Public Benefits

Whether you are looking for cash assistance, food stamps, child support help, or health insurance, these programs can help provide stable assistance to vulnerable populations.

Most of these benefits are temporary and should not be viewed as a permanent solution. However, they can provide an important step to self-sufficiency.

Applying for some of these programs can be difficult as there are strict eligibility requirements, but there are knowledgeable people willing to help you determine eligibility and apply at the centers listed below.

Child Support Services

Sometimes non-custodial parents may need legal intervention so they contribute their fair share of the costs accrued while raising child(ren).

Child support is a court ordered payment that requires the parent who is not the primary caretaker of his or her child to pay money to support the child.

2320 Technology Pkwy, Hollister (866) 901-3212

  • Will attempt to help locate the absent parent
  • Establish paternity
  • Collect support payments and maintain support orders

752 La Guardia St, Salinas
(866) 901-3212

  • Will attempt to help locate the absent parent
  • Establish paternity
  • Collect support payments and maintain support orders

First floor of the Monterey Courthouse, 1200 Aguajito Road, Monterey
(831) 647-5800 ext. 3005

Filing official court documents can be complicated and often times families do not have the means to hire lawyers. The Monterey County Superior court has a self-help center that can provide free assistance with Child Support issues, including paperwork. 

Social Security

Social Security is a program that pays benefits to people who are retired, disabled, or are both disabled and low-income. The program also pays benefits to the survivors if someone dies.

If you receive social security for retirement, you can get even more benefits if you retire at a later age

To be eligible for social security, you must have worked long enough (at least 10 years) and recently enough in a job that is covered by social security.

Click here to determine if you are eligible for disability assistance.

Click here to apply for social security.

Social Security Offices
928 East Blanco Road, Salinas
1059 First Street, Gilroy (For San Benito)

Coordinated Assessment and Referral System (CARS)

Unemployment and Disability Insurance 

1325 N Main Street , Salinas

730 La Guardia Street , Salinas

1351 Oak Avenue, Greenfield

1760 Fremont Blvd Suite D2, Seaside

~Free assistance filing for unemployment benefits if you meet the criteria listed above

~Bring your drivers license or state ID, your social security card or ID number, and information on your employers from the last 18 months

Unemployment insurance is an insurance by which people may receive benefits if they have faultlessly lost their jobs and meet other eligibility criteria. Workers who voluntarily terminate employment, and those who are self-employed, are not eligible for unemployment insurance and must use personal funds to cover situations when no work is available.

Click here to apply online

  • You can collect up to 52 weeks of disability benefits and more if your benefits are reduced because you returned to work.
  • Your benefit amount is based on your income from 5-18 months before your claim start date, up to the maximum amount ($1,216). The minimum benefit amount is $50/week.
  • Click here to apply for disability insurance
  • Have received enough wages during a time period to establish a wage.
  • Be totally or partially unemployed.
  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own.
  • Be physically able and available to work.
  • Be ready and willing to immediately accept work.
  • Be actively looking for work.
  • Be approved for training before training benefits can be paid.

~Non US citizens can apply for benefits if they are in good immigration standing and are legally allowed to work in the US

~If you were fired from or quit your last job you can still file for unemployment. There will be a telephone interview with you and your employer to decide if you can receive unemployment insurance.

Department of Social Services

1111 San Felipe Road, Suite 206, Hollister – (831) 636-4180

1281 Broadway Avenue, Seaside  – (866) 323-1953

1000 S Main Street, Suite 216, Salinas  – (866) 323-1953

116 Broadway Street, King City – (866) 323-1953

  • Provides cash assistance to families with children.
  • The amount of money you receive depends on household size, income, and resources.
  • If you receive CalWorks assistance and are homeless, you may be able to receive housing support.
  • Assistance may include rental fees, utility payments, security deposits, moving expenses, etc.
  • Dedicated case management to families in a crisis that is preventing them from participating in Welfare-to-Work activities
  • Attention to homelessness, legal problems, substance abuse, and domestic violence.


  • Formerly known as the food stamp program.
  • If you are eligible, you will receive an EBT card which can be used to buy food and groceries at supermarkets and other locations.
  • Apply online in only 10 minutes here
  • Health insurance for low-income families, seniors, and adults with disabilities.
  • Covers medical, dental, and prescription costs

Department of Veteran Affairs

1 (800) 827-1000

1200 Aguajito Rd, Suite 003, Monterey                 

1000 S Main St, Suite 209 A, Salinas

402 Broadway Street, King City 

649 San Benito Street, Hollister

  • CALVET Home Loan Assistance 
  • State Colleges Fee Waiver Assistance 
  • Property taxes, auto tax, license plate waivers 
  • Employment services 
  • State and County Park Passes 
  • Health and Dental care, substance abuse assistance, PTSD assistance 
  • Survivor’s assistance 
  • VA home loan and VA housing grants 
  • Educational claims