Employment and Social Services

Our Mission:  "We administer employment and social services, preserving the dignity of children, families and adults."

Our Vision:  "Partnering for a safe, healthy, and self-reliant community."

 Options for Services

Your safety and the safety of our staff are important to us. Most of your needs can be met online or by phone. We appreciate your help to keep us all safe.

  • You do not have to come into our office to apply for benefits.
  • You can turn in your verifications online or in the drop boxes located in the front of our buildings.

To apply for benefits you may submit an application:

Online – at benefitscal.org or getcalfresh.org

By fax – at 530-538-6918

By mail – at PO Box 1649 - Oroville, CA 95965

By phone – 1-877-410-8803


To get general benefit information, ask case questions, or speak to an Eligibility Specialist, you may call our Customer Service Center (CSC) at:


Butte Non-Profit Stabilization Program II

The Butte Non-Profit Stabilization Program II will provide a maximum of $49,999 one-time grant awards to non-profit organizations located within Butte County and who serve Butte County residents. These grant funds will assist Butte County non-profit organizations with costs associated with the impacts of business closures, the costs associated with adherence to local requirements for safe business re-openings, and the financial impacts because of COVID-19. The department will choose grantees via lottery from a pool of applicants determined to be eligible local non-profit organizations after a four-week open application window. 

Application Packet

California Mortgage Relief Program

$1 billion in mortgage relief funds are now available to California homeowners who have fallen behind on their housing payments during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Qualified homeowners will not have to pay back funds that are awarded.
The California Mortgage Relief Program is funded by the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act’s Homeowners Assistance Fund. It was designed to provide assistance to qualified homeowners who have fallen behind on their housing payments due to pandemic-related financial hardships.

The program will be provided to homeowners through the CalHFA Homeowner Relief Corporation as part of the state’s Housing is Key initiative. To learn more, visit the California Mortgage Relief Program website.

California COVID-19 Rent Relief Program

Renters and landlords have enough things to worry about. Past due rent shouldn’t be one of them.

Landlords who have income-eligible renters experiencing a financial hardship due to COVID-19 with past due rent.
Renters who have experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19, have past due rent or utilities, and have a household income that is not more than 80% of the area median income.

LANDLORDS can get reimbursed for 80% of past due rent accrued between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, if they agree to waive the remaining 20% of unpaid rent.
ELIGIBLE RENTERS whose landlords choose not to participate may still apply on their own and receive 25% of unpaid rent accrued between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021 through a direct payment to their landlord. If a landlord refuses direct payment, the 25% can be paid to the renter to pay missed rent to their landlord by June 30, 2021. Paying 25% of past due rent by June 30, 2021 can help keep renters in their homes under the extended eviction protections provided in SB91.

Eligible renters can also receive help paying future rent, equal to 25% of their monthly amount to help them stay in their homes, and 100% of up to 12 months of unpaid or future utility bills.

To check eligibility requirements, apply or find a Local Partner Network organization who can assist you further, click the banner above or visit HousingIsKey.com or call 833-430-2122, toll free.

For more information see Program Overview Flyer

Butte County Public Health COVID-19 Information


Face Covering Guidelines and Requirements:

To prevent a winter surge, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is requiring masks to be worn in all indoor public settings, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. This requirement will be in place December 15, 2021 through January 15, 2022.

View the CDPH Face Covering FAQ - updated on 12/15/21

View the full CDPH Guidance for the use of Face Coverings - updated on 1/5/22

View the CDPH Requirements for Masking Indoors at K-12 Schools

Employment and Social Services

Shelby Boston, DESS Director

Welcome to the Department of Employment and Social Services (DESS) website. DESS is committed to collaborating with our many partners to provide a safe, healthy and self-reliant community. At DESS we aim to administer employment and social services to all citizens of Butte County with dignity and respect. Please explore the website and learn about the many employment and social services programs we provide.

Shelby Boston, MSW
Director /Public Guardian / Public Administrator                  


Information for Unemployment Insurance

Butte County is responding to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and would like to keep customers up to date on information on ways to apply for support services provided by the Employment Development Department (EDD).

At this time, EDD staff are not available to assist clients in person. All contact will be by phone or on-line methods.

On-Line services: https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/online_services.htm

EDD Customer Service Representative:

1-800-300-5616 (English)

1-800-326-8937 (Spanish)

  • For those impacted by the coronavirus, follow the link below for information of how to apply and what customers can apply for and possibly receive benefits under each program through EDD.
  • The next link to EDD will provide information and general guidance as to what programs are available and what situations may be applicable to your circumstances.
  • Below is a video that customers may find helpful:

This link includes information for workers and employers as well as employment and health resources for those affected by the coronavirus.


https://edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019-espanol.htm (Spanish)


How to file for Unemployment Insurance on-line:



If you think someone has stolen your information to get benefits, you should report this to the agency or department where your stolen information was used right away.

