California state departments and agencies are joining together to encourage eligible workers to apply for vital public benefit programs that offer free or low-cost health coverage, provide money to pay for food, and pay rent and utilities. With Federal Unemployment Benefits set to expire after September 4, 2021, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), Covered California, the Department of Managed Health Care, the Employment Development Department (EDD), Housing and Community Development, the Department of Social Services, and other state agencies and departments are working together to proactively continue helping people in California.
Although federal unemployment benefits will soon end for many unemployed Californians, the American Rescue Plan and California Comeback have substantially expanded other vital benefits that continue to help eligible California families:
- Health insurance—free or low-cost coverage (as low as $1 per month for workers who received unemployment benefits) through Covered California and Medi-Cal (coveredca.com or by phone at 1-800-300-1506).
- Cash aid for families with children (CalWORKs) through county human services agencies at BenefitsCal.org (where people can also apply for food assistance [CalFresh] and free health coverage [Medi-Cal]).
- Up to $234 per person per month for food via CalFresh (GetCalFresh.org or by phone at 1-877-847-3663), whether a person is working or not.
- Money for rent and utilities, including 100 percent rent and utilities, via Housing is Key (HousingIsKey.com or by phone at 1-833-430-2122).
- Golden State Stimulus payments for millions of qualified residents who file taxes, even if not required (by phone at 1-800-845-6500).
Individuals already enrolled in Medi-Cal or a Covered California health plan should report changes in unemployment benefits because this could lower their cost of health coverage.