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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The information on this page is for reference only. Speak to a staff person for the most up-to-date information.


How do I apply for CalFresh?

The application for CalFresh includes completing eligibility questions that will include forms and a telephone interview with a specialist. Aid cannot begin until all conditions of eligibility have been verified.

The following information must be verified prior to certification:

  • Identification (for the person making the application and authorized representative, if there is one) Examples of acceptable documentary evidence which the applicant may provide include, but are not limited to:
    • A Social Security card or other document containing the Social Security number.
    • A driver’s license
    • A work or school ID
    • An ID for health benefits or for another assistance program
    • Wage stubs
    • A birth certificate
    • Collateral contact
  • Residency
  • Social Security number or application for all household members
  • Gross non-exempt income
  • Disability
  • Immigration status
  • Immigrant sponsorship

Who can receive CalFresh benefits?

You may be eligible to receive CalFresh benefits, whether or not you work, if you have a low income.

What can CalFresh benefits be used to purchase?

CalFresh benefits can be used to purchase:

  • Foods for human consumption.
  • Seeds and plants to grow food for household use.

What can you not purchase with CalFresh benefits?

CalFresh benefits cannot be used to purchase:

  • Any non-food item such as pet food, soaps, paper products, household supplies, grooming items and cosmetics.
  • Alcoholic beverages or tobacco products.
  • Vitamins and medicines.
  • Any food that will be eaten in the store.
  • Any food marketed to be heated in the store.

If I am receiving SSI/SSP, can I also receive CalFresh benefits?

If you are receiving SSI/SSP, you cannot receive CalFresh benefits in California. However, your family may be eligible to receive CalFresh benefits.

I attend school and my income is very low, but I have been denied CalFresh benefits, why?

As a student attending school half time or more, in order to be eligible to Cal Fresh you must also work at least 20 hours a week, be approved for a state or federally funded work study program or have parental responsibility of a child under age six.


How do I apply for CalWORKs?

The application for CalWORKs includes completion of eligibility questions that will include forms and an interview with a specialist. Aid cannot begin until all conditions of eligibility have been verified. These conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • Cooperating with the Local Child Support Office for establishing paternity and securing child support from the absent parent.
  • Applying for potentially available income such as Unemployment Benefits.
  • Verifying citizenship, or showing proof of legal immigration status.
  • Applying for a Social Security number.
  • Verifying income and property.

Do I have to have children to be eligible for CalWORKs?

Yes. You must have a child under the age of 18 or a child age 18 who is expected to graduate high school prior to their 19th birthday residing with you. In addition you may be eligible if you are in your second trimester of your pregnancy.

Do I have to be a US citizen to be eligible?

No, CalWORKs recipients must be either a US citizen or have legal resident status. Undocumented residents are not eligible to CalWORKs.

What is the maximum aid I can receive?

The MAP (Maximum Aid Payment) level is established by the California State Legislature based on family size. MAP levels vary based on whether or not the adults in the household are able to work.
The MAP level for households with adult caretakers who are able to work is lower than the MAP level for households with adult caretakers who are not able to work. This is called the Non Exempt MAP Level.
When the adults in the household are not able to work because of a temporary or permanent incapacity, the family receives a higher MAP. Child only cases, i.e., cases where no adults are receiving aid, also receive the higher MAP level. This is called the Exempt MAP Level.
The following chart reflects the current 10/1/2016 Non Exempt MAP and Exempt MAP levels:

AU Size


Effective 10/1/2016

 Non-Exempt AU
Exempt AU
 1  336 374
 2 549 616
 3 680 762
 4 810 904
 5 922 1031
 6 1035 1157
 7 1136 1272
 8 1239 1385
 9 1340 1498
 10 1438 1610

When do I report changes?

CalWORKs families must report changes in their income, household composition and property to their specialist every six months on their Semi-Annual Report (SAR7) or annually for their Annual Report (RRR). Some other things must be reported within 10 days of occurrence: a member of the household becomes a fleeing felon, violates a condition of parole/probation or the combined earned and unearned income of the household exceeds the Income Reporting Threshold (IRT) for their household size.

How will working affect my cash aid?

When a cash aid recipient is employed or receives disability based income, CalWORKs regulations allow the following deductions from the gross income:

  • For disability based income up to $225 can be disregarded
  • 50% of the remaining earnings after the above disregard is also deducted

Any income remaining after the deductions are subtracted from the gross earned income is then subtracted from the MAP amount to determine the amount of the CalWORKs grant.

