As of April 28, 2020 you can use your EBT card to make purchases online.
Individuals and families can purchase groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and Walmart. If you receive CalWORKs, you may also be able to use your cash benefits to make purchases online at Wal-Mart.
California expedited implementation of EBT online purchasing in response to COVID-19. Allowing for EBT online purchases will support vulnerable populations in meeting their nutrition needs, especially while a statewide stay at home order remains in place. California is actively working to expand the number of stores that accept EBT online in the future.
For more information: https://www.cdss.ca.gov/ebt-online
What is CalFresh?
CalFRESH is the new name for Food Stamps in California, and is nationally recognized as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). CalFRESH will allow you to access healthy and nutritious food improving the health and well-being of your household. Once you sign-up for CalFRESH you will get benefits issued every month to a card that can be used just like a bank card. This Golden State Advantage EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) Card can be used to buy most foods at farmer’s markets, food stores and even some restaurants. Those who receive CalFRESH will no longer have to go to issuance outlets. You can simply slide this card at the cash register. Use of the card is secure, convenient and offers users privacy when making purchases.
The amount of the available monthly benefit will be determined after you apply and will depend on the size of your household, your bills, and your income.
Minimum Requirements to file a
Applicant’s full name
Household’s address (unless homeless, general delivery address is acceptable)
Signature of the Head of household, any adult household member, an authorized representative, or a responsible household member
How do you apply for CalFresh?
APPLY IN-PERSON OR BY MAIL
The San Benito County Health & Human Services Agency office is located at:
1111 San Felipe Road, Suite 206
Hollister, CA 95023
APPLY BY MAIL
Mail application to:
1111 San Felipe Road, Suite 206
Hollister, CA 95023
APPLY BY FAX
To apply by Fax, send the application to 831-636-9754
You can download a Cal Fresh Application at the following website:
San Benito County Health and Human Services Agency business hours are 8 am-5 pm, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. If you cannot download an application, click here for an alphabetical list of California offices.
You may be eligible for assistance within 3 days from your CalFRESH application date. To qualify, you must provide identification and meet all other CalFRESH requirements in addition to one of the following:
- Your household makes less than $150 in monthly income and has less than $100 on hand right now. OR
- Your household’s combined monthly income and money on hand are less than your household’s combined monthly rent and utilities. OR
- You are a migrant or seasonal farmworker and have less than $100 on hand right now.
Who is Eligible?
- San Benito County Residents
- Households experiencing homelessness
- Households with low or no income
- Students of higher education if they meet certain criteria or an exemption
- Individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) through the Social Security Administration (SSA)
- Families receiving or applying for CalWORKS
- Immigrants: A refugee, a valid asylum, and legal permanent resident (green card)
Who must be included in the application?
- Anyone who purchases and prepares meals together, whether related or not.
- Everyone living at the address, such as husbands, wives, parents, and children under age 22
CalFRESH Gross Monthly Income Requirements
200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
Most CalFRESH households are subject to a gross income determination test. Gross Income is all non-excludable income from any source including all earned income and all unearned income. The maximum gross allowed is 200% of the Federal poverty level (FPL). Below is a chart of gross monthly income for 200% of the Federal poverty level by household size.
Gross Monthly Income Eligibility
Standards for Modified Categorical
Eligibility (MCE)/Broad-Based Categorical
Eligibility (BBCE) (200% of Poverty Level)
Household Size Gross Income
- In-Kind Benefits – Any gain or benefit that is not in the form of money (i.e., meals, clothing, housing provided by the employer, etc.)
- Vendor Payments – Money paid to a third party for a household expense by a person or organization outside of the household.
- Deferred Educational Loans
- Grants and Scholarships
- Cash donations from a charitable organization of not more than $300 in a calendar quarter.
- Income received too infrequently/irregularly to be reasonably anticipated but not more than $30 in a quarter.
Maximum benefit allotments
For more information go to:
How benefits are determined
Your benefit amount is based on your gross monthly income (below) and household size minus monthly expenses such as:
- Child support payments
- Childcare expenses
- Medical expenses (only if your household has at least one member who is age 60 or older or has a disability)
- Rent or mortgage
- Utility and phone expenses
Household resources (such as investments, property ownership, and bank accounts) are exempt from your application requirements. However, any income generated from resources will count as part of your household’s total gross income.
Household Resource Limit Requirements
A resource is something the household can draw upon or sell for financial assistance. Most households are not subject to the resource limit. The household types that are still required to meet eligibility requirements for resources, resource limits for those households, and the type of resources which are considered are listed below.
Which households are subject to the Resource Limit?
Resources are counted only for those households that :
- Contain a member who has been disqualified from participating in CalFresh because of an Intentional Program Violation,
- Have a head of household does not comply with work requirements,
- Have any member of the household has been convicted of certain categories of drug felonies
Certain non-citizens such as those admitted for humanitarian reasons and those admitted for permanent residence may be eligible for CalFresh benefits. Eligible household members can get CalFresh benefits even if other members of the household are not eligible.
In general, CalFresh eligibility is available to most lawfully present immigrants who:
- Have lived in the country (in a qualified status) for five (5) years, or
- Are receiving disability-related assistance or benefits, regardless of entry date, or
- Are children under 18 years of age who are qualified and lawfully admitted for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationalization Act.
California also has a program for immigrants who have not lived here for five years but have a lawful permanent resident status or “qualified” immigration status and meet all other program eligibility criteria. This CalFRESH Program is known as the California Food Assistance Program (CFAP).
Non-citizens that are in the U.S. temporarily, such as students or tourists are not eligible just as undocumented individuals are not eligible.
More information can be found in the Federal Non-Citizen Guide .
Commonly Asked Questions
- I lost my EBT card. How can I get a replacement?
Call (877) 328-9677
- I turned in my SAR7-& late, how long do I have to wait for my benefits to be received?
10 working day
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.