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program eligibility

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SRJC-CalWORKs Program Eligibility

What is TANF?
TANF stands for “Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.” This federal cash aid program (welfare) is available to very low-income parents who have a child under the age of 18 in the home, and who meet stringent income and need requirements.

Who is eligible for CalWORKs services?
The CalWORKs Program at the College serves TANF recipients who are referred from the Sonoma County Human Services Employment and Training Division, SonomaWORKS Program. The program may also serve Marin CalWORKs participants.

What will I need to do if I already receive TANF?
If you receive TANF, you will be required to participate in California’s welfare-to-work program. This is called CalWORKs. In Sonoma County this program is called SonomaWORKS. Other counties may use other names, but all have the same basic program requirements. Most adults in TANF families are required to sign and participate in a Welfare-to-Work Plan. This plan outlines mandatory activities that help adults in the family secure employment. Some adults may be "exempt" from participation for a variety of reasons. There is a lifetime limit of 48 months for adults to receive TANF.

Enrolling in classes at SRJC to gain skills leading to future employment may be a part of the Welfare-to-Work Plan. You can ask the SRJC CalWORKs staff for information about California’s welfare-to-work program requirements.

What do I need to know before I apply for TANF?
The SRJC CalWORKs staff can answer questions about TANF and provide you with information on how to apply for this county-operated program. If you are thinking about going to school, it is very important that you contact the CalWORKs staff before you apply for welfare. Students who are enrolled in school prior to going on welfare have some additional rights and more time to finish their college programs. These students are called “SIPs”.

What is a “SIP”?
“SIP” stands for “self-initiated program” participant and refers to students who had started the enrollment process for college prior to applying for welfare. SIPs are guaranteed education as their welfare-to-work activity as long as they meet the standards set by the county for satisfactory progress.

For more information about SIPs, you can visit LIFETIME or Legal Services of Northern California.

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