Social Services Letter Circulating in Merced County Real? This is what we found

Merced Gateway News contacted the California Department Social Services yesterday regarding a letter circulating on social media in Merced County.

They are now aware and said the letter is fake, it includes the faked signature of a state official.

The letter tells clients they must get tested for COVID-19 in order to continue their benefits. It also tells clients that if they test positive, their children will be removed into foster care.

“The letter asks people to visit a website, as well. The letter, its contents, and the website are fake, we have alerted the appropriate county authorities for investigation. If you receive this letter, please disregard it”,California Department Social Services said.

State departments and county human services departments NEVER will ask about your health status in connection to an application for benefits. Similarly, children must be subject to abuse or neglect to enter foster care. Children cannot be put into foster care just because a parent may be ill.

If you have helpful information about the source of the letter, or if anyone has questions or concerns about the authenticity of materials from the Department, please contact  (916) 651-8848 or

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