What if I’m homeless?

Families who are eligible for CalWORKs and who are homeless can apply for a special need payment to meet their costs for temporary and permanent housing. The maximum Homeless assistance payment is based on the size of the CalWORKs family. Homeless Assistance is available once every 12 months unless the family is homeless due to domestic violence, natural disaster, inhabitability, or a physical or mental disability and the family qualifies for an exemption.
CalWORKs families may be eligible to apply for Homeless Assistance benefits to assist with the payment of rent arrearages. Payment of arrearages is considered to be the family’s once every 12 month Homeless Assistance payment.

How long can I be on CalWORKs?

From 1/1/98 through 6/30/2011, the time limit was sixty months. On 7/1/2011, the CalWORKs time limit changed to 48 months for adults. Some months can be exempt from the time clock calculation.

If I am approved for benefits, how do I access them?

Your benefits will be placed on your Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card in the beginning of the month. You may request that the cash aid be automatically deposited into your personal bank account. Applications with instructions for this program are available at each office.
What happens if my EBT card is not working?
EBT cards do not work for various reasons, such as the card may not be active, or there are no remaining benefits. If your card is not working, please call the Human Services Call Center at 1-888-385-5160 or call California Department of Social Services at 1-877-328-9677 or TTY: 1-800-735-2929.

What if I have lost my EBT card?

Call 1-877-328-9677 to report your card lost or stolen immediately. At this time you may also request a new card be mailed to you. If you need a new card right away contact Placer County at 1-888-385-5160.

If I am a pregnant or parenting teen, can I receive CalWORKs?

Pregnant or parenting teens who have not graduated from high school are required to participate in the Cal-Learn program. Components of the Cal-Learn program include:

  • Teens must attend school and submit their report card to their Cal-Learn case manager
  • Teens are paid a bonus for satisfactory school progress or high school graduations
  • Teens who do not attend school or fail to maintain adequate school progress receive a financial sanction.

If I receive SSI/SSP am I eligible to benefits?

No. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income/State Supplemental Payment (SSI/SSP), you are already receive a cash form of public assistance and are not eligible for CalWORKs. You may apply for other household members who do not receive SSI/SSP.

What if I have a cash emergency?

If you have a cash emergency, you may apply for an Immediate Need payment when you apply for CalWORKs. Tell your case manager you have the emergency. Immediate Need payments may be available to families in emergency situations while the CalWORKs application is being processed. The maximum immediate need payment is $200. If you are apparently eligible to the CalWORKs program you may be eligible for an Immediate Need Payment, within 24 hours, based on an emergency situation that may include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Lack of housing
  • Pending eviction
  • Lack of food
  • Utility shutoff notice
  • Transportation
  • Clothing needs
  • Other immediate health and safety issues

What is Welfare to Work?

The Welfare- To-Work Program, also known as Employment Services, helps family members acquire the skills needed to get a job. The County will determine if an individual must participate in Welfare-To-Work activities as a requirement for CalWORKs. Family members may also voluntarily participate.

How do I find out information about my benefits?

Call 1-888-385-5160 to access your benefit information automatically or to speak to a Program Specialist.

General Relief

How do I apply for General Relief?

The application for General Relief includes completion of eligibility questions that will include forms and an interview with a specialist. Aid cannot begin until all conditions of eligibility have been verified. These conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • Applying for a Social Security number.
  • Verifying citizenship, or showing proof of legal immigration status.
  • Verifying income and property.
  • Applying for potentially available income such as Unemployment Benefits.

Do I have to be a US citizen to be eligible?

No, CalWORKs recipients must be either a US citizen or have legal resident status and not be sponsored. Undocumented residents are not eligible to General Relief.

I am able to work, am I still eligible for benefits?

A person who is employable:

  • Must register for employment with the California State Employment Development Department
  • Must apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UIB) if potentially eligible.
  • Recipients are limited to a time limit of 3 months of benefits in a twelve month period, whether or not the months are consecutive. This includes time on aid in other California counties as an employable person.

What if I am disabled or unable to work?

A person who states that they are disabled must:

  • Cooperate in obtaining verification of his/her disability.
  • Apply for SSI/SSP and/or other disability benefits as determined appropriate by the department.
  • Individuals who are determined to be disabled/unemployable may be excluded from the 3 month a year time limit.

If I am eligible, how much will my benefits be?

