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Home > Services > Counseling Services & Support > GAIN/CalWORKS > Maximum Family Grant Rule

Maximum Family Grant Rule


“Change to the Maximum Family Grant Rule”

Beginning January 1, 2017, children who were not receiving CalWORKs cash aid because of the Maximum Family Grant (MFG) rule were added to the grant and the cash aid increased.

Impact to Child Support Income

Families who were receiving child support payments directly from the absent parent orfrom the Child Support Services Department (CSSD) for a child who was previously denied cash aid because of the MFG rule may see some changes to the child support amount received when the child becomes eligible for cash aid.

These families will continue to receive up to $50 per month, called a “disregard”, when a current child support payment is received by CSSD.  The rest of the child support received will be used to re-pay the cash aid the family has received.

The changes these families can expect to see are:

Child Support Payments Received from CSSD

  • Beginning January 1, 2017, child support payments received for a former MFG child will be assigned to the State as a condition of receiving CalWORKs benefits.
  • VOLUNTARY MID-PERIOD REPORT – Families must notify DPSS of any child support payment decrease.  A decrease of child support payment may result in an increase to the CalWORKs cash aid.

Child Support Payments Received from the Absent Parent

  • Beginning January 1, 2017, child support payments received for a former MFG child must be forwarded to the local Child Support Agency as a condition of receiving CalWORKs.  The local Child Support Agency will assign the payment to the State as a condition of receiving CalWORKs.
  • AVOID A COOPERATION PENALTY – Forwarding direct child support payments received is a child support cooperation requirement unless the family is exempt from cooperating.  The payments must be forwarded to CSSD as soon as possible before the next SAR 7 report is due or the next annual Redetermination is due to avoid a 25 percent reduction to the CalWORKs grant.


Families are exempt from cooperation if they have a Good Cause for not cooperating.  The child support exemptions are applicable when:

  • Cooperation may reasonably be anticipated to result in serious physical, sexual, or emotional harm;
  • The child for whom aid is sought was conceived as a result of incest or rape;
  • Legal proceedings for the adoption of the child are pending; or
  • A public or private agency is counseling the applicant regarding keeping the child or relinquishing the child for adoption.


For questions about child support or the amount of child support collected is higher than the amount of CalWORKs cash aid received, families can visit the Local Child support Agency website or call

For questions regarding the MFG repeal, changes to Child Support Cooperation or to report a change in child support payment received, families can contact the Customer Service Center at 1-866-613-3777.

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