CalWORKs
Welfare-to-Work
Persons applying for assistance on or after April 1, 1998 are eligible to receive GAIN services after signing a WTW plan. WTW activities include employment, job search, assessment, education and training, community service, substance abuse treatment, mental health services and domestic violence counseling.

LA GAIN provides employment-related services to CalWORKs recipients to help them find employment, stay employed, and move on to higher paying jobs, which will ultimately lead them to self-sufficiency and independence. WTW activities must be a minimum of 32 hours per week for single parents. Two parent families must participate 35 hours per week. The following persons are exempt from work requirements:

  • A child attending an elementary, secondary, or vocational school full-time.
  • A custodial parent who is 18 or 19 years of age and is a Cal-Learn participant.
  • Caretaker relatives who are not the parent and are not aided.
  • Individuals caring for ill or incapacitated household members.
  • Parents or caretakers age 60 and older.
  • Pregnant women whose condition prevents involvement in work activities.
  • Single parents caring for a child under one year of age.
  • Participants who are disabled or have a medical excuse.



Sanctions and Penalties


When participants fail to meet the Welfare-to-Work requirements, they will face penalties and/or possible sanctions. Financial sanctions can be imposed if a participant fails or refuses to comply with a CalWORKs requirement, to agree to a welfare-to-work plan, show proof of satisfactory progress in an agreed upon activity, or quit or refuse a job without a good reason for doing so. If efforts at conciliation are unsuccessful, one or both parents can excluded from the assistance budget for a specified time.

  • For the first instance, the sanction continues until the participant participates.
  • For the second instance, the sanction is for at least three months.
  • For the third and all subsequent instances, the sanction is for at least six months.
  • Exempt individuals who volunteer are not subject to financial sanctions, but are excluded from participating for six months.
  • Restoration of welfare-to-work participation is expedited when the participant agrees to cure the sanction and the sanction period has expired.

Good Cause

The following are considered good cause for a participant's failure or refusal to meet welfare-to-work program requirements:

  • An individual needs supportive services that are not currently available.
  • The participant is ill, or caring for a sick member of the family.
  • Child care is not reasonably available for a child under 10 years of age during the participant's hours of training or employment, including travel time.
  • A breakdown or interruption in child care occurs.
  • The participant is a victim of domestic violence and participation is detrimental to or penalizes the participant or family.
  • Discrimination exists in terms of age, sex, race, religion, national origin or physical or mental disability.
  • The conditions involved are in violation of health and safety standards or does not provide worker's compensation.
  • Round-trip travel time is in excess of two hours or two miles when walking is the only means of transportation.
  • The activity would cause the individual to violate the terms of union membership.
  • The hours of participation exceed the daily or weekly hours customary for that job.
  • Accepting the job or work activity would interrupt the participant's approved job or training program already in progress.

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