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CalFresh Food Logo

What is CalFresh?

CalFresh is a nutrition assistance program that helps low-income individuals and families buy the food they need. CalFresh dollars help stretch a tight food budget and help many people afford to incorporate healthy foods like fruits and vegetables into their diets.

CalFresh is the name of the USDA-funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the state of California. Recipients receive and “spend” CalFresh benefits electronically, via personal Golden State Advantage electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards that look just like any other credit or debit cards.


Program Eligibility & Application Information

CalFresh Basic Eligibility Information

Eligibility Information

Who do you purchase and prepare food with? Use this number of people in your household to determine which row to use on the chart below.

Using this row, is your household under the gross monthly income limit? If yes, go to the next question. If no, your household is likely not eligible for CalFresh benefits.

Does your household include at least one US citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR)? If yes, go to next question. If no, your household is likely not eligible for CalFresh benefits.

Does your household receive the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)? If yes, your household is  not eligible for CalFresh benefits.

Is anyone in your household provided more than half (11 or more) meals per week from another source? If yes, that individual likely won't be eligible for CalFresh benefits BUT others in your household still may be eligible.

Is anyone in your household a college student per CalFresh standards (enrolled at least half-time (typically 6+ units) and between ages of 18-49)? If yes, please visit college student eligibility for additional eligibility information.

Is anyone in household physically/mentally unable to work and/or is receiving disability benefits from any source? If yes, skip the next student question and apply. If no, go to the next question.

Is anyone in household a college student per CalFresh Food guidelines: enrolled at least half-time and between ages of 18-49? If yes, please see  additional student eligibility information.



 CalFresh Monthly Income Limits & Maximum Monthly Allotment 

Effective October 1, 2023 - September 30, 2024

People in Household Gross Monthly Income Net Monthly Income Maximum CalFresh Allotment
1 $2,430 $1,215 $291
2 $3,288 $1,644 $535
3 $4,144 $2,072 $766
4 $5,000 $2,500 $973
5 $5,858 $2,929 $1,155
6 $6,714 $3,357 $1,386


College Student Eligibility Information


Students must meet both the regular eligibility criteria, and at least one of the criteria below, to qualify for CalFresh.

For more detailed information and to get assistance with student exemption verification visit out College Student Eligibility page.

Current Student Exemptions: 

  • Enrolled less than half-time
  • Taking non-credit courses only
  • Age 17 or younger
  • Age 50 or older
  • Does not expect to be enrolled next term 
  • Working and getting paid for at least 20 hours per week OR a total of 80 hours a month on average.
  • Approved  for federal or state work study, anticipates working, and have not refused a work assignment (can still be eligible even if a work study job has not begun or is not currently available).
  • Awarded a TANF funded Cal Grant A or Cal Grant B. TANF requirements are:
    • Receive both Cal Grant tuition and fee payments
    • Unmarried- Dependent student whose Age <=23 or Unmarried -Independent Student whose Age <=25
    • Income <=$50,000
  • Enrolled in a local or state funded program that increases employability. 
  • Enrolled in a program that increases employability for current and former foster youth (Guardian Scholars, FYSI, CAFYES, ETV or Extended Foster Care).
  • Responsible for the care of a dependent in the household under the age of 6 or a child under the age of 12 without adequate childcare
  • A single parent responsible for the care of a dependent in the household under the age of 12
  • Participating in the CalFresh Employment and Training Program (CFET) or Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS), or be a recipient of CalWORKs or Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).

CalFresh Application Process

Step 1

Complete this CalFresh Pre-Screen Form. 

CalFresh Pre-Screen Form

By completing the pre-screen you can help us determine if you are eligible for the CalFresh program. If you would the CSUSB CalFresh Outreach Team to complete a prescreen with you, contact us at or call 909-537-3663. 

Step 2

Gather Your Documents.

