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.

Application Tips

  • Applications for CalFresh in 16 languages are available online, click here.
  • One adult household member or a household’s authorized representative must sign the application.
  • For the application to be accepted your name, address and signature are necessary.
  • When your application has been turned in, your local county departments will schedule an interview. Click here to to see the list of documents you will need to have for the interview.
  • Once your application is received and your household is verified for eligibility you should receive benefits within 30 days of the date on your application.
  • Remember you may qualify for expedited service which allows you access to benefits within three (3) days if your household meet the requirements.
  • If you are already receiving CalWORKs, General Assistance (GA), or General Relief (GR) your household may be categorically eligible. This means that the other program’s requirements pre-qualify your application to CalFresh.

Interview Process

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

1111 San Felipe Road-Suite 206
Hollister, CA  95023

(831) 636-4180

Fax: (831) 637-9754

TDD/TTY:  (831) 634-4969


Mon-Fri  8AM – 5PM

Deputy Director

Cynthia Larca

Language Translation Disclaimer
Our Agency’s website links to Google Translation as a convenience for those who speak/read languages other than English.  Please be aware that no automated or computerized translation tool produces a perfect translation.  The context of the wording may be lost when translated and some translations may lose the intended meaning. Therefore, the San Benito County Health and Human Services Agency cannot guarantee the accuracy of the translated content. 
If any questions arise concerning the translated version of the website, please refer to the original English version.