Stagger Days


and General Relief

Refugee and CAPI

If the last digit of 
your case number is:

benefits will
be available on:

Your benefits will be available on the calendar day of the month that matches the last digit of your case number.

For example, if your case number ends in 5, your benefits will be available on the fifth calendar day of each month.

Your cash benefits will be available on the first calendar day of each month.

1 to 3

The first day of each month

4 to 7

The second day of each month

8 to 0

The third day of each month


Always look at the last number on the bottom line of your California Advantage or EBT card. That number will tell you what the day of the month your cash and CalFresh benefits are available, unless your cash stagger day has been changed to the first of the month.


1st line:

EBT Card Number

2nd line:

Cardholder Name

3rd line:

Case Number (11 digits) 19 (County Number), 2-digit separate family number, and 7-digit case number


You can get your money on the first of the month if you need the money to pay your bills or to avoid paying late fees. You must be able to show that the due date for the monthly expense is before your stagger or availability day (this is the day you can get your benefits). Some of the reasons are:

- You live in Public Housing (not Section 8);

- Your rent is due before your stagger day;

- You have an eviction (Sheriff's) notice;

- You have a 3-Day Notice to pay Rent or Quit;

- You have a Summons and Complaint for Unlawful Detainer; or

- You have monthly bills (for example, bus pass, child care, car insurance, etc.) that are due before your stagger day.

Your benefits should be in your checking account on the first day of each month.

No. State regulations do not allow for any changes to the stagger of CalFresh benefits or for an exemption.

You may be exempted from using EBT for cash and receive a check in the mail on the first of each month if you meet one of the following criteria:

  1. You are 65 or older.
  2. You have a mental or physical condition that prevents you from using EBT for cash. You will need to provide a letter from your doctor or medical licensed practitioner that verifies this. If you receive General Relief (GR), contact your worker for instructions.
  3. There is limited access or barriers that prevent you from using your EBT card to get cash. For example, you could show that you have to travel too far or too long to get your cash or you cannot use nearby machines because they are not in your language. However, this is not available if you use the DPSS' offices as your mailing address.

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