Suspected Benefit Fraud and Identity Theft Information and Reporting




Special Needs Awareness Program (SNAP)


As part of Butte County’s Emergency Evacuation Plan, the Department of Employment and Social Services works collaboratively with multiple agencies to ensure that those in need of evacuation assistance during an emergency are identified and evacuated safely and efficiently. The Special Needs Awareness Program (SNAP) is a voluntary program for those with Access and Functional Needs (AFN) such as individuals with physical/developmental or intellectual disabilities, chronic conditions or injuries, limited English proficiency, older adults, children and low income households, homeless and/or transportation disadvantaged (i.e., dependent on public transit), and pregnant women. The Special Needs Awareness Program (SNAP) packet is available to anyone with Access and Functional Needs in the community who would like to receive additional information and register to be on this list.


If you would like to be included on the SNAP list to be contacted in an emergency, and receive a SNAP packet, please complete the registration card online by clicking here

If you have any questions regarding your SNAP packet or registration to be on the SNAP list, please contact Butte County Adult Services Intake line at 530.538.7538, and press #2 or call our toll free number at 1.855.398.8899, or you can also send an email by clicking here.


ALERT FM Emergency Notification System

Butte County is partnering with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and ALERT FM to provide Alert FM devices to the community, and and you may be eligible to receive a free ALERT FM receiver if you live in an identified Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) affected area with low or no cellular coverage.   

ALERT FM is a device that receives mass notifications in times of crisis or emergency.  This device keeps citizens informed when the power, internet and/or cellular networks fail.

FREE devices are available on a FIRST COME, FIRST-SERVED basis for eligible households. Once supplies have been exhausted you may request to be added to a waitlist.

Households can check eligibility by entering their address into the  Alert FM web map.
To check your eligibility and/or register for the program please call (530) 552-6887.

To learn more about ALERT FM you can visit https://www.alertfm.com.

Senior and Adult Services

Services to help the elderly and persons with disabilities to live safely in their own homes. Investigates reports of elder or dependent adult abuse and neglect.

Children's Services

Investigates child abuse and neglect and works to preserve or restore family stability.

Parent and Guardian Information and Resources


California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs)

CalWORKs provides temporary financial assistance and employment-related services to needy families with minor children.

CalFresh (Formerly Food Stamps)

Helps low-income people buy the food they need to remain healthy.

To qualify for CalFresh the minimum basic requirement(s) are listed below:

  • Identity of Primary Applicant
  • Gross non-exempt income
  • Non-citizenship Status
  • Social Security Number(s)
  • Residency

If you are unable to provide or need assistance obtaining any required documentation please let your worker know and the county will assist in obtaining needed verification.

If you are in need of immediate food assistance please use any available option to apply listed above, under service options.  

Expedited Service CalFresh benefit(s) are potentially available within 3 days to all households that apply and qualify.

You may qualify to receive benefits under Expedited Service if:

  • You have less than $150 monthly gross income and less than $100 available liquid resources.
  • Your combined monthly gross income and liquid resources are less than the household’s combined rent/mortgage and utility cost (SUA).


  • Identity is verified

 Proof of identity is required for Expedited Service.  Examples of proof of identity include, but are not limited to: 

  • Driver License, picture ID, work or school ID, health benefits ID
  • Birth Certificate
  • Voter Registration Card
  • Wage Stubs
  • Collateral Contact
  • Social Security Card

Medical Coverage

Medical coverage is available, including Medi-Cal, Expanded Medi-Cal, Health Care Reform Options, and the County Medical Services Program (CMSP).

Veteran Services

The County Veterans Service Office is an office established by the Butte County Board of Supervisors to assist veterans, their dependents and survivors, and the general public in obtaining benefits from federal, state, and local agencies administering programs for veterans.

General Assistance (GA)

General Assistance provides three months of cash assistance to eligible, employable adults and provides longer-term assistance to eligible adults who are temporarily disabled or who are awaiting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) approval.

Community Employment Centers


Butte Community Employment Centers - One Stops.
Each Butte Community Employment Center provides a wide variety of employment related services to both job seekers and employers, and a connecting point between the two.
See a full list of Butte Community Partners.

Apply for Benefits  Jobs  Medical Coverage

Veterans Services  Report Abuse  Popular Links

 Contact DESS

24-Hour Emergency Numbers
Children's Services - North County
Children's Services - South County
Adult Services - Countywide

Customer Service Center

Family Urgent Response System

Butte 211
Dial 211 or Butte211.org

Full list of DESS contacts

 Locations & Hours

Customer Service Center
877.410.8803 (phone only)
Monday - Friday
7:30am to 4:30pm

Excludes Holidays

Butte Community Employment Center - Chico
765 East Avenue
Chico, CA 95926

Butte Community Employment Center - Oroville

78 Table Mountain Blvd.
Oroville, CA 95965

Butte County Community Services Center
7204 Skyway
Paradise, CA 95969

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm 

Excludes Holidays

Full list of DESS locations.


Public Assistance Overpayment
More information about overpayments and notices of overpayment.

Apply for Service Online
Go to C4Yourself.com
Apply in person at one of the Butte Community Employment Centers

Register to Vote Online

Employment and Social Services

202 Mira Loma, Oroville, CA 95965

Shelby Boston
Director/Public Guardian/Public Administrator

Careers with DESS

California Department of Social ServicesCalifornia Department of Social Services
744 P Street, Sacramento CA 95814