General Relief

The General Relief (GR) program provides assistance for all eligible low-income residents of Lake County who are unemployed or unable to work. We provide short-term financial assistance in the form of a loan for adults without children that will help an individual to either find employment or obtain support from another source.

Changes to the General Relief Program

Effective May 1, 2020, the General Relief program will be changing.  Some of the changes that you will see include:

  • Vouchers for utilities, food, incidentals, and transportation have been lumped into one category called “Essential Needs.”  This will allow you to decide, while meeting with your worker, how much you will need to cover each of these needs.
  • Requirement to attend a monthly meeting with your Eligibility Specialist to collect your GR Vouchers
  • You are responsible for reporting any changes to your Eligibility Specialist in your situation (including housing changes, income, assets, etc.) within ten (10) calendar days of the change occurring.
  • You may use your entire GR amount to help pay for housing.  You may also qualify for up to three (3) months of GR to help pay for a security deposit.
  • You are required to apply for CalFresh and Medi-Cal to remain active in GR.  Should you not qualify for these programs, your GR will not be impacted.
  • If you have been sponsored to become a legal permanent resident of the United States, you will be required to provide information about your sponsor(s).
  • If you currently use your vehicle as your primary residence, you may be able to exclude the value of your vehicle when looking at your property.

If you have the ability to work, additional changes include:

  • You will have the ability to attend school or training while being in receipt of GR as long as you are also available and willing to accept employment of at least thirty (30) hours per week.
  • You are eligible to receive GR for 3 full calendar months in a calendar year.  You may continue to receive GR in 3 month extensions if you have been fully participating in your employment plan.

Who Is Eligible

An adult with no children who is:

  • 18 years of age or older, OR
  • A legally emancipated minor
  • You must have a physical, mental, or functional disability or be currently unemployed or underemployed.
  • You must be a United States Citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident.
  • You must be a Lake County Resident with the intent to continue to reside in Lake County. 
  • You must meet income and resource limits

Eligibility for benefits depends on a number of factors, including family size, amount of income or property, and needs of the applicant.

How General Relief May Help

General Relief benefits are provided in the form of vouchers.  Depending on your situation, you may receive assistance with housing and/or utility costs, food, incidentals (such as toiletries) and transportation.

If you are considered able to seek employment, you will be required to participate in our employment services program where a worker will assist you in developing your employment skills and searching for employment.

Loan Process

When you apply for GR, you will be required to sign a repayment agreement. This is an agreement stating you agree to repay any GR that you receive. Once you are no longer receiving GR, you will receive a bill in the mail for the entire amount of GR you received. If you are unable to pay the amount in full, contact our office at 707-995-4200 and we will set up a payment plan that meets your needs.

If you receive GR while waiting for SSI / SSP benefits to be approved, you will sign a repayment agreement that allows the County to collect any assistance issued from the initial SSI lump sum payment.

What is required of me if I receive General Relief?

Depending on your situation, you may be required to complete or participate in any of the following:

Ways to Apply


In Person

Hand your application to a receptionist at our local Social Services office Monday - Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

15975 Anderson Ranch Parkway
Lower Lake, CA 95457

Drop Off

Drop your application in one of our drop boxes:

  • Outside the main building doors and front gate at 15975 Anderson Ranch Parkway Lower Lake, CA 95457


Mail your application to:

Department of Social Services
P.O. Box 9000
Lower Lake, CA 95457


Fax your application to 707-995-4204

Apply by Phone

You can apply over the phone by calling 707-995-4200 | Toll Free: 800-628-5288 | TTY: 711.