You will need to submit documents as part of the application process. Prior to starting an application, gather the documents listed below.  During the application process you will have the opportunity to upload documents. Your application will not be approved if you do not submit verification documents to the county. Verification documents that will be required include:

  • Valid Identification (Drivers License, Passport, State Identification Card)
  • Pay Stubs for the last 30 days
  • Rent Receipt or Lease Agreement
  • Class Schedule (for students only)
  • Financial aid award letter (students only)
  • Student Exemption Verification

Step 3

Complete the CalFresh Application. 

Application Option 1: Complete the application online. This will submit your information directly to your county of residence. 

CalFresh Application

Application Option 2: Complete the application with a member of the CalFresh Outreach Team. 
Although the application is available online, we encourage you to apply with the help of our team because they are familiar with the application and documentation requirements. 

CalFresh Application Appointment

Once the application is received by the county, your 30-day application period begins.

Step 4

Conduct your interview. 

You will need to complete a 30 minute interview with a county representative by phone or in person. The county office will either call or mail you a date and time for your interview. Your application will not be approved without completing this interview. The county representative will verify the information submitted in your application and may request additional documentation. 

Let our CalFresh Outreach Team know if you have not heard from the county within the first 10 days.

Step 5

Keep your CalFresh benefits.

You will need to complete a Semiannual Report (called a SAR 7 Eligibility Report) 6 months after your initial application is approved. The County will let you know when this is due.

Recertification is required every year. An application and interview must be completed before the end of your certification period. The County will let you know when your Recertification Application is due and will send you a letter confirming the time and date of your interview. Most interviews will be conducted over the phone.

Not sure if you qualify.

To help you determine eligibility we have an online prescreen form that will allow you to go through the eligibility questions and provide us with contact information. Upon completion a staff member will reach out to you to complete an application.

CalFresh Pre-Screen Form

Ready to submit an application. 

If you are ready to submit an application and do not require assistance use our unique CSUSB application. Be sure to have all your documents ready to upload before starting the application. 

CalFresh Application

Schedule an appointment or come in during our CalFresh application walk in hours.

Monday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Tuesday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Wednesday: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Thursday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Friday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

CalFresh Application Appointment

Verification Documents

As part of the application process you will need to provide verification documents. Examples of required student documents for your CalFresh application include proof of Federal Work Study,  Local Program to Increase Employability (LPIE), EOP participation, and campus employment verification.  Please see our guide to common verification documents. 

If you require assistance with your student verifications complete the request form below.

Student Verification Request

If your CalFresh/EBT benefits are lost or stolen

Electronic theft occurs when a recipient has benefits stolen directly from their account.

This can occur in two ways:

  1. Skimming uses electronic equipment to capture recipients' EBT card information without their knowledge.
  2. Scamming is misleading a recipient to reveal their account information

In both cases, perpetrators steal benefits by creating a counterfeit card or manually entering the account number into a card reader.


Reporting Stolen Benefits

Contact the EBT Customer Service Department to place a hold on your EBT card. This will prevent further unauthorized transactions on your card.

  • 1-877-328-9677
  • TTY: 1-800-735-2929

EBT Customer Service is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Download and complete the EBT 2259 Report of Electronic Theft of Benefits to start filing a claim.


Recipients are entitled to the replacement of benefits due to electronic theft. Stolen benefits must be reported to the County, within 10 days. Recipients must complete a claim report within 90 days.

  • Stolen benefits must be reported to the county within 10 days
  • Stolen benefits can only be replaced twice every six months.
  • The maximum amount replaced must be at most, the amount of one month's allotment.


Protect Yourself

  1. Closely monitor your accounts and transactions.
  2. Never give out personal information such as account numbers or social security numbers in emails, texts, or phone calls.
  3. Do not open or download links/files from unknown sources.
  4. Contact your local County Social Services Department to verify authenticity of communications.


How to appeal your case if your CalFresh Application is denied

A fair hearing in when you provide a written or verbal appeal if you disagree with the county’s decision on your CalFresh case.

How to request a fair hearing? You have 90 days from the notice of action letter was mailed to submit a request.


1. Call CDSS's State Hearing Division at (800)-952-5253


2. Write to the appeals and hearing section: 

Address: P.O. Box: 18890, Los Angeles, CA, 90018


3. File an appeal online at