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Frequently Asked Questions

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The California Community Colleges CalWORKs Program is a state funded program that assists current welfare recipients in achieving long-term self-sufficiency through the attainment of higher education.

At Cerritos College, the CalWORKs Program focuses on providing CalWORKs students with special support services in order to assist with educational and career planning, as well as, insuring compliance with the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) welfare-to-work requirements. We are here for you every step of the way. Our highly-skilled staff will help you in every way possible toward meeting your career and educational goals.

The Cerritos College CalWORKs program offers the following services:
- Counseling services
- Assistance with completion of county required forms
- New Student Orientations
- Processing of Education Materials (books and supplies) request for reimbursements or advances.
- Work-study opportunities for eligible students
- Priority registration
To be eligible for the Cerritos College CalWORKs program an individual must be receiving cash aid from the county, be in good standing with the college, and have developed or be in the process of developing a welfare-to-work plan with the local county welfare office or GAIN Service Worker.
You can make an appointment to see a CalWORKs counselor in person at the CalWORKs Office located in the Santa Barbara Building towards the back of the Cerritos College Campus or by calling: (562) 860-2451 ext. 2593.
While we make all attempts to maintain available counseling appointments; depending on the time of the year, you may find it difficult to schedule an appointment. We ask that you to immediately contact your GAIN services worker and ask for an extension. For further clarification your county worker can call the CalWORKs office directly at (562) 860-2451 ext. 2593.
CalWORKs services are available for the individual who is receiving cash aid, being dependent does not make you eligible.
As long as you are receiving the Adult portion of cash aid from the County GAIN (Welfare) office you are eligible.

The CalWORKs office will accept the following recently dated forms as verification of cash aid:

- Cerritos College CalWORKs In-house: Agency Certification
- GN6005
- Gn6006 (GN6013-14)
- Notice of Action
- Verification of Benefits
- Welfare-To-Work plan

The CalWORKs office is required to collect eligibility documentation every semester for every student who is enrolled and receiving CalWORKs services. A rule of thumb is to turn in your eligibility forms every semester with a current date of the semester you are submitting your verification form.
All new students coming into the CalWORKs program are required to attend an EAP Student Success New Student Orientation based on the New California Community College Board of Governor's Student Success Initiative. The goal is to help students obtain a better understanding of the requirements and deadlines to obtain a certificate of achievement, Associate of Arts Degree or transfer options.
In order to assist our students with processing the request for books and supplies, the CalWORKs office conducts two workshops per week. The dates, times and locations are posted in the CalWORKs office as well as the CalWORKs website: you can also call us at (562) 860-2451 ext. 2593 to obtain more information.
The CalWORKs college program is required to process and submit your request for reimbursements and advances. Therefore, if you go to your GAIN services worker they will refer you back to our office. All Workshops are by appointment only. Please contact the front desk staff at (562) 860-2451 ext. 2593 to schedule your workshop. Also remember to bring all requirement documentation in order to process your request without delay. For a list of required materials please visit our website at 
Students interested in the Work-Study Program should make an appointment with the CalWORKs Coordinator by calling (562) 860-2451 ext. 2593. They will check your transcripts and file to see whether you qualify. All students interested in work-study will be required to attend the series of 6 Pre-Employment Preparation (PEP) workshops.
PEP stand for Pre-Employment Preparation. PEP is a series of 6 workshops that are required for students wishing to participate in the Work-study program. If you received an invitation then you have inquired about the work-study program.
Manual of Policy and Procedures (MPP) Section 44-111.25 states that earned income from the college work-study program as well as any other work-study program is exempt and will not affect your cash aid. If, you find yourself being penalized for work-study please stop by our office and pick-up a copy of the All County Letter No. 98-95 to show to your GAIN services case worker. Should you still not get resolution, please make an appointment to meet with your CalWORKs counselor at (562) 860-2451 ext. 2593.
Yes. Practically all college loans, grants and work-study are "excluded income". That means your CalWORKs should not be reduced or cut off because you get financial aid. If you have not already filled out your financial aid application we would encourage you to do so. If the county had reduced your aid due to financial aid, please make an appointment to meet with your CalWORKs counselor at (562) 860-2451 ext.2593.
The Cerritos College CalWORKs staff delivers over and above services and as such, we take much pride in assisting our students with communicating with the county offices. Should you encounter this situation, please make an appointment to meet with your CalWORKs counselor at (562) 860-2451 ext. 2593 as soon as possible so that she can assist you in making contact with your GAIN services worker and/or their supervisor.
Yes. CalWORKs, the welfare program which replaced AFDC, GAIN allows you to go to college.
No. But if you cannot get your course of study approved, the county can assign you to other work activities which will make continuing school very difficult. If you don't attend those assigned activities without a good reason, the county will start sanction process. A sanction means your CalWORKs grant will be cut.
The hearing request may be made either in writing or by calling the state hearing office in Sacramento at (800) 952-5253. The back of every notice of action contains directions for requesting a state hearing, the phone number of the state hearing office for oral hearing request and a form for written hearing requests. If you ask for a hearing before the day of the sanction of the cut take effect, your aid will not be cut while you are waiting for the decision. Always keep a copy of this request!
The county must pay for childcare for your children 10 years old and younger, and for 11 & 12 year-olds if funding is available (and if you are making satisfactory progress). You can also get childcare for your older children who have special needs. Childcare is available:
- While you are in an approved SIP, or
- While you are in education, training or any other activity as part of your welfare-to-work plan, or
- While finishing the quarter or semester in a SIP which cannot be approved, or
- If you need it as "post-employment" services.
SIP and VOC'S are entitled to payment for transportation.
Generally this means a bus pass. You can get payment for car mileage if
- No bus service is available, or
- The commute takes longer than one hour each way.
Each county decides what is satisfactory progress. The county's policy must be in writing. Ask for a hearing if it isn't. Generally, satisfactory progress means you are in good standing and making progress toward your degree or certificate.


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Last Update: 10/24/2020