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What is General Relief?

General Relief (GR) is a cash assistance program funded by the County of Orange. It provides temporary cash aid to eligible indigent adult lawful residents who do not have custody of any minor children and do not qualify for Federal or State funded cash aid programs.

GR is a loan. The County will ask former recipients to repay GR from a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) retroactive award. The County may ask former recipients to repay GR from other money they have, but only after meeting their basic support needs. For former recipients who have worked in the CalFresh Employment & Training (CFET)/ General Relief Work Program (GRWP), that work will be counted to reduce the amount of repayment obligations.

General Relief assistance consists of three classifications:

  • Employable
  • Conditionally Employable (CE)
  • Incapacitated


To be eligible for GR you must be an adult with no dependent children, a U.S. citizen or a documented non-citizen, reside in Orange County, and meet certain income and property requirements as well as other criteria. You need to file an application to find out if you are eligible.

How Do I Apply?

Supplemental Security Income Advocacy Program (SSIAP)

Individuals receiving GR benefits under the Incapacitated classification are required to apply for SSI benefits if potentially eligible. SSIAP provides GR recipients with assistance during the SSI application process.

The SSIAP representative is available to assist you with filing the initial SSI application through the appeal and hearing process, should your application be denied. The SSIAP representative can assist you with completing forms, obtaining documentation if needed and scheduling appointments.

If you are receiving GR benefits and have an SSI application pending or feel you are eligible to SSI benefits and would like to be referred to an SSIAP representative, please contact your assigned Eligibility Technician (ET) or call 800-281-9799 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  

Periodic Reporting

When GR has been approved and the recipient is in need of continued assistance, a monthly (for Employable) or quarterly (for CE or Incapacitated) report/contact is required prior to the authorization of additional assistance. GR recipients are also required to report changes to the Agency within 10 calendar days of their occurrence.

GR Appeals

A County hearing is available to a person who is dissatisfied with an action or inaction that involves GR benefits.  Requests for a County hearing must be made in writing within 30 days from the date of the notice of action.


A sanction is a period of ineligibility, which may be imposed when an applicant/recipient fails to comply or cooperate with mandatory General Relief requirements without good cause.

Cremation & Burials 

General Relief funds may be used for the cremation or burial of deceased indigent individuals who are U.S. citizens or legally documented non-citizens when other resources are not available. A relative of the deceased individual must initiate the application.  When there are no relatives, the County Public Administrator's office, Public Guardian's office or County Foster Care program may apply on behalf of the deceased. Any available death benefits must be paid to the County to offset any expenses paid by the county.

Completing an Application

In order to determine the amount of GR benefits you eligible for, you need to file an application and complete a mandatory GR application interview. Applications may be completed at, 800-281-9799 or select SSA locations.  

For applicants whose disability prevents them from getting to an SSA location, the following accommodations are available:

  • online at
  • a phone interview
  • appointments for interviews/meetings at any regional office or other community locations
  • a home application

Please call 1-800-281-9799 or ask your Eligibility Technician (ET) if you need these arrangements.

Bus passes are available to applicants or recipients who need transportation to meet eligibility and verification requirements.

Medical Services

If you are eligible to receive GR benefits, you will be evaluated for Medi-Cal benefits.