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Immediate Help

Attorneys in the Government Benefits Unit can provide you with immediate help if you are experiencing the following problems:

Emergency Benefits

WHEN YOU NEED CASH AID, FOOD OR SHELTER RIGHT NOW

EXPEDITED FOOD STAMPS

The Food Stamps program assists low-income families and individuals to buy food. If you qualify for "expedited" food stamps, then the county Department of Public Social Services office will process your food stamps application faster than it would normally, allowing you to begin receiving food stamps within three days of applying. To be eligible for expedited food stamps, you must either: (1) have less than $100 in gross monthly income and $150 in cash on hand or (2) your total monthly housing costs must be greater than your total cash on hand and gross income.

For the locations of the Department of Public Social Services [DPSS] offices where you can apply, go to http://www.ladpss.org/new_portal/dpss_foodstamps.cfm

CalWORKs

CalWORKs provides cash aid to low-income families.

Immediate Need: If you have an eviction notice or three-day notice to pay rent AND less than $100 in cash on hand, the county will process your CalWORKS application faster, so that you receive your full cash aid for the month within three working days. If you have an emergency situation other than an eviction, such as not being able to pay a utility bill, AND less than $100 in cash on hand, the county will provide you with either a $200 advance on your benefits or your total CalWORKS grant (whichever is less) by the next working day.

Temporary Homeless Assistance: A homeless family on CalWORKS can receive temporary shelter in a hotel/motel for up to sixteen consecutive days. Generally, this assistance is only available once in a lifetime, unless the homelessness was the result of domestic violence or a natural disaster.

Permanent Homeless Assistance: A homeless CalWORKS family can receive help with move-in costs, such as last month’s rent, security deposits, utility deposits, and cleaning fees, provided that the total rent does not exceed eighty percent of the family’s total monthly income. Generally, this assistance is only available once in a lifetime, unless the homelessness was the result of domestic violence or a natural disaster.

For locations of the DPSS offices where you can apply, go to http://www.ladpss.org/new_portal/dpss_cashaid.cfm.

GENERAL RELIEF EMERGENCY BENEFITS

General Relief (GR) is a county cash aid program that assists poor people who are usually ineligible for any other program. The amount of aid is no more than $221. GR applicants and recipients may be eligible to receive the following emergency benefits:

Emergency Housing: If you are homeless and applying for GR, tell the county employee taking your application that you do not have a permanent home. DPSS should then issue hotel vouchers to you, until you first begin receiving benefits. However, once you begin receiving GR, the county will deduct $4.53 from your benefits for every day that you received a voucher.

Eviction Prevention: If you are already receiving GR, the county also provides up to $272 in eviction prevention funds, if you can show that (1) you have not paid this or last month’s rent and (2) that the $272 will actually be enough to prevent your eviction.

For locations of the DPSS offices where you can apply, go to http://www.ladpss.org/new_portal/dpss_foodstamps.cfm.

 

If you need to speak with someone, please call (800) 399-4529.

Filing Appeals When Time is of the Essence

Appealing CalWORKs, food stamps, Medi-Cal, CAPI or IHSS reductions, denials, or terminations.

If you have had your CalWORKs, Food Stamps, Medi-Cal, IHSS, or related benefits cut off or reduced, or you have been denied benefits, request a hearing immediately. Do not wait to get an appointment with LAFLA.

  • If you have had your CalWORKs, Food Stamps, Medi-Cal, IHSS, or related benefits cut off or reduced, or you have been denied benefits, request a hearing immediately. Do not wait to get an appointment with LAFLA.

  • Read the notice informing you of the county’s action to see how long you have to appeal. The notice explains your rights. File your appeal before your time expires. Keep a copy of the request for hearing for your records.

  • To appeal, you may do so either by telephone or in writing. In Los Angeles County, written requests can be sent to P.O. Box 18890, Los Angeles, CA 90018. Telephone requests can be made by calling the California Department of Social Service at the toll free number: 1-800-952-5253. This information can also be found on the back of your county notice of action.

  • For the above benefits, you can continue to get benefits throughout the hearing process, if you request a hearing before the date that the county’s action is set to take place. This date can be found on the notice. Usually, you have ten days from the date on the notice to request a hearing to get continuing benefits.
  • If you do not appeal in time to get aid throughout the appeal process, you may still appeal within ninety days of receiving the notice of action informing you of the county’s action. State law presumes that you received a notice five days after the date on the notice. However, you will not receive benefits while you go through the appeal process, if you request a hearing after the county’s action takes place.
  • In making a decision about whether to request continuing benefits, remember that you will be charged with an overpayment if you lose at hearing.

To make an appointment, call (800) 399-4529. If you already have a hearing date, be sure to tell the receptionist.

APPEALING SOCIAL SECURITY RETIREMENT, SSI, SSDI, SURVIVORS REDUCTIONS, DENIALS, OR TERMINATIONS

  • Social Security appeals regarding the above benefits must be filed at your local Social Security office within 60 days of the day that you received the notice informing you of the Social Security action you. Federal law presumes that you received the notice five days of the date on the notice. However, in the case of a reduction or termination, you may continue receiving benefits until the resolution of the appeal, if you file within ten days of the date of the notice. Again, federal law presumes that you received the notice five days after the date on the notice.
  • If you have missed the deadline for filing, there are good causes for filing a late appeal. Examples of good cause include being in the hospital or otherwise physically incapable of requesting an appeal in time. You must state your reason in writing and submit it with your request for appeal. You can go to your local Social Security office to get the form for showing good cause.
  • To appeal a Social Security benefit reduction or termination based on factors other than your disability, you should file a request for reconsideration. The form can be found at your local Social Security office or online at http://www.ssa.gov/online/ssa-561-pdf. You must submit your appeal to your local Social Security office. You may either mail the form or submit it in person. If you submit the appeal in person, you should ask Social Security to stamp your appeal form with their dated office stamp and provide you with a copy of the stamped form. If you submit the appeal by mail, you should keep a copy of your request for reconsideration for your records.
  • To appeal a benefit reduction or termination based on your disability, you should file a request for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. The form can be found at your local Social Security office or online at www.ssa.gov/online/ha-501.pdf. You must submit your appeal to your local Social Security office. You may either mail the form or submit it in person. If you submit the appeal in person, you should ask Social Security to stamp your appeal form with their dated office stamp and provide you with a copy of the stamped form. If you submit the appeal by mail, you should keep a copy of your appeal for your records.

APPEALING A GENERAL RELIEF DECISION

If the county decides to reduce or terminate your General Relief benefits, the county must provide you with a hearing before a county employee not involved in the original decision affecting your benefits. The county must send a notice of action, providing you with the date and time of your hearing at least nine days before the hearing date. At the hearing you will have the opportunity to explain why you are still eligible for benefits.

If you have a General Relief problem, please call (800) 399-4529. Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

For Legal Help CALL (800) 399-4529

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