About WE Connect

About We Connect

WE Connect makes it easier for lower-income families to connect to some of the most underutilized resources that can empower them to lead healthier, more financially secure lives. Through community events, informational materials and public-private partnership, WE Connect has linked families to the Earned Income Tax Credit, Medi-Cal and CalFresh, among many other programs. Founded in 2005 by former First Lady of California Maria Shriver, WE Connect is now a program of The California Endowment.

WE Connect is made possible by collaboration with state and local partners and hundreds of volunteers.

Resources

Resources

MONEY-SAVINGS:

Bank on California can help you get a free or low-cost checking account that you can use to save for the future, establish a credit history, and achieve your financial goals. You can even get your tax refund deposited directly into your account!

The California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE) Program provides a 20 percent discount on monthly electric and natural gas bills for qualified low or fixed income households and housing facilities.

The California LifeLine Telephone Program provides low-income families with discounted home telephone service. Consumers can get unlimited local calls for less than $7 a month. Learn more HERE.

The California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program (CLCA) provides an affordable liability only auto insurance option that meets the state’s financial responsibility laws for low-income good drivers.  Click HERE to learn if you qualify.

TruConnect is a national provider of wireless voice, messaging, and data services capable of reaching millions of Americans where they live, work and play. TruConnect provides FREE mobile phones and service to qualified California LifeLine participants.


EDUCATION:

I Can Afford College is a statewide, financial aid awareness initiative sponsored by the California Community Colleges and the state of California.


FOOD:

CalFresh can provide eligible families with up to $300 per month to put healthy and nutritious food on the table.

The California Association of Food Banks is a network of organizations that work to “build a well-nourished California.” Find your local food bank HERE.


HEALTH:

California Health Plus is a network of community based health centers that can provide you with in-person assistance for health care enrollment, preventive care services and other important health related resources. Click HERE to find a local clinic near you or call 855-899-PLUS.

California Coverage and Health Initiatives (CCHI) is a statewide association of community based outreach and enrollment organizations whose focus is helping children and families access affordable, quality health coverage and care. Click HERE to find help near you.

The ALL In Campaign is a statewide campaign to equip education leaders with the tools they need to connect families and individuals in the school, early learning, and after-school communities to health coverage and care.

Children Now is the leading non-partisan national, state and local research, policy development, and advocacy organization dedicated to improving children’s overall well-being.


JOBS:

The Employment Development Department (EDD) connects job seekers and employers in an effort to build California’s economy. The Department also manages unemployment insurance, job fairs and workshops, and training services. Click HERE to find services near you.


IMMIGRANT RESOURCES:

The California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLAF) is a statewide non-profit organization providing legal services and policy advocacy in pursuit of social justice for California’s rural poor.


FREE TAX PREPARATION:

Central California Legal Services represents the interests of low-income Californians living in the Central Valley. Its staff provides free tax preparation assistance to eligible individuals and families, as well as important services like assistance with health care enrollment care and Deferred Action applications. Learn more about available services HERE.

Local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs provide free assistance to year-round residents who need help completing simple federal and state income tax returns. The VITA program specializes in assisting disabled taxpayers, those with low to limited income, and non-English speaking taxpayers.  Assistance is generally available from February 1st through April 15th. Click HERE or call toll free 1-800-906-9887 for more information.

Taxes

Taxes

Tax Credits

Each year, millions of dollars’ worth of tax credits goes unclaimed by those who do not know that they qualify. Are you one of them? Even if you think you earn too little to file taxes, you may be missing out on money available to you from tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit. Read up on the tax credits below so you make sure that you are not leaving dollars unclaimed! It could mean more money in your pocket.

Affordable Care Act and Tax Credit Subsidies

Some of they key features of the Affordable Care Act, include financial help which includes a new tax credit subsidy.  The tax credit subsidy  may lower the cost of your monthly health insurance premium. You can apply for this when you get enrolled through Covered California. The government will then calculate how much financial support you may receive. After you qualify, the government then pays the calculated subsidy amount directly to the insurance company on a monthly basis. You only have to pay a portion of your premium directly.

Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

The Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is the nation’s largest resource for working families who make less than $53,505.  If you are eligible, it can mean a boost of up to $6,044 to your tax refund.  Even if you do not earn enough to owe income taxes, you may get a refund if you qualify for the EITC.

Click here to find out if you are eligible for the EITC.

California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC)

California offers it’s own Earned Income Tax Credit to qualifying individuals as of the 2015 calendar year. This credit may reduce the amount of taxes you owe, or allow you a refund after filing your taxes.

Click here to find out if you are eligible for the CalEITC.

 

Immigrant Resources

Immigrant Resources

Everyone deserves equal opportunities for success and health – and the following resources may help you get started on your journey towards U.S. legal residency or citizenship, health insurance and more.

Undocumented Children Now Have Access

Governor Jerry Brown expanded Medi-Cal to all lower-income California children younger than 19, regardless of immigration status. Medi-Cal provides free or low-cost preventive medical care and treatments including vision, dental and mental health. Undocumented and mixed-status families who are income-eligible for Medi-Cal should know that their children are now eligible for full-scope Medi-Cal . This is a great opportunity for undocumented children to get the health care they deserve.

Click here to learn more!

DACA and MEDI-CAL

DACA recipients in California can sign up for free or low-cost health coverage through California’s Medi-Cal program. To qualify for Medi-Cal, you must make under 138% of the Federal Poverty Level.  In California immigrants with DACA status are considered “Permanently Residing under the Color of Law” or PRUCOL, a category that is used by government benefit programs in California such as Medi-Cal.  Find out if you might qualify for Medi-Cal. It doesn’t cost anything to apply and it won’t hurt your chances of getting legal status in the future.

DACA and Medi-Cal toolkit can be found here

Additional Resources:

U.S. Citizenship + Immigration Service Website

To find the latest information on the Executive Action, check your case status, find a USCIS Office, schedule an appointment and more.

Click here for a DACA Infographic

Join the Movement!”

Stay Connected

Stay Connected

Stay connected and be a connector!