CalFresh Application Instructions
You may apply by going directly to your county welfare office. When applying at a county welfare office it will usually take 30 days to approve or deny your application. If the applicant needs more immediate services it is possible to get food quicker by applying for expedited service. The rules for expedited service say that an eligible applicant can receive their CalFresh benefits within 3 days (Saturday and Sunday together count as one day). Only the county of your residence may determine if you are eligible for expedited service.
To download and print an application you can click here. If you are unable to download and print the application you can ask for an application in person, by phone, by fax, or by mail from your county office. After completing the application you can mail or deliver it to your local county office. Please click here for a list of County Welfare Departments.
You can also use California’s online resource, Benefits CalWIN, to learn about and apply for assistance. Please click here to visit Benefits CalWIN.
What will happen after I apply for CalFresh on the website?
You will get an answer about your CalFresh application within 30 days of your filing date. Your filing date is the date you sign and submit your application before close of business, typically 5:00 p.m. using this website. Applications received after 5:00 pm (weekend/holiday) will have a filing date of the next business day.
In order to certify your household and interview is required. In most counties the interview can occur by telephone. All counties allow in person interviews at the county office. The interview does not have to be with the head of the household. Any of the following can complete the interview process: a spouse, an authorized representative or any household family member. Remember that the interview is an annual requirement.
During your interview you can ask for explanation of the program rules and you will be assisted in the parts of your application that have not yet been completed. Once the interview is complete, if you do not qualify, you will be sent a notice explaining why. If you do qualify the notice will explain how much the benefit will be, and for the period that you will be receiving these benefits.
If your household is entirely elderly, or disabled, the face-to-face interview may be waived.
Public Assistance Division
Fax: (831) 637-9754
TDD/TTY: (831) 634-4969
Mon-Fri 8AM – 5PM