated process. Drivers should note that not all DMV offices feature the same services and some services can only be completed at certain branches. More information on California driver services is presented in the DMV section of this site, and comprehensive information about DMV services in the state is available by downloading our free guide. READ MORE


What Kind of Employment Development Services Are Available in California?

If you are currently unemployed and need help finding a job, the state of California offers unemployment benefits to eligible applicants, in order to help them get by while pursuing work. In addition to financial assistance, the Employment Development Division of California also offers training benefits, which allow unemployed individuals to learn new skills and get a higher education so that they can earn a better living. Find out more about these employment services by downloading our guide.


What Education Assistance Is Available in California?

Just as unemployed individuals can benefit from services offered by the state, so too can college students. California students can qualify for financial aid from the government, such as loans and grants, which can help them cover the costs of higher education. Find out how you can get financial assistance for your schooling by downloading our guide.