Your program specialist will calculate the amount of benefits that you can receive. The maximum benefits are listed below:

# of Persons





Total Maximum




















I am homeless, am I still eligible to receive General Relief benefits?

Yes, however your total maximum grant will be reduced due to no rental or utility expenses. The maximum amount a single, homeless person can receive per month on General Relief is $52.00.

Can I get immediate service, if needed?

General Relief benefits can be granted the same day as the application is received if all needed forms and documents are provided.

How will I get my General Relief payments?

General Relief benefits are issued on a plastic card called an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. Money can be accessed by making purchases from stores that have POS (point of sale) machines, or at ATM’s displaying the “QUEST” logo.

When do I report changes?

After aid is granted, you must report any changes to your income, household composition, and property to a program specialist on your Monthly Eligibility Report (CW7).

If I receive SSI/SSP am I eligible to benefits?

No. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income/State Supplemental Payment (SSI/SSP), you already receive a cash form of public assistance and are not eligible for General Relief.

What happens if my EBT card is not working?

EBT cards do not work for various reasons, such as the card may not be active, or there are no remaining benefits. If your card is not working, please call the Human Services Call Center at 1-888-385-5160 or call California Department of Social Services at 1-877-328-9677 or TTY: 1-800-735-2929.

What if I have lost my EBT card?

Call 1-877-328-9677 to report your card lost or stolen immediately. At this time you may also request a new card be mailed to you. If you need a new card right away contact Placer County at 1-888-385-5160.


How does the Housing Choice Voucher Program work?

If you qualify, the Housing Choice Voucher Programs allows you to choose any rental unit (single-family homes, townhouses and apartments) in the private market that meets the program requirements. The voucher covers a portion of your rent and you are expected to pay the balance. The amount you pay is generally between 30 to 40 percent of your monthly income for rent and utilities.

How do I apply to get on the waiting list?

Currently, the Placer County Housing Choice Voucher Program and the HUD-Veteran’s Affairs Supportive Housing Program waiting lists are closed and we are not accepting applications at this time. Please check back later.

Are there emergency housing facilities in Placer County?

The Gathering Inn
Emergency Overnight Housing, Dinner & Support Services
201 Berkeley Ave
Roseville,CA 95678

Executive Director-Suzi DeFosset- 916-791-9355

Resource Center opened 8-4 Mon-Fri: computers and other resources are available

Is transitional housing available in Placer County for people who are homeless?

Typically there are waiting lists for transitional housing facilities. You will need to contact the appropriate provider to see if they have vacancies. For an extended listing of available transitional housing go to: housing options and resources

Home Start
410 Riverside Avenue
Roseville, CA 95678

Acres of Hope
PO Box 40
Applegate, CA 95703
530-878-8030 Fax: 530-878-8009

Lazarus Project
Transitional housing for adults

Are there other housing authorities in the area?

There are several local offices in the surrounding communities and counties. Here is a listing:

City of Roseville- Housing Authority
311 Vernon Street, Roseville, CA 95678
916-774-5220 [TDD]

El Dorado County Housing Authority
937 Spring Street, Placerville, CA 95667

Regional Housing Authority of Sutter and Nevada Counties
1455 Butte House Road
Yuba City, CA
1-888-671-0220 toll free

Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency
630 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Yolo County Housing Authority 
147 W. Main Street
Woodland, CA 95695


I am eligible for Medi-Cal, but haven't applied yet. Can I use Medical Care Services Program (MCSP) instead?

No. If it is determined that you may be eligible for Medi-Cal or other benefits, you must apply for Medi-Cal or those other benefits as instructed.

I think I am disabled, and I've applied for Medi-Cal and SSI but am waiting to be approved. May I apply for MCSP now in case Medi-Cal or SSI denies my application?


Does MCSP pay medical bills while litigation is pending?

Yes. If you win the litigation, the associated medical bills are paid from the settlement. If you lose the litigation and if the medical providers obtained MCSP prior authorization, then MCSP may pay the medical bills, assuming all billing criteria are met.

How long am I eligible for Medical Care Services Program (MCSP) benefits?

Eligibility will be granted for a period of 60 days unless MCSP has reason to believe that the applicant will become ineligible in less than 60 days.

Where can I use MCSP coverage?

Most services are provided at the Placer County Medical Clinic. Placer MCSP will not reimburse for any out of county services provided to a Placer MCSP recipient unless authorized by Placer MCSP prior to receiving treatment.

Approval for all non-emergency treatment provided by outside providers (all services not provided by Placer County Medical Clinic) is subject to prior authorization.

