How To Apply For Food Stamps
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federally funded program to provide food assistance to low-income individuals and families. SNAP is funded by the federal government and administered through the states. Many states also work with other local agencies to provide ongoing nutritional education and training to SNAP recipients.
You can apply for food stamps online in most states, or at a local state or county office. Once the initial application is filled out, you will follow up with a face-to-face interview, and you will be required to provide verification of your income and expenses. If you are elderly or physically unable to travel to the office for the interview, you can apply for a waiver. If granted, the face-to-face interview will be replaced with a phone interview or home visit.
When applying for SNAP, they look at the income, resources, and size of the household. For this situation, a household is defined by people that live together and purchase and prepare food together. When looking at income and resources, it is the total of all members of the household, not just the head of household.
Here is the step-by-step process to apply for food stamps.
Kern County Department Of Human Services Bakersfield Information
Below is a link to more information about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program administered by the USDA. This program is run by each state and each has their own different process for distributing this assistance. Please visit your official state website to apply and find more information.
Official USDA Information:
The food stamp program is known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and is administered by the USDA. The food assistance program is distributed by each state offices like Kern County Department Of Human Services Bakersfield to help those with low or no-income apply for these benefits. Each state requires an application and usually conducts an interview to verify that those meet the food assistance programs requirments. Many states offer the ability to apply for their state’s benefits via online or in-person at a local office. This site is not endorsed or affiliated with the USDA or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program . For informational purposes only to help those that find information about this program. We strive to keep the most up-to-date information about this program and update any information that may change. If there is any information that may be outdated, please feel free to let us know by clicking the “Report inaccurate information here” link above.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
As the cornerstone of the United States Department of Agriculture nutrition assistance programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program program plays a vital role in helping to improve nutrition in the nation, particularly among low-income individuals. The goal of SNAP-Education is to improve the likelihood that persons eligible for SNAP will make healthy food choices within a limited budget and choose physically active lifestyles consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate. The Kern County Department of Human Services partners with other organizations in order to provide nutrition and physical activity education services to CalFresh participants and those potentially eligible. The project focuses on areas within Kern County with a high number of CalFresh participants and also populations at or below 185% FPL) as well as areas that are entirely devoid of CalFresh nutrition education services.
Eat Right When Money’s Tight
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What Are Deductions And How Do They Affect Snap Eligibility
There are seven allowable deductions that you can consider when determining your net pay. To figure out your net income, you have to figure out which allowable deductions apply to your situations and deduct them from your gross income. The difference is your net income.
Each state outlines employment requirements as part of SNAP eligibility. These requirements include:
- Registering for work – some states will require you to provide proof that you are actively applying for work on a weekly basis.
- Not voluntarily quitting your job If you are unemployed, you need to prove that it was not your choice.
- Not purposely reducing your hours If your hours are cut making you income eligible, you will need to prove that the cut in hours was beyond your control.
- Taking a job if offered
- Participating in state-offered employment and training programs.
SNAP benefits will be discontinued if any of these employment requirements are not followed. There are people exempt from the employment requirements. This includes children, seniors, pregnant women, and individuals that are exempt from working for health reasons.
Employment requirements apply to applicants determined to be Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents . Under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, ABAWDs are limited to 3 months of SNAP benefits over a 36-month period unless they are doing at least one of the following:
Submit Your Recertification Application Form
Next, turn in the signed application to the County.
You can do so in person, by mail, by fax, or online. Heres how:
Apply in person at your County DHS office. .
You can mail the form to your County DHS office. to locate an office near you.
You can fax the completed, signed application form to your County DHS office. to locate an office near you.
You can complete the re-certification online using the BenefitsCal Portal.
for help logging into your BenefitsCal account or see the instructions above.
If you do not have a BenefitsCal account, for help in creating one.
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Who Is It For
- People who dont have a lot of money as long as they meet program rules.
- Most adults age 18 to 49 with no children in the home can get SNAP for only 3 months in a 3-year period. The benefit period might be longer if the person works at least 20 hours a week or is in a job or training program. Some adults might not have to work to get benefits, such as those who have a disability or are pregnant.
What Can You Purchase With Calfresh
CalFresh can be used to buy any food or food product that is produced for human consumption. The exception to this is hot foods or lunch counter items prepared or heated in the store.
In addition, CalFresh benefits cannot be used to buy non-food items like soap, toilet paper, shampoo, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, vitamins or medicines, and pet food.
However, you can use your California SNAP EBT Card to purchase seeds and plants for use in home gardens to produce food.
Food Stamps For The Elderly & Disabled
It has been mentioned in the above eligibility requirements that households containing an elderly or disabled individual are held to different requirements. This includes increased limits for both income and resources. In order to fall under the special eligibility requirements, the following definitions are used.
- Someone that is 60 years old or older.
- Receives benefits through SSI, social security disability, or blindness payments.
- Receives disability or blindness payments through a state program that follows the rules of SSI.
- Receives disability retirement benefits through a government agency due to a disability that is deemed permanent according to the Social Security Act.
- Eligible for Medicare or disabled according to SSI rules and receives annuity payments under the Railroad Retirement Act.
- A veteran who is disabled, homebound, or in need of consistent aid.
- The surviving spouse or child of a veteran who is considered permanently disabled and receiving VA benefits.
SNAP eligibility is extended to many non-citizens based on their immigration status. In order to be eligible for SNAP, you must fit in one of the following qualified alien categories.
In order for non-citizens to be eligible for SNAP, they must fit into one of the above categories as well as meet one of the following conditions.
What non-citizen groups are ineligible for SNAP based on their citizenship status? There are five groups that are considered ineligible.
Excludes all vehicles
What Farmers Markets Accept Calfresh In Kern County
Many Farmers Markets across Kern County allow users to use CalFresh.
Here are three reasons why it pays to use your CalFresh benefits at Farmers Market
You can also get an extra $10 to spend on produce when you use your CalFresh EBT Card at select farmers markets under the Market Match program.
To find a Market Match farmers market near you, .
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Bakersfield And Kern County Job Training
CETF Career Services Center of Bakersfield focuses on job training, placement, and homeless prevention. They also offer use of computers, including laptops. Examples of their services are below.
- Computer courses are taught, as well as receive free internet access. Some charities can provide computers, or help with paying for laptops.
- Staff and volunteers assists eligible clients with job placement, career training, job search assistance and other services.
- The Homelessness Prevention Program is available for some towns, including Shafter, Arvin, and California City. They work closely with Catholic Charities on emergency rent and utility bills. They can refer people who are homeless to shelter or other social services.
- Financial assistance may be provided to those who complete self-sufficiency and other services. Receive help with needs such as transportation and child care, or receive clothing for your new job. Transportation assistance is wide ranging, and can include such things as mechanical assistance or repairs to your car.
- Other resources include gasoline allowance or a bus pass can be issued. The Child Care assistance is provided through the Kern County Community Connection for Child Care. As indicated, a clothing allowance or vouchers may be provided for those who have a job interview and need a new suit or dress.
CETF Career Services Center is located at 1600 E. Belle Terrace, Bakersfield California, 93307. Main telephone number is 325-4473
Can I Get Calfresh If I Am A College Student
Students, ages 18 through 49 enrolled in college or other institutions of higher education at least half time, students may be able to get CalFresh if they are:
- Physically or mentally unfit, or
- Working at least 20 hours per week, or
- Participating in a state or federally financed work-study program, or
- Participating in an on-the-job training program, or
- Receiving CalWORKs benefits, or
- Taking care of a dependent household member under the age of 6, or
- Taking care of a dependent household member over the age of 6 but under 12 and do not have adequate child care to be able to attend school and work a minimum of 20 hours, or take part in a state or federally financed work-study program, or
- Single parent enrolled full time in college and taking care of a dependent household member under the age of 12, or
- Enrolled in college as a result of participation in the Job Training Partnership Act , or the Job Opportunities and Basic Skill program under Title IV of the Social Security Act.
- Voluntarily participating in The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act or The Extended Opportunity Programs and Services .
- Voluntarily participating in EOP, JOBS, DSPS, CARE, MESA, Puente, McNAIR, Former Foster Youth Programs, Cal Grant A& B that meet TANF requirements.
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How To Calculate Your Net Income
Net income for the CalFresh Income Limits is your households total gross monthly income minus any allowable expenses.
All allowable expenses should be subtracted from your gross monthly income. To find out what all of the allowable deductions are, continue reading below.
Deductions Allowed for Net Income in 2021
To calculate your net monthly income, you must deduct approved household expenses. Here are the expenses that can be deducted from your households gross income:
- 20% deduction from earned income.
- A standard deduction of $167 for households with 1 to 3 people and $178 for households with 4 or more people.
- Dependent care deduction when needed for work, training, or education.
- A deduction for elderly or disabled members medical expenses that exceed $35 a month .
- Deduct any legally owed child support payments.
- Homeless Households shelter costs deduction of $152.06.
- A deduction for excess shelter costs that exceed more than half of the households income . This deduction cannot exceed $569 unless one of your household members is elderly or disabled. Allowable excess shelter costs include:
- Mortgage or rent payments
- Household utilities including electricity, water, fuel for heat, and a basic phone line
How Much Money Can I Have And Still Get Calfresh
You can have income from a full- or part-time job, unemployment benefits, General Relief, or CalWORKs and still get CalFresh. If your income is less than the amount on this chart, you may qualify for CalFresh. Please visit for the most current information on CalFresh eligiblity information.
Income GuidelinesOctober 1, 2019 September 30, 2020
Household Size *Add this amount for each additional member + $738
If you are 60 years of age or older, disabled, or if you get Medi-Cal, you may qualify for CalFresh even if your income is higher than listed above.
Some persons may be able to get expedited CalFresh – that is they may get approved faster for their CalFresh. You may qualify for Expedited CalFresh if:
- You have less than $100 in accessible resources or $150 in gross monthly income
- Your combined monthly gross income and accessible resources are less than your monthly utility and rent/mortgage or
- You are a destitute migrant/seasonal farm worker whose accessible resources are less than $100.
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Kern County Bakersfield Department Of Human Services Food Stamp Office Contact Information
Address, Phone Number, and Hours for Kern County Bakersfield Department of Human Services Food Stamp Office, a Food Stamp Office, at East California Avenue, Bakersfield CA.
- Kern County Bakersfield Department of Human Services Food Stamp Office
- Monday: 8:00am – 5:00pm Friday: 8:00am – 5:00pm Tuesday: 8:00am – 5:00pm Saturday: Closed Wednesday: 8:00am – 5:00pm Sunday: Closed Thursday: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Kern County Food Banks And Pantries
In addition to the three distribution centers below, a few dozen other food banks, clothing closets, and pantries are located in the region. Many also operate soup kitchens. They will do their best to help anyone who needs it, and not turn people away. Read more on free food pantries in Kern County.
The leading organization to call is the Kern County Food Bank. The non-profit provides free food to needy families throughout Kern County. Call 661.336.5200 for a referral.
The government Women, Infant and Children program is another option. Dial 888.942.9675 . It provides vouchers for infant formula, nutritional counseling, and other support.
Kern County Department of Human Services runs the Food Stamp Program. You will need to schedule and interview for a face to face appointment. Dial 661.631.6000.
There are other Nutrition and food programs in Kern County. There are a few different resources currently in place. The options now include the Emergency Food Assistance Program, the Brown Bag program, and senior assistance. Overall, the focus of these various options is to to distribute both federal government USDA Surplus Commodities and also pass out emergency food. The resources are provided by both private and public to individuals and households who are in need of food assistance because of such circumstances as a job loss, medical emergency or inadequate household income. Call the Community Action Partnership of Kern at 336-5236 to learn more.
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