Eligibility
 
A "household" is a person living alone or living with others or group of people who live together and normally buy and prepare their food together. Parents and their children under age 22 who live together are considered to be a household.

There are some eligibility requirements. Generally, you may be eligible to CalFresh benefits if you:

  • receive CalWORKs or General Relief.
  • have limited income or no income.
  • have limited property.
  • are a U.S. Citizen or a legal resident.
  • are able-bodied, do not have children under age 18, and are working 20 hours per week or are in the Workfare program.

Certain groups of people may not receive CalFresh benefits:

  • people who are neither U.S. citizens nor legal residents.
  • people who receive SSI/SSP.

If you aren't exempt from working or are working at least 20 hours a week, or are participating in a Workfare program, you must participate in the CalFresh Employment and Training Program. You will gain valuable skills in job search, vocational training, remedial education, substance abuse treatment, and work experience. Your Eligibility Worker will explain the program to you.

INCOME
 
You must meet certain income qualifications to receive CalFresh benefits:

1. GROSS INCOME TEST

Gross Income is all income from any source that isn't exempt. Your Eligibility Worker will explain the exemptions to you.

Some examples of excluded income include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Any college work study programs.
  • Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA).
  • Independent Living Program (ILP).
  • Relocation Assistance Benefit.
  • Any award or scholarship provided to or on behalf of a dependent child based on the child's academic or extracurricular activity.
This chart shows the maximum gross income per month allowed for a household of a given size.

Number of People in Household Maximum Gross Income Allowed
1 $1,245
2 $1,681
3 $2,116
4 $2,552
5 $2,987
6 $3,423
7 $3,858
8 $4,294
Each Additional Member +$436
2. ADJUSTED NET INCOME TEST

After you show that you don't exceed the allowable Gross Income, your Eligibility Worker will determine your adjusted Net Income. This is done by subtracting certain work expenses, unearned income, and other allowable deductions from your monthly Gross. The result of the subtraction is your Adjusted Net Income, and it's used to determine the dollar value of the CalFresh benefits you can get each month.
Number of People in Household Maximum Net Income Allowed
1 $958
2 $1,293
3 $1,628
4 $1,963
5 $2,298
6 $2,633
7 $2,968
8 $3,303
Each Additional Member +$335
ELDERLY AND DISABLED HOUSHOLDS
 

The 130% gross income limit is not used to determine eligibility for households that contain an elderly and/or disabled household member. Instead, the net monthly income limit is used to determine eligibility.

PROPERTY
 

Property that is considered when you apply for CalFresh benefits includes:

  • cash on hand or in a bank account
  • savings bonds
  • stock

NOTE: Effective February 1, 2011, the CalFresh resource rules have changed and the value of all resources is no longer considered when determining eligibility for CalFresh benefits provided a household has received the "Family Planning-PUB 275" brochure.

Resources consist of bank accounts, stock and bonds, real estate (home or land) autos, cash on hand, retirement accounts, etc.  Verification of your resources may or may not be required.  Resources will continue to be considered if you are applying for cash aid, Medi-Cal, and/or Expedited Services for CalFresh benefits and must continue to be reported for that purpose. The County will let you know if you need to provide any verification.

Income from resources, such as interest, dividends, royalties and rental income will continue to be considered in your CalFresh budget and you must continue to report this kind of income.  The County will let you know if the resources need be reported and verified for the purpose of determining whether there is income to be budgeted on the CalFresh case.

EXPEDITED SERVICES
 

You may be eligible to get CalFresh benefits in the same day or at least within 3 days if one of the following applies:

  • Your gross income is less than $150 per month and the money you have on hand or in the bank is less than $100, or
  • You are a migrant or seasonal farm worker and destitute, or
  • You can't pay your rent, mortgage payment or utilities because your monthly income and cash-on-hand is too little.

To apply for emergency CalFresh benefits, you only need to complete an application providing your name, address, and signature.  The Eligibility Worker will ask for your proof of identity, residence, income, and resources, but you cannot be denied for not having these documents with you.

CITIZENSHIP AND RESIDENCY
 

Only U.S. citizens and legal residents may get CalFresh benefits. This means that:

  • If there are citizens, legal residents, and non-legal residents living, shopping, and preparing food together in your household, only the citizens and legal residents may receive CalFresh benefits. To determine eligibility, ALL household income, including that for the non-legal residents, will be considered, but the income will be prorated by the number of eligible people in the home.
  • If you are a non-legal resident with a citizen or legal resident child, you may apply for your children, but only the citizen/s and legal resident/s in the household may get CalFresh benefits.
RESTORATION OF AID WAIVER
 

Effective May 1, 2011, if you are a CalFresh Quarterly Reporting or Change Reporting household and your benefits have been discontinued, you may be entitled to have your CalFresh eligibility and benefits restored if you resolve the reason(s) for the discontinuance within the calendar month following the discontinuance date.  If your benefits are restored, the effective date of the restoration of benefits is the day you resolve the reason(s) for the discontinuance.  For more information about restoration see this flyer.

 
 
 
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