Placer County MCSP coverage does not cover visits to the Emergency Room for non-emergency reasons.

What if my income is more than the maximum Medical Care Services Program (MCSP) allows?

If the amount of your income and assets falls within the guidelines, you may be eligible for MCSP. Based on your income, you may have to pay a share of cost (SOC) to one or more medical providers.


How do I apply for Medi-Cal?

There are four ways that you can apply for Medi-Cal in Placer County. You can apply online at, by phone, in person at one of the Placer County Human Services offices, or by mail. To apply for Medi-Cal by phone call: 1-888-385-5160. If you want to apply by mail, please contact 1-888-385-5160 and request an application be sent to your home.

How long does the Medi-Cal application process take?

Forty-five (45) days are allowed to process a Medi-Cal application not involving a disability. If you are applying for Medi-Cal based on a disability, your application process may take up to 60 days or longer depending on how quickly you complete the disability information and how quickly your doctors and hospitals submit your medical records. To avoid delays in the processing of your case, submit all information requested of you as soon as possible. Ask your program specialist for help if you are having trouble obtaining information

Do I have to pay for Medi-Cal?

It depends.

  • If your income is less than Medi-Cal limits for your family size, you will receive Medi-Cal services at no cost to you.
  • If your income is more than Medi-Cal limits for your family size, you will have to pay a certain amount only in the month you have medical expenses. The amount that you pay is called your share of cost (SOC). When you pay or promise to pay that amount, we say that you have met your SOC. Once you have met your SOC, Medi-Cal will pay the rest of your covered medical bills for that month. For example, if your SOC is $50, you must first pay or obligate (obtain your providers agreement to make payments on the SOC) $50. Your provider will enter the amount you paid or obligated into the Department’s database. Your case will certify when the amounts you paid or obligated equal the amount of your share of cost. Once your share of cost is certified; providers checking your eligibility will advised that you are eligible and covered services may now be billed to the Medi-Cal program. Please note, expenses incurred by ineligible members of your family may be used to meet the share of cost of eligible members.

If one spouse lives in a nursing home, Medi-Cal allows the spouse remaining in the home to keep all of the income he/she receives in his/her name regardless of the amount. Be sure to ask Placer County Human Services for an MC Information Notice 007 for more information on income.

What benefits does Medi-Cal provide?

Medi-Cal provides medical, vision and dental services for people with full-scope benefits. A person can be eligible for full-scope Medi-Cal benefits if she/he is a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident alien and meets other eligibility criteria. Restricted benefits provide emergency services to individuals without satisfactory immigration status. Restricted benefits allow a person to use her/his Medi-Cal for emergency services only. For a pregnant woman with restricted benefits, Medi-Cal will cover pregnancy-related services only. Based on a person's family size and income, a person may have to pay a share of cost (SOC) to the provider each month if Medi-Cal is used. A person with zero SOC pays no portion of the medical expenses whether or not Medi-Cal is used.

I have Medicare. Can I apply for Medi-Cal also?

Yes. Individuals who are Medicare beneficiaries may apply for Medi-Cal. If Medi-Cal eligibility is established, the State may begin paying the Part B premium and the Part A and B coinsurance and deductibles. The State will also pay the Part A premium for Medicare beneficiaries who are not qualified for free Part A benefits. Medi-Cal may also provide medical services that are not covered by Medicare.

Can I get help from Medi-Cal with Medicare costs?

Yes. Medicare is different from Medi-Cal. Medicare is a federal health insurance program run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It is available to most people 65 years of age or older and certain disabled or blind persons, regardless of income. Medicare Part "A" covers hospitalization. Medicare Part "B" covers doctor bills.

If you receive Medicare, you may qualify for the following special Medi-Cal programs:

  • The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary program pays for the Medicare Part A and B premiums, co-insurance and deductibles. To be eligible you must have income at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • The Specified Low-Income Beneficiary and Qualifying Individual 1 program pay for all or some of the Medicare Part "B" premium. To be eligible you must have income below 135% of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • The Qualifying Individual 1 program reimburses you for a portion of your Medicare Part "B" premium that you have paid. To be eligible you must have income below 135% of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • The Qualified Disabled Working Individual program pays the Medicare Part "A" premium. To be eligible you must have income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, be disabled, be employed and eligible under any other Medi-Cal program.

Even if you don't qualify for the above assistance programs, your Medicare A & B premiums can be used as allowable deductions in the Medi-Cal share of costs calculation.

