California is not only one of the largest, most populated, state in the Nation but is also one of the most generous. Like all other States, California has participated in several welfare programs authorized by the Social Security Act and partially funded by the Federal Government. Its programs, however, provide a higher level of benefits and serve more needy citizens than those in most other States.
There are many different benefits available, depending on your needs and your circumstances. But you may not know what you are entitled to, or how to apply for a benefit, or what to do if you think you have been unfairly turned down for a benefit.
Low Income Welfare Benefits.
If you have a low income, you can claim for several benefits that can give you basic financial sustenance to live on. To get them, you will need to pass a ‘means test’, so you will have to give details of all your income and savings. If you live with a partner, civil partner or with your husband or wife, their income and savings are taken into account as well when deciding if you can get these benefits.
This is available to people with a low income that don’t have to look for work before they can receive benefit. These people are the:
- lone parents with children under 16 and
- people who are sick or disabled
To claim, you must be under 60 years old and working for less than 16 hours a week. If you have a partner who lives with you, you can get income support only if he or she works less than 24 hours a week.
If you claim for Low Income Welfare Benefits and you are the parent of a child who lives with you, but the other parent lives elsewhere, you will be treated as having applied to the Child Support Agency. You will have to give information about the child’s other parent, unless this would put you or your children at risk. If you do not give this information, your Income Support may be reduced.
Disability Welfare Benefits
Depending on how long your illness or disability lasts and how disabled you are as a result, you may qualify for:
- Disability Living Allowance if you are under 65 or
- Attendance Allowance if you are 65 or older
You can claim for Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance whether or not you work. They are not treated as income for the purpose of deciding whether you qualify for other means-tested benefits, such as Income Support, Tax Credits, Pension Credit, Council Tax Benefit or Housing Benefit. Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance do not depend on any income you have and don’t require you to pay any National Insurance contributions in order to receive them.
If you were injured or became ill due to service in the armed forces, you may also be able to claim for a War Pension or financial help from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.