CalFresh – Most Asked Questions and Useful Links
Most Asked Questions
1. What is the CalFresh program (formerly known as Food Stamps)?
The CalFresh program is a nutrition program that supplements a qualified family’s food budget to add healthy and nutritious food to the table. CalFresh benefits can be used to buy almost all foods, as well as seeds and plants to grow food for household use. The CalFresh program issues monthly benefits electronically on an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. Food can be purchased at participating retailers and participating farmers markets.
- Resources to Help with Interpretation of Public Charge Rule
- Interactive Map to find a Farmer’s Market that accepts EBT near you
- Food for Women, Infants, & Children (WIC)
- FOOD Share – Food Pantry List
- Healthy Eating & Active Living
- EatFresh – Tasty recipes, tips, and resources on a CalFresh budget!
- Businesses Accepting EBT cards
- LIVE Well
2. What does SNAP mean?
The federal government’s Food and Nutrition Service agency renamed Food Stamps to Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), but in California, it is called CalFresh.
3. What are some requirements to be eligible for CalFresh?
To receive CalFresh in Ventura County, the following are some of the general requirements you must meet to be eligible.
- Resident of Ventura County
- Citizen or lawful immigration status (such as Legal Permanent Resident (LPR), Alien Registration Card, visa) or certain noncitizens
- Income eligible household
- Provide or apply for Social Security numbers for all household members seeking assistance Provide all requested verifications
Screen yourself for eligibility.
You may apply by one of the following ways:
In person by walking into one of our Community Service Centers (CSC) listed below:
The CSCs are open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, phone number to call information is 1-888-472-4463 .
East County Community Services Center 2900 N. Madera Road, Simi Valley, CA 93065
Fillmore Community Service Center 828 Ventura Street, Fillmore, CA 93015
Moorpark Community Service Center, 612B (building B) Spring Road, Suite 301, Moorpark, CA 93021
Oxnard Community Service Center, 1400 Vanguard Drive, Oxnard, CA 93033
Santa Clara Valley Community Service Center, 725 E. Main Street, Santa Paula, CA 93060
Ventura Community Service Center, 4651 Telephone Road, Ventura, CA 93003
Thousand Oaks Service Center, 80 E. Hillcrest Drive, Suite 200, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
By phone at (888) 472-4463, TTY (800) 735-2922 or 711
By calling (888) 472-4463 to request a paper application.
- A postage-paid return envelope will be mailed to you
- The completed application will need to be mailed to County of Ventura Human Services Agency, 855 Partridge Drive, Ventura, CA 93003-9565, Or
- You may fax a completed application to (805) 658-4530.
5. What verifications are necessary to provide when applying for CalFresh?
You may apply without proof, but you will have to give certain information before your CalFresh benefits can be approved. Your worker will tell you what proof is needed. If you cannot get the proof yourself ask your worker to help you. Here is a list of some of the items that are required:
- Proof of identity
- Social Security number(s)
- Naturalization document(s)
- Alien registration card(s)
- Income verification
6. Do I have to have children to be eligible for CalFresh benefits?
No. Adults without dependents may apply for and be potentially eligible for CalFresh benefits.
7. Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to be eligible for CalFresh?
No, but you or the individuals you’re applying for (for example, children) must have the legal right (eligible non-citizen) to stay in the United States or meet other criteria such as Trafficking victim.
8. What are the income standards for the CalFresh benefits?
For more information on the income limits, visit How to How to Apply for CalFresh.
9. What are the property limits for CalFresh?
Due to the Modified Categorical Eligibility, most CalFresh households will have no property limit; however, property information is still required to be reported to the County. The household must still meet other eligibility criteria.
CalFresh household’s that are not determined Modified Categorical Eligible have a property limit of $2,250 or if the CalFresh household has an elderly or disabled member, the property limit is $3,500. For current property limits, you may contact us at (888) 472-4463.
10. What if I have a food emergency?
If you have little or no food, you may be eligible for Expedited Services to receive CalFresh benefits. Expedited Services may be available to you within three working days if you and your household meet certain criteria such as have the following:
- Rent or mortgage and utility costs that are more than your liquid resources and this month’s income before deductions, Or
- No more than $100 in liquid resources and less $150 income for the month before deductions, Or
- No more than $100 in liquid resources and at least one member who is a migrant or seasonal farm worker.
- You must participate in an interview within three working days of the application and provide proof of your identity.
11. Could I be eligible for CalFresh benefits if I am elderly or disabled?
Yes, you may be eligible to CalFresh benefits, even if you receive Social Security Retirement Income (RSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI/SSP). Elderly/Disabled households are entitled to special deductions for excess shelter costs, excess medical expenses, and determination of income eligibility based on adjusted net income only. If you have medical expenses, you will be asked to provide receipts or other proof of your medical expenses.
12. If I am homeless, could I still be eligible for CalFresh benefits?
Yes, you may be eligible for CalFresh benefits. If you are homeless, you will be asked to provide a contact address and phone number so we can reach you if necessary. If you do not have an alternate mailing address, we will give you a local address to use so you can pick up your mail.
13. I am under the age of 22 and live with my parents, can I apply for CalFresh?
Yes, you can apply for CalFresh; however, your parents must be included in your application, and their income and resources may be considered.
14. If I receive SSI/SSP, am I eligible for CalFresh benefits?
Yes. As of June 1, 2019, Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) recipients are potentially eligible to CalFresh Food benefits.
15. If I am a drug felon, could I be eligible for CalFresh benefits?
Yes, effective April 1, 2015, individuals who have a drug felony are potentially eligible for CalFresh benefits.
16. If I am approved to receive CalFresh benefits, how do I access them?
CalFresh benefits are accessed through an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. The EBT card works much like an ATM or debit card and can be used to buy groceries.
17. What should I do if my EBT card does not work?
You may call 1-877-328-9677 or log on to the California EBT Client Website to request assistance.
EBT cards do not work for various reasons – the card may not be active, or there are no remaining benefits. You may log on to the California EBT Client Website or call 1-877-328-9677.
18. What should I do if I lost my EBT card?
Immediately call 1-877-328-9677 to report your card lost or stolen. At this time you may also request a new card be mailed to you. If you need a new card right away, call 1-888- 472-4463 or go into your local Community Service Center. Learn more.
19. What if I don’t think I am eligible? Can I still apply?
Yes, you may pre-screen yourself for eligibility and apply for CalFresh benefits at any time.
20. How do I find information about my benefits?
You may call EBT Customer Service Automated Response Unit 1-877-328-9677 or call our automated system at 1-888-472-4463 for benefits information or to speak to a Customer Service Representative.
You may also go online to www.mybenefitscalwin.org or go online to the California EBT Client Website at www.ebt.ca.gov/caebtclient/reciplogin_client.jsp. Learn more.
21. If have questions about CalFresh eligibility, who do I contact?
- Get information online 24/7 at www.mybenefitscalwin.org
- Call 1-888-472-4463, 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday to speak with a Client Benefits Specialist.