What services does Medi-Cal cover?

For information about the services Medi-Cal covers:

  • Call your provider (your doctor, dentist, clinic, hospital, etc.)
  • For questions about dental services or Medi-Cal dental programs (Denti-Cal) call 1-800-322-6384.

Is there a special program for children and pregnant women?

Yes. Pregnant women and children may have more income and property than other people and still qualify for no-cost Medi-Cal services. The income guidelines are different for children under age 1, children 1 to 6, and children 6 to 19. Your family property, such as savings accounts or cars, is not used to determine eligibility if monthly income falls within certain limits.

What is the Child Health and Disability Prevention (CHDP) Program?

The Child Health and Disability Prevention (CHDP) Program is a health promotion and prevention program serving California’s infants, children, and teens. The CHDP Program provides periodic preventive health assessments to:

  • Children under age 21 with Medi-Cal.
  • Non-Medi-Cal eligible children from birth to age 19 with family incomes at or below 200 per cent of the Federal Income Guidelines and no source of health care coverage for preventive health care services.
  • Children enrolled in Head Start and state preschool programs.

Children identified with suspected problems after a health assessment are referred for necessary diagnosis and treatment. Many problems can be prevented, corrected, or reduced in severity by prompt diagnosis and treatment.

Early, Periodic, Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) services are a benefit provided through the CHDP Program for Medi-Cal children not enrolled in a Medi-Cal managed care plans. Call 1-800-433-2611 for more information.

For more information about services, contact

Placer County CHDP
11484 B Avenue
Auburn, CA 95603
Phone: 530-886-3620
Fax: 530-886-3306

What is the Medi-Cal Acess Program (MCAP)?

The Medi-Cal Acess Program (MCAP) provides health care to uninsured pregnant women whose income is too high to qualify for no-cost Medi-Cal.

To qualify for AIM, you must be less than 30 weeks pregnant when you apply. AIM benefits include:

  • Prenatal visits
  • Hospital delivery
  • Full health care services during the pregnancy and for 60 days following the child’s birth
  • Full health care services for the baby from birth to age two.

For more information and an application, call 1-800-433-2611.

What is the Women, Infants & Children Supplement Nutritional Program (WIC)?

The WIC program is for low to medium income families who have:

  • Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or just had a baby
  • Children under 5 years of age
  • Foster children receiving Medi-Cal.

The WIC program provides:

  • Checks to buy healthy foods
  • Nutritional counseling, and nutrition education classes
  • Breast feeding support and education

For more information in Placer County, please contact:

Placer County WIC Program
Phone: Rocklin/Lincoln 916-784-6447 or Auburn/Tahoe 530-889-7187

Auburn Office
11484 B Avenue
Auburn, CA 95603

Rocklin Office
1000 Sunset Boulevard., Suite 150
Rocklin, CA 95765

Lincoln Office (within the Lighthouse FRC)
427 A Street
Lincoln, CA 95648

Kings Beach
8645 N. Lake Boulevard, Suite D
Kings Beach, CA 95143


What is the Family Planning Services program?

With Family Planning Services you will:

  • Receive information and education on your options for birth control
  • Discuss with your provider the birth control method that is best for you
  • Receive Family Planning Services at low or no cost.

With Family Planning Services you can:

  • Receive continued follow-up care
  • Prevent unplanned pregnancies
  • Plan when to have your next child.

Family Planning Services can give you:

  • Birth control supplies for men and women
  • Pregnancy tests
  • Breast and cervical cancer screening
  • Tests and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STI)
  • Education, testing, and counseling for HIV, the virus known to cause AIDS.

If you are low-income or are receiving Medi-Cal, Family Planning Services are available at no cost. You can get Family Planning Services from:

  • Your regular Medi-Cal health care plan, doctor, or community clinic.
  • Or, any other doctors or clinics that accept Medi-Cal.
  • Health care providers who participate in Family Planning, Access, Care & Treatment (PACT).

To contact the California Office Family Planning Services, call 1-800-942-1054.

Are there county-operated health care programs?

Yes. Individuals who are not eligible for Medi-Cal may qualify for a health care program offered by Placer County.
Click here for information on Placer County’s Medical Care Services Program (MCSP).

What is California Children Services (CCS)?

