Do I have to go into the office to apply? No. You can apply for and receive CalFresh benefits without ever going into the CalFresh office. You can apply online, complete your interview over the phone, and have your EBT card mailed to you. There are organizations in some counties that help people with their applications. See what is available in your county.
Does it cost money to apply for CalFresh? No. Applying for CalFresh is free and does not require a credit check.
Will I have to get fingerprinted? If you are only applying for CalFresh you will not be fingerprinted. If you are applying for another program you may be fingerprinted.
How long will it take to know if I’ve been approved? In most cases, the county has 30 days after you turn in your application to determine if you will get CalFresh. During the 30 days, the county will interview you. The interview will be either over the phone or in person.
What if I own a car? You can own a car and still qualify for CalFresh.
What if I have a job? You can have a job and still qualify for CalFresh.
What if I own my home? You can own the home you live in and still qualify for CalFresh.
What if I am homeless? You can qualify for CalFresh even if you do not have a home, address, or place to cook. People without homes can often get benefits within three days.
Can I qualify if I do not have a family? Individuals can qualify for CalFresh. You do not have to have children to qualify.
Can I get CalFresh if I am in the military? If you meet the eligibility requirements you can qualify for CalFresh if you are in the military.
Can I get CalFresh if I’m in college? You may be able to qualify, see the student section and read more about eligibility in the CalFresh Guide. Even if you do not qualify, others in your household may.
Will applying for or receiving CalFresh impact my family’s immigration status? No, applying for CalFresh will not impact you or your family’s immigration status. Visit the section on Immigration for more information.
SENIORS and DISABLED PEOPLE
Are the medical expenses of seniors and disabled people considered in determining eligibility? Yes, there are special rules and deductions for seniors (60 years or older) and disabled people. Visit the section on Seniors and Disabled Households for more information.
Can people who receive SSI/SSP receive CalFresh? A person who receives SSI/SSP cannot receive CalFresh benefits, but other people in the household may still qualify. Visit the section on SSI Recipients for more information.
When will I receive my CalFresh benefits? In all California counties, except Los Angeles, benefits are issued on the day of the month as the last digit on the card. See here for more information and the distribution schedule for Los Angeles.
If I get CalFresh am I taking benefits away from other people? Everyone who qualifies for CalFresh will get benefits. In California, there are about 4 million people who are eligible but not receiving CalFresh. For every $5 of CalFresh spent in a community, another $9 of local economic activity is generated. This helps support jobs and businesses in your community.
How much will I get each month? The amount of CalFresh you get depends on many things, including your household’s size, income, and costs. The average CalFresh household gets over $300 each month.
This chart shows the maximum benefit amounts at each household size.
Maximum Monthly Allotment
October 1, 2016 – September 30, 2017
|*Each Additional Person||+$146|
Will I have to pay back the benefits? You will not have to pay back any benefits you were eligible to receive. If there is a mistake and you receive more than you are eligible for, you will be responsible for paying that amount back.
I lost my EBT card. How do I get another one? Call 1-877-328-9677 to report your EBT card lost or stolen.
I just moved to another city in California. Who should I tell so that I keep getting CalFresh? If you moved to a city in the same county you lived in before, update your address with the CalFresh office right away. This will ensure you will still get important notices about your CalFresh. If you moved to a different county, contact the CalFresh office in your new county right away and request an Inter-County Transfer. The county can transfer your case and you should not have to reapply.