The name for California's Food Stamp Program has changed as a result of recent State law. The new name for the program is "CalFresh". The name change will not change your benefits. The amount of CalFresh (formerly known as food stamp) benefits you receive will not be different because of the name change.
CalFresh was established to improve the nutrition of people in low-income households. It does that by increasing their food-buying power, so they are able to purchase the amount of food their household needs. CalFresh benefits are used instead of money at the grocery store.
CalFresh benefits are issued via a Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.
To apply for CalFresh benefits
on-line click here
You can also mail in a CalFresh Application to your local CalFresh Office
To download an application, please click one of the preferred languages below:
Express Lane Medi-Cal for CalFresh Participants
You may be eligible to receive Medi-Cal for up to 12 months through the Express
Lane Program if you are receiving CalFresh. To be eligible to receive
Medi-Cal through the Express Lane Program, you do not have to complete a
Medi-Cal application nor provide any additional information other than what
was provided when your CalFresh case was approved.
To obtain an informational flyer click on the preferred language below:
Surcharge-Free EBT ATM Locations
CalFresh Semi-Annual Reporting
Effective October 1, 2013 CalFresh participants will only have to turn
in a report once every six months.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture-Food and Nutrition Service (USDA-FNS), there are two concurrent scams you should be aware of. One involves the general public and the other involves SNAP/EBT retailers. The scams are using the USDA-FNS Hotline Number as a phone number of origin and making unsolicited calls to the general public and to SNAP/EBT retailers.
Additional information regarding these scams can be found at USDA Food and Nutrition Service website and are also included in the CalFresh-SNAP Telephone Scam Fact Sheet.
If you receive illegitimate calls, you may file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission at 1-888-225-5322. For information on identity theft, please visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information website.
Never provide your personal information or credit card number over the phone to unsolicited callers.
of EBT scams on the internet or through Smart Phone applications. Visit the State of California
website for information and updates on EBT scams.
To replace a lost or stolen EBT Card, contact your DPSS worker or the California Customer Service Center at
(877) 328-9677. CalFresh benefits withdrawn without your authorization cannot be replaced.
California Drought Relief Initiative and Brochure
The California Department of Social Services recently released information regarding measures enacted to preserve water as California struggles with its most severe drought on record. On January 17, 2014, Governor Brown declared a Drought State of Emergency for California and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for continued drought conditions.
To assist communities manage California's drought conditions, on March 27, 2015 Governor Brown signed emergency legislation Assembly Bill (AB) 91 (Chapter 1 Statutes of 2014) and AB 92 (Chapter 2 Statutes of 2014). These bills fast tracked more than $1 billion in funding for drought relief and critical water infrastructure projects effective fiscal year 2015 and 2016. The California Drought Brochure below provides information on program assistance and services to manage the unprecedented drought conditions in our state. Each program/service listed within the brochure includes a link for potential applicants to view and/or apply online for the various program/services noted.
CalFresh Benefits Reduced Effective November 1, 2013
Due to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Law That Ended on
November 1, 2013
Effective November 1, 2013, CalFresh benefits were reduced for individuals and families receiving CalFresh benefits.
This is a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 law that raised CalFresh benefits to households ended on November 1, 2013.
The amount of CalFresh benefits depends on many things like income, household size and expenses. So it is hard to
say exactly how much a household's benefits will be reduced. The table below gives an idea of what the reduced
CalFresh amounts might be for a household.
|SNAP Maximum Monthly Benefit Levels
||October 1, 2013
(CalFresh benefit levels)
|November 1, 2013
(CalFresh benefit levels)
To find out more about the CalFresh benefit reduction effective November 1, 2013, click on the flyer link below:
To find out tips on how to help prepare healthy meals on a low budget visit:
If you need food right away, contact your regional food bank for the nearest food distribution center.
Heat and Eat Program for CalFresh families
Effective January 1, 2013, families and individuals receiving CalFresh benefits will be enrolled in the new California Heat and Eat Program. This program allows you the full Standard Utility Allowance (SUA), which is the maximum utility deduction, when calculating your CalFresh benefits. This may result in an increase in CalFresh benefits for some families and individuals.
What is CalFresh Trafficking?
CalFresh Trafficking is when CalFresh benefits are bought, sold, or traded for cash. It is also considered Trafficking
when benefits are traded for items other than eligible food, such as firearms, ammunition, explosives, or controlled
substances. (This is FRAUD, it is a CRIME and it is AGAINST THE LAW!)
CalFresh Penalties for Trafficking:
If you do not follow CalFresh rules, your benefits can be stopped for 12 months for the first violation, 24 months for
the second, and forever for the third. You may be fined up to $250,000 and/or sent to jail/prison for 20 years.
If you are found guilty in any court of law or administrative hearing because:
If your household receives CalFresh benefits, it must follow these rules:
you traded or sold CalFresh benefits for firearms, ammunition, or explosives;
Your CalFresh benefits can be stopped forever for the first violation.
you traded or sold CalFresh benefits for a controlled substance;
Your CalFresh benefits can be stopped for 24 months for the first violation and forever for the second.
you traded or sold CalFresh benefits that were worth $500 or more;
Your CalFresh benefits can be stopped forever.
If you witness any type of fraud, including CalFresh Trafficking, REPORT IT!
Report Fraud to Los Angeles County Welfare Fraud Prevention and Investigation:
Central Fraud Reporting Line:
Do not trade or sell your Electronic Benefit Card (EBT) card.
Do not alter your EBT card to get CalFresh benefits you are not entitled to get.
Do not use CalFresh benefits to buy ineligible items such as alcoholic drinks, tobacco, paper, or cleaning products.
Do not buy or use someone else's EBT card for your household.
(800) 349-9970 We Tip Hotline:
You may also report CalFresh Trafficking to the USDA Office of Inspector General:
(800) 424-9121 or E-Mail:
Plastic Bag Ban
Effective July 1, 2011, grocery stores, drug stores and convenience stores within unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County only, will now charge customers 10 cents for each grocery paper bag given or provide reusable bags at store cost when shopping at these stores. This is as a result of changes in County Ordinance, Title 12, Environmental Protection, County Code Section 1, Section 12.85
which bans the use of plastic carry-out bags in Los Angeles County.
CalFresh participants will not be charged for grocery paper bags when buying groceries at these stores. However, participants who only receive CalWORKs or General Relief benefits will be charged 10 cents for each grocery paper bag given. If you are a CalFresh participant, and are charged for grocery paper bags when buying groceries at these stores, let the store manager know before you leave the store.
To find out more about the Plastic Bag Ban visit:
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