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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 the basic support needs of him or herself and his or her family. For former recipients who have worked in the CalFresh Employment & Training (CalFresh E&T)/ General Relief Work Program (GRWP) that work will be counted to reduce the amount of repayment obligations.

General Relief assistance consists of three classifications:

  • Employables
  • Conditionally Employables (CE)
  • Incapacitated


To be eligible for GR you must be 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?

Periodic Reporting

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

Burials & Cremation

General Relief funds may be used for the burial or cremation of deceased indigent individuals who are US 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/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 if you are eligible for GR and the amount of benefits you may be eligible for, you need to file an application.  Applications may be completed in person at select Social Services Agency office locations, by contacting the SSA Call Center at 800-281-9799, or online at (To learn more about BenefitsCal, including new features and capabilities, click here.) 

For applicants whose disability prevents them from getting to a Social Services Agency office, the following accommodations are available: a home application, a phone interview, and appointments in any regional office or other community locations. If you are unable to apply for GR in person due to a disability, please contact the Agency if you are unable to apply for GR in person due to a disability, you may apply by phone or request a home application by contacting the Agency at 800-281-9799 and ask to speak to a supervisor.

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 General Relief benefits, you will be evaluated for Medi-Cal benefits.