Benefit Programs are Intact for Contra Costa County Residents during Federal Government Shutdown

January 20, 2018

Employment & Human Services Department Continues to Administer Medi-Cal, CalWORKs, CalFresh, Head Start, Child Welfare, Aging & Adult, and Other Federally-Funded Services

Martinez, Calif. (January 20, 2018) – The Contra Costa County Employment and Human Services Department (EHSD) continues to provide federally-funded benefit programs and services to community members despite the government shutdown that went into effect Friday at midnight.  The shutdown is not expected to jeopardize the department’s ability to provide the majority of entitlement programs in the short term.  Therefore, EHSD’s offices will remain fully staffed and operational during the department’s regular business hours, and customers are encouraged to continue applying for benefits or receiving services.

“While nobody knows exactly how long the shutdown may last, we are confident that, at this time, EHSD customers will not experience any disruption to the resources that help support, protect and promote self-sufficiency for them and their families,” explained Kathy Gallagher, EHSD Director.  “The uncertainty of what is happening at the federal level may be unsettling to our community.  However, we want to reassure our customers that EHSD will continue to help them access the high-quality services we deliver.”

The shutdown began after U.S. Senators rejected the House of Representatives’ short-term funding extension through mid-February that would have averted it.  A long-term shutdown could potentially impact key human services programs across the country, such as the following that EHSD provides in Contra Costa County:

  • Child Welfare Services, including Child Protective Services and Foster Care
  • Aging & Adult Services, including Adult Protective Services, In-Home Support Services and General Assistance
  • Medi-Cal (Medicaid)
  • CalWORKs/California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF, also known as welfare-to-work)
  • CalFresh (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, formerly Food Stamps)
  • Head Start and Early Head Start Childcare

Generally, entitlement programs are not immediately affected by a shutdown.  Programs that receive a federal appropriation each year will not receive any new funding, however they can continue to draw down unspent funds already obligated during that fiscal year.

It is unclear how long the current shutdown will last or how it may impact human services programs in Contra Costa County should it continue beyond a couple weeks.  EHSD is closely monitoring the situation in Washington DC, and working with the Board of Supervisors, the County Administrator, and partner organizations to ensure that all community members remain healthy, safe and secure.

For more information about benefit programs in Contra Costa County, members of the public can visit

About Contra Costa County Employment & Human Services

Employment & Human Services (EHSD) partners with the community to deliver quality services to ensure access to resources that support, protect, and empower individuals and families to achieve self-sufficiency.  Based on the core values of delivering an exceptional customer experience, encouraging open communication, embracing change, practicing ethical behavior, and embracing diversity, EHSD envisions Contra Costa County will continue to be a thriving community where all individuals and families can be healthy, safe, secure and self-sufficient.  More information about EHSD is available at

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