LA County Empower_u Fund

Program Overview

Los Angeles County through its Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) Center for Financial Empowerment (CFE) has launched the LA County Empower_u Fund. The program will award 1,000 grants at $2,500 each to eligible domestic violence survivors.

These funds can be used by grantees to cover relocation expenses, medical bills, and other costs necessary to strengthen their financial independence. The purpose of this program is to utilize small-dollar grants to bolster financial security for survivors of domestic violence who have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those from historically underserved and hard-to-reach populations, such as, but not limited to, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), immigrant, and LGBTQIA+ populations.

If you need help with this online application, please email us at or call us at 1-800-819-9785.

Eligibility Requirements

The zip code entered on the application will be verified to be within the LA County boundaries.

Create an account in the FORWARD platform and complete an application. The applications must indicate which CBO listed above you are working with. You must complete all application questions and sign the application to be reviewed for the grant. CLICK HERE 

Your participation in the survey will help us collect anonymous data about the program’s benefits, improve service delivery, and help us advocate for additional funding.

Please be advised that your receipt of a grant award under this program may impact your eligibility for any public benefit you may be receiving currently. For more information regarding any impact to your eligibility, please contact your benefits provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

FORWARD has extensive experience administering assistance programs across the nation. Our portal is easy to use and your information is secure.

The application for this program will be available from June 1, 2023 at 12:00pm PST until December 1, 2023 at 5:00pm PST, or until available funding is exhausted.

In order to be eligible for assistance, recipients in Los Angeles County must meet one of two criteria: they should either have an active case with one of the approved contracted organizations or be referred by another community-based organization that supports survivors of domestic violence. This requirement ensures that recipients have access to comprehensive wrap-around services.

Within your application, you will attest to the county in which you are a resident. This is a question within the application which you will answer to the best of your knowledge. No additional documentation or proof or residence is needed. 

If you do not have a permanent residence you can provide the address of the organization you currently are receiving case management from, shelter, trusted friend and or motel.

Complete the referral request form CLICK HERE. The CBO will be notified that you wish to be screened for their services. 

The CBO that you are working with will assist you in getting updates on your application status. After you submit your application you can also log into your FORWARD account at any time to view the status of your application.

The verification word is used like a password when you call our customer care center at 1-800-819-9785 to ensure that we are giving information about your file to only you.

All funds are issued on a prepaid debit card either with a physical card that you will pick up from the CBO office or an electronic card which will be sent to your CBO. You will receive the electronic card from your case manager in person. You have to pick up your payment in person, it can not be picked up by anyone else. Please refer to the FAQs regarding payment options to learn more about the difference between a physical card and an electronic card. 

Collecting this information will help Los Angeles County evaluate this program and assess its impact. Your participation in the survey will help us collect anonymous data about the program’s benefits, improve service delivery and help us advocate for additional funding.

The application questions are intended to collect information that is true when the application is submitted. You will be able to report how you used the funds in follow-up surveys.

Please call Blackhawk Network services at 1-833-209-9228.

There are no card fees to make purchases. 

Other fees may apply

 Card Replacement Fee: $6.95

 Virtual Conversion to Physical Cardholder Fee: $3.00

ATM Fees and tips
 ATM Balance Inquiry – U.S./Domestic: $1.00
 ATM Withdrawal Fee – U.S./Domestic: $2.50
 Limit Total number of ATM cash withdrawals: Two (2) ATM withdrawals per 24 hours.
 Maximum amount of ATM withdrawal: No more than $500 total per 24 hours

No, you may be asked questions about your preferred language to help us provide the best support for all applicants. You will not be asked your immigration status.

Yes, the FORWARD platform requires an email address in order to set up an account to apply. Please make sure this is a secure email address that only you have access to. Your case manager can help you set up a safe account if you do not have one.

Your case manager can help you set up a new and safe email address before you set up your FORWARD account to apply for the grant. Some notifications will come through email, and if we need additional information on your application it is important that we can reach you. Please talk to your case worker about this.

Physical Universal Mastercard with ATM Access:

The physical prepaid card can be used for in-store purchases and allows you to do ATM cash withdrawals. 

Virtual Universal Mastercard with Wallet:

The virtual prepaid card can only be used online and be added to your wallet via mobile device or via desktop. 

FORWARD Online Application Tutorials

FORWARD Online Application Tutorials

2 Videos

Program Partners

National resources:

National Domestic Violence Hotline


SMS: Text START to 88788

FORWARD is administering the LA County Empower_u Fund on behalf of Los Angeles County. 

FORWARD is the leading Integrated Program Administration solution that incorporates all essential components, people and technology into a single streamlined workflow to effectively, securely, and equitably administer critical resources to help communities thrive.