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The CalFresh Program (formerly known as Food Stamps) helps low-income households increase their food-buying power to meet their household’s nutritional needs. CalFresh benefits issued through Electronic Benefit Transfer, also known as EBT card, can be used in grocery stores and participating Farmers Markets. Homeless, elderly or disabled persons may purchase prepared meals from participating restaurants with their EBT card. Effective June 1, 2019, SSI/SSP recipients in California are also eligible for CalFresh benefits, provided all other eligibility requirements are met.

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Expedited CalFresh: Receive Food Benefits Quickly

You may be eligible for Expedited CalFresh (ES) benefits within three days, or even as early as the same day after the application is received, if you meet one of three requirements!

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an Assortment of fresh ingredients
Basic Eligibility
Generally, you may be eligible for CalFresh benefits if you:
  • Receive CalWORKS or General Relief
  • Have low-income or no income
  • Have limited property
  • Receive Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP)
  • Are a U.S. Citizen or a legal resident
  • Are an immigrant that meets certain criteria
    • Trafficking and Crime Victim Assistance Program (TCVAP)

      The Trafficking and Crime Victim Assistance Program (TCVAP) provides cash aid, food assistance, employment services, and health care assistance to eligible non-citizen victims of human trafficking who have applied or intend to apply for a T-Visa and victims of domestic violence and other serious crimes who have applied for a U-Visa.

      T-Visa, U-Visa non-citizens, and Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA) self-petitioners are not required to provide a Social Security Number to apply for CalFresh benefits. However, they must meet other CalFresh eligibility requirements, such as income.

      Customers are strongly encouraged to disclose their immigration status on the application or during their interview with the eligibility staff to avoid possible delays or erroneous denials of their application. 
      You can apply online at, over the phone at (866) 613-3777, or in person at your local DPSS District Office.   

Access additional eligibility criteria

Minimum requirements to file a CalFresh application:

1. Applicant’s full name and
2. Household’s address (unless homeless, district address is acceptable), and
3. Signature of the Head of household, any adult household member, an authorized representative, or a responsible household member.

CalFresh Benefit Allotment

Great News!

As of October 1, 2023, all CalFresh customers will see an INCREASE in their monthly benefit amount due to the annual Cost of Living Adjustment increase!

To learn more, view the CalFresh Program Fact Sheet!

Apply On-Line with BenefitsCal

The easiest and quickest way to apply for CalFresh is online at BenefitsCal.

Apply by Telephone!
You can apply by phone. Call the Customer Service Center (CSC) (866) 613-3777 to have an application mailed to you.

Apply In Person
You can apply In person at any Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) District Office or outreach site.

You can also apply for CalFresh benefits in the following methods:

- In person through a Drop Box located at any DPSS District Offices
- In person with any CalFresh Outreach partners
- By Mail to any local DPSS District offices
- By Fax at (310) 215-8220.

Customer Service Center Hours of Operation

The Customer Service Center is available to assist you:

  • Monday – Friday from 7:30AM – 6:30PM

We are closed on weekends and County Holidays. 

If you don’t have access to the internet to apply for CalFresh online, please use this to find the nearest internet hotspots to you!