Disaster Help Center
Below are some safety tips, resources, and information about the types of federal, state and local disaster assistance services available in California. Although some of the resources are restricted to individuals or households with lawful immigration status, there are many services available to all Californians impacted by disasters.
Beware of EBT Theft and Scams
California has been experiencing an increase in occurrence of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) theft. In an effort to educate EBT cardholders and mitigate this activity, the California Department of Social Services is providing security tips for those who use EBT cards to receive food and cash assistance in the following linked video. If you think your benefits may have been stolen, you should immediately call the customer service telephone number on the back of your EBT card, (877) 328-9677, or contact your county social services agency.
A new mobile app and web-based portal called ebtEDGE provides new features for EBT cardholders in California, allowing them to better protect their CalFresh and CalWORKs benefits. The free app is available for download in the
Apple App store and Google Play store. Web-based access is available here.
VIDEO: Watch Out for EBT Scams!
VIDEO: Tenga Cuidado Con Las Estafas De Las Tarjetas EBT!!!
Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI)
You may qualify for cash assistance if you are an immigrant living in California and are:
- 65 years or older, or
- blind, or
CAPI is a program that is based on meeting certain immigration, income, and resource requirements. Please visit the CAPI program website for more information and how to apply!
Alert: Important Change to Public Charge Rule
Immigrants and their loved ones across California can seek and accept medical care, food assistance, and public housing without fear or confusion about public charge consequences thanks to a public charge rule published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which went into effect December 23, 2022. Under the final rule, participation in CalFresh, public housing, or Medi-Cal (except for long-term care), will not be considered as part of the public charge determination. Also, a reminder that medical testing, treatment, and preventive services for COVID-19, including vaccines, are not considered for public charge purposes. For additional information, please see the following:
- Joint statement from California health and human services leaders in response to the federal public charge changes.
- Public Charge Guide for individuals and families with questions about the these changes in federal policy: (English) ( Español)
Individuals in California seeking assistance are encouraged to consult one of many state-funded organizations that provide legal services to immigrants. Here is a list of immigration services providers funded by CDSS.
Free Access to State Parks and Beaches for CalWORKs Recipients
Recipients of California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) benefits are eligible for free access to state parks and beaches through the Golden Bear Pass program. Sign up for a 2023 pass.
Adult Protective Services Hotline
If you or someone you know needs protection from abuse and neglect, call the statewide Adult Protective Services hotline: (833) 401-0832. Individuals can enter their 5-digit ZIP code to be connected to their county Adult Protective Services staff, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
Statewide Adult Protective Services Data Dashboard
CDSS offers a dashboard containing data submitted by every county Adult Protective Services APS agency in California. Data is sent to the Department by counties monthly via the SOC 242 data collection tool. Included are the number of reports received, recidivism rates, the types of allegations of abuse, and demographic information on clients. See the dashboard.
Foster Care Ombudsperson Hotline
If you are concerned about the care, placement, services, or rights of children in foster care, call the Foster Care Ombudsperson hotline: (877) 846-1602. Service is available Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, from 8 am to 5 pm.
Recognizing Child Abuse and Neglect Through Distance Learning
If you are an educator involved in distance learning, this guide from CDSS and CDE offers tips to help you fulfill your role as a mandated reporter of suspected child abuse and neglect.
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Information