How Welfare Checks Work in California


The general public is under-educated on the topic of welfare checks in California. While these aren’t criminal issues, they are essential to keeping people safe.

What are Welfare Checks

Welfare checks are something that the police perform. When someone requests a welfare check, the police go to the home of the person named in the welfare check and simply make sure that the person is okay. While a thorough investigation isn’t conducted during a welfare check, the police will conduct a quick visual exam and ask the individual a few questions to help determine their current mental state.

Who Requests a Welfare Check

Most welfare checks are requested by family members. However, it isn’t uncommon for neighbors, employers, and friends to contact the police and ask for a welfare check.

Acceptable Reasons to Request a Welfare Check

You can’t simply spontaneously decide to ask for a welfare check. You need to provide a reason for your concern. Friends and family members often request welfare checks because a loved one is going through a tough time and either hasn’t been maintaining their usual level of communication or because the individual has done or said something that makes them concerned that their loved one could be considering self-harm.

Employers will sometimes request a welfare check because they are concerned about an employee’s behavior. This usually happens when a routinely reliable employee suddenly stops showing up for their shifts, but it can also be because the employer has noticed that there is something unusual about the employee, such as they are acting depressed or have expressed concern about a stalker or abusive partner.

Neighbors will often request a welfare check because they suddenly realize that they simply haven’t noticed a routine level of activity at the next-door house.

How to Request a Welfare Check

Depending on the sense of urgency you feel, you can either contact 911 and request a welfare check, or you can contact your local police station directly. Provide a reason why you think a welfare check is warranted and an accurate address. Once you provide them with this information, the police will handle the situation.