California Children’s Services (CCS) is a statewide program that arranges, directs, and pays for medical care, equipment, and rehabilitation, when these services are authorized by the program. Services can be authorized for children and young adults less than 21 years of age who have eligible medical conditions and whose families are unable to pay for all or part of their care. CCS defines eligibility and selects the most qualified professionals to treat the child’s CCS-eligible condition. However, it is important for you to know that CCS is not a health insurance program. It will not meet all of the child’s health needs, only those related to the CCS-eligible condition.

To find out more information about CCS in Placer County, or contact:

Placer County CCS
11484 B Avenue
Auburn, CA 95603
Phone: 530-886-3630
Fax: 530-886-3613

What is In-Home Supportive Services?

The In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program helps pay for services which enable individuals to remain safely in their own homes instead of entering a nursing home or board and care facility. To be eligible, you must be over 65 years of age, disabled, or blind, and eligible for Medi-Cal. Disabled children are also eligible for IHSS.

The types of services IHSS can help pay for include:

  • Housecleaning
  • Meal preparation
  • Laundry
  • Grocery shopping
  • Personal care services (such as bowel and bladder care, bathing, grooming and paramedical services)
  • Accompaniment to medical appointments
  • Protective supervision for the mentally impaired.

To apply for IHSS in Placer County, contact the IHSS office at 530-889-7240 or 916-787-8800.

More program information telephone numbers.

  1. Prepaid Health Plans/Managed Care:
  2. Medi-Cal Billing Problems:
    • For Problems Or Questions Regarding Medical Bills, Call Electronic Data Systems: 916-636-1980
  3. Medi-Cal State Hearing:
    • To file a request for a Medi-Cal State Hearing: Call the Public Inquiry and Response Unit at 1-800-952-5253; For Hearing Impaired: TDD 1-800-952-8349
  4. Third Party Liability:
    • Health Insurance Billing and Coding, Premium Payment, Medicare Buy-in: 1-800-952-5294
    • Casualty, Personal Injury, Probate, Estate, Liens, Workers’ Compensation, Overpayment Recovery: 1-800-952-5294.
  5. Medi-Cal Beneficiary Fraud and Abuse: 1-800-822-6222
  6. Provider Fraud and Elder Abuse complaint line: 1-800-722-0432
  7. SSA or SSI/SSP Information: 1-800-772-1213
    (For hearing impaired: TTY 1-800-325-0778
  8. Other Health Program Numbers:
    For Healthy Families/Medi-Cal for Children application and/or information: 1-888-747-1222.


Who is eligible?

Pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age 5 are eligible. They must meet income guidelines, a State residency requirement, and be individually determined to be at "nutritional risk" by a health professional. To be eligible on the basis of income, applicants' gross income (ex. before taxes are withheld) must fall at or below 185 percent of the U.S. Poverty Income Guidelines.

What is "nutritional risk"?

Two major types of nutritional risk are recognized for WIC eligibility:

Medically-based risks (designated as "high priority") such as anemia, underweight, maternal age, history of pregnancy complications, or poor pregnancy outcomes.

Diet-based risks such as inadequate dietary pattern. Nutritional risk is determined by a health professional such as a physician, nutritionist, or nurse, and is based on Federal guidelines. This health screening is free to program applicants.

What food benefits do WIC participants receive?

WIC participants receive checks or vouchers to purchase specific foods each month that are designed to supplement their diets with specific nutrients that benefit WIC’s target population. WIC foods include infant cereal, iron-fortified adult cereal, vitamin C-rich fruit or vegetable juice, eggs, milk, cheese, peanut butter, dried and canned beans/peas, and canned fish. Soy-based beverages, tofu, fruits and vegetables, baby foods, whole-wheat bread, and other whole-grain options were recently added to better meet the nutritional needs of WIC participants. WIC recognizes and promotes breastfeeding as the optimal source of nutrition for infants. For women who do not fully breastfeed, WIC provides iron-fortified infant formula. Special infant formulas and medical foods may be provided when prescribed by a physician for a specified medical condition.

Where Can I Use My WIC Vouchers?

Only a WIC authorized food store can accept WIC checks. Look for the WIC logo or WIC poster to identify stores that accept WIC checks. You can also consult with your WIC counselor to find a store near you.

What is the WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program?

The WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), established in 1992, provides additional coupons to WIC participants that they can use to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers' markets. The program has two goals: To provide fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits and vegetables, from farmers' markets to WIC participants who are at nutritional risk; and to expand consumers' awareness and use of farmers' markets.

Fraud Hotline, welfare fraud,

To report public assistance fraud, including IHSS fraud, please call 916-784-6180, or send an e-mail to: