Thursday, November 24, 2022

Who Can Apply For Food Stamps In California

Electronic Benefit Transfer Card

How to Apply for California Food Stamps (CalFresh)

If you qualify for CalFresh assistance, you will receive a plastic card called an Electronic Benefit Transfer card. You can use your EBT card like a bank debit card to access your CalFresh benefits to purchase food items at most grocery and convenience stores, as well and farmers markets.

  • Request a replacement EBT Card by calling 1-877-328-9677
  • Please be cautious as there are many EBT card scams that are occurring.
  • Do not give out your EBT card number and PINs as the county, state, and federal government will NEVER ask you for your EBT card number and PIN by a text message, phone call, email, or on a website.
  • You may visit California EBT Project Office to view current scams that have been reported.
  • Check your account balance find retailers and ATMS that accept your EBT card without charges at the California EBT Client website

Are There Items I Cannot Purchase With Calfresh Benefits

Yes, CalFresh benefits cannot be used to purchase:

  • Any non-food item such as pet food soaps, paper products, and household supplies and grooming items and cosmetics.
  • Alcoholic beverages or tobacco products.
  • Vitamins and medicines.
  • Any food that will be eaten in the store.
  • Any food marketed to be heated in the store.

Eligible Food Items Under Snap

As per USDA rules, households can use SNAP benefits to purchase:

  • Foods for the household to eat, such as:
  • fruits and vegetables
  • Food items that are consumable in the store
  • Vitamins and medicines
  • Soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream are classified as food items and are therefore eligible items. Seafood, steak, and bakery cakes are also food items and are therefore eligible items.

    Energy drinks which have a nutrition facts label are eligible foods, but energy drinks which have a supplement facts label are classified by the FDA as supplements, and are therefore not eligible.

    Live animals and birds may not be purchased but live fish and shellfish are eligible foods. Pumpkins are eligible, but inedible gourds and solely ornamental pumpkins are not.

    Gift baskets containing both food and non-food items “are not eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits if the value of the non-food items exceeds 50 percent of the purchase price. Items such as birthday and other special occasion cakes are eligible as long as the value of non-edible decorations does not exceed 50 percent of the price.”

    Recommended Reading: Do I Qualify For Food Stamps Nyc

    The Food Stamp Program And Income

    Next, we turn to the contribution of FSP benefits to household income. For this purpose we continue separate analysis by age and further differentiate between recipients living alone or with spouses only and SSI recipients living with others. Table 3 provides a sense of the reliability of estimates for various subgroups by reporting sample sizes and the estimated number of SSI recipients for various subgroups in 2004. Some of the subgroups are so small that the results are meaningless. However for subgroup samples that are large, results can be viewed with considerable confidence.

    Table 3. SSI recipients in food stamp recipient households, by living arrangements and benefits, fiscal year 2004

    SSI recipient characteristic
    NOTES: SSI = Supplemental Security Income OASDI = Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance.
    a. Too few observations for meaningful calculations.
    Table 4. Food stamp increment to total household income for SSI recipients in food stamp recipient households, 20012005

    SSI recipient
    NOTE: SSI = Supplemental Security Income.
    a. Too few observations for meaningful calculations.
    Table 5. Food stamp receipt and income for the wholly dependent: SSI recipients living alone with only OASDI and/or SSI as income, fiscal year 2004

    SSI recipient characteristic
    NOTES: SSI = Supplemental Security Income OASDI = Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance.

    What Can You Purchase With Calfresh

    CalFresh, food stamps in California

    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.

    Recommended Reading: What Is The Income Cap For Food Stamps

    The Prevalence Of Food Stamp Receipt

    Table 2 illustrates the use of both resources, SSI and the FSP. The data for each year are separately tabulated by SSI recipient age group. The SSI recipient counts in the first row for each group are from Social Security administrative records and are averages for the months of the fiscal year. These are exact counts of payments made. The counts in the second row are derived from FSPQC sampling probabilities. “Prevalence” is just the ratio of the estimated total number of SSI recipients living in units receiving food stamps divided by the total number of recipients in the relevant age class . Thus we estimate that 939,106 elderly SSI recipients lived in FSP recipient households in 2006 this was 63.6 percent of all SSI recipients in the group. Although the denominators for these statistics are from administrative data and are effectively known with certainty, the FSP recipient counts are sample based and therefore subject to sampling errors. However, since the samples are quite large, confidence intervals around the sample-based recipient estimates are small, so the precision of the prevalence estimates is high.

    Table 2. Estimated prevalence of food stamp receipt among SSI recipients, by age group, fiscal years 20012006

    SSI recipient characteristic
    63.6
    NOTES: SSI = Supplemental Security Income FSP = Food Stamp Program.
    Ninety-five percent confidence intervals in parentheses are shown in percentage points.

    How Do Seniors Qualify For Food Stamps In California

    In the past, Harry and Dara put a lot of attention into meals and nutrition for their kids and then their grandkids. But theyre finding it a lot harder to give that same kind of important attention to their own nutritional needsespecially as their doctors have been recommending additional dietary changes and restrictions for their aging bodies.

    It has gotten even more challenging as the economic climate has left them feeling the need to tighten their budgets and reconsider their priority spending. It hadnt occurred to them that financial assistance might be an option until they heard about CalFresh. Since they applied and got involved, theyve been able to make their health and nutrition a priority without sacrificing in other areas of life.

    American food stamps of old were officially printed to be used in stores and exchanged similar to paper money. Like many of our financial, economic, and technological systems, though, food stamps have changed, too. In fact, the program carries an entirely different name: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program really is a snap. Easy-to-use debit cards are refilled automatically for qualified applicants and can be used where credit cards are accepted.

    Read Also: Does 7 Eleven Take Food Stamps

    Filling Out The Paperwork

  • 1Obtain the application. To obtain an application visit your county welfare office in person. You can also request an application by faxing or calling the local welfare office. An online version of the application is also available on the California Department of Social Services’ website and the Benefitscal.com website. Adobe Acrobat Reader is necessary in order to download the application. XResearch sourceXResearch sourceXResearch source
  • 2Name a household member. One member of the household must be prepared to sign the application. In signing the application, the household member is swearing the information on the application to be true under the penalty of perjury. XResearch source
  • 3Fill out and file the application. The application must be filled out to the extent possible and filed with your local county welfare office. You may submit the application in person, via mail or fax, or electronically.
  • At a minimum, the application must include a name, address, and signature in order to be accepted under the CalFresh program.
  • However, fill out the application as fully as possible. Some of the requested information includes the householdâs gross income and properties, eligibility for other government programs, and interview time preference. XResearch source
  • Calculating Net Income With Allowable Deductions

    Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) $365/Child: How to Apply Step by Step. California (SNAP Food Stamps Benefit)

    Step 1

    Subtract any Allowable Deductions

    After you have determined which allowable deductions apply to your household, subtract those from your total gross monthly income. Doing this will give you the total net monthly income for your household.

    If you need additional help doing this, use the example below:

    Determine if shelter costs are more than half of adjusted income $700 total shelter $605 = $95 excess shelter cost
    Subtract excess amount, but not more than the limit, from adjusted income $1,210 $95 = $1,115 net monthly income
    Apply the net income test Since $1,115 is less than $2,146 allowed for 4-person household, this household has met the income test.

    Step 2

    Determine if your Net Monthly Income is Eligible

    Now that you have your net monthly income, you can see if your income is eligible for California food stamp benefits. Use the chart and follow the steps below to determine your eligibility.

  • Start by finding your household size on the chart.
  • Once you have located your household size, look in the last column at the maximum net income for your household size.
  • If the allowable net income is higher than your total net income, you may be eligible for California food stamp benefits.
  • If the allowable net income is lower than your total net income, you may not be eligible for California food stamp benefits.
  • Household size

    Note: The allotments described here are for households in California

    Check out the example for a SNAP benefit calculation below:

    Also Check: How Do I Get Food Stamps In Texas

    First Food Stamp Program

    The idea for the first food stamp program has been credited to various people, most notably Secretary of AgricultureHenry A. Wallace and the program’s first administrator, Milo Perkins. Of the program, Perkins said, “We got a picture of a gorge, with farm surpluses on one cliff and under-nourished city folks with outstretched hands on the other. We set out to find a practical way to build a bridge across that chasm.” The program operated by permitting people on relief to buy orange stamps equal to their normal food expenditures for every $1 of orange stamps purchased, 50 cents’ worth of blue stamps were received. Orange stamps could be used to buy any food blue stamps could be used only to buy food determined by the department to be surplus.

    Over the course of nearly four years, the first FSP reached approximately 20 million people in nearly half of the counties in the United States at a total cost of $262 million. At its peak, the program assisted an estimated four million people. The first recipient was Mabel McFiggin of Rochester, New York the first retailer to redeem the stamps was Joseph Mutolo and the first retailer caught violating program rules was Nick Salzano in October 1939. The program ended when the conditions that brought the program into beingunmarketable food surpluses and widespread unemploymentceased to exist.

    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.

    Read Also: Can You Buy Formula With Food Stamps In Florida

    Understanding Eligibility Requirements For Calfresh & How To Apply

    The Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program also known as CalFresh in CA, is a program that increases household food budgets, allowing families to put healthy and nutritious food on their table. However, by some estimates, only half of those eligible for CalFresh in L.A. County are receiving benefits. In Los Angeles County, food insecurity is a significant public health problem particularly among low-income households. According to a 2019 report by California Food Policy Advocates, nearly 2 million low-income adults and children face food insecurity in the county. This means that one in five individuals across the county faces food insecurity on a daily basis.

    Food insecurity is defined as having limited, uncertain, or inconsistent access to the quality and quantity of food that is necessary to live a healthy life. Having sustained access to food is tied to positive social, physical, and mental health outcomes. In Los Angeles County, food insecurity is a significant public health problem particularly among low-income households, but CalFresh can help!

    Welfare Reform And Subsequent Amendments

    Apply for CalFresh online with GetCalFresh.org ...

    The mid-1990s was a period of welfare reform. Prior to 1996, the rules for the cash welfare program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children , were waived for many states. With the enactment of the 1996 welfare reform act, called the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 , AFDC, an entitlement program, was replaced that with a new block grant to states called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families TANF.

    Although the Food Stamp Program was reauthorized in the 1996 Farm Bill, the 1996 welfare reform made several changes to the program, including:

    • denying eligibility for food stamps to most legal immigrants who had been in the country less than five years
    • placing a time limit on food stamp receipt of three out of 36 months for Able-bodied Adults Without Dependents who are not working at least 20 hours a week or participating in a work program
    • reducing the maximum allotments to 100 percent of the change in the Thrifty Food Plan from 103 percent of the change in the TFP
    • freezing the standard deduction, the vehicle limit, and the minimum benefit
    • setting the shelter cap at graduated specified levels up to $300 by fiscal year 2001, and allowing states to mandate the use of the standard utility allowance
    • revising provisions for disqualification, including comparable disqualification with other means-tested programs and
    • requiring states to implement EBT before October 1, 2002.

    Also Check: What Income Is Eligible For Food Stamps

    Popular Articles
    Related news