Diversion services can help applicants who need some assistance but do not want or need to go on welfare. Diversion services allow you to choose to get a lump sum cash payment or non-cash services instead of going on aid. You can only choose to get Diversion services at time of application for cash aid, and you may be eligible for Medi-Cal, child care assistance, and food stamps if you get Diversion services. After reviewing your facts, the county will tell you if you would be eligible for Diversion services. If eligible and you choose to get a Diversion cash payment or non-cash services instead of cash aid: 

• You will get a denial notice for cash aid. 

• Your cash aid may be lowered or the amount of time you can get cash aid may be reduced if you go on aid later. 

An example of this is when a family has fallen on hard times, has income in the following months, but needs help getting caught up on bills like rent, car payment, etc.

  1. Eligibility Determination:

    • The county determines if you are eligible for diversion services.
    • Diversion services are intended for individuals who:
      • May benefit from these services and could avoid the need for monthly cash aid.
      • Are apparently eligible for cash aid.
      • Need cash or non-cash assistance to address a current need or emergency.
    • You can only receive diversion services at the time of application.
  2. Choosing Diversion Services:

    • If you opt for diversion services:
      • You will not receive monthly cash aid.
      • You must sign the attached Diversion Services Agreement.
      • You will receive a notice that denies your current application for cash aid and specifies the method of payment for your diversion services and the duration of your diversion period.
      • Separate approval or denial notices will be provided for other benefits you applied for, such as CalFresh and Medi-Cal.
      • If you need child care assistance during your diversion period, inform your worker.
  3. After Getting Diversion Services:

    • If you apply for cash aid after receiving diversion services:
      • Before the diversion period ends, you must choose to:
        • Allow the county to either lower your monthly cash aid payment by the determined amount to repay the diversion payment/services, or
        • Count the total diversion period against your 48-month time limit.
      • After the diversion period ends, the county will only count one month of the diversion period against your 48-month time limit.
  4. Figuring the Diversion Period:

    • The county calculates the diversion period as follows:
      • Determines the purchase price or current value for any non-cash services received.
      • Divides the amount of diversion payment/services by your Maximum Aid Payment for your assistance unit at the time you received diversion services.
    • Example: If an applicant received $1,375 for emergency car repairs (with a Maximum Aid Payment of $638 for an assistance unit of 3), the diversion period would be 2 months.

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.