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CalFresh FAQ

Have Questions about CalFresh?

Your CalFresh allotment depends on the size of your household. Starting October 1, 2022, the maximum allotment for one person is $281 per month. The maximum allotment for a four person family is $939. 

The chart below is effective 10/1/2022 for the Thrifty Food Plan maximum allotment amounts based on household size.


Household Size Thrifty Food Plan
1 $281
2 $516
3 $740
4 $939
5 $1,116
6 $1,339
7 $1,480
8 $1,691 
Each additional member +$211 


  • Earned income (wages, self-employment)
  • Unearned income, like money/allowances from others
  • Stipends
  • Foster Youth Benefits if student receives money directly
  • Military/Veteran Families; some counted and others not counted as income

Funds that DO NOT count as income:
Pell Grant, Cal Grant, Scholarships, and Work Study

If you are not eligible because of your immigration status, you can always apply on behalf of other household members, like U.S. born children.

A household can get CalFresh if at least one person (including children):

  • Has citizenship
  • Has a green card (for any length of time)
  • Has refugee or asylum status
  • Has parolee status for at least one year (Ukrainian parolees may qualify before one year)
  • Has, or is applying for, a U-Visa or T-Visa
  • Is an applicant for VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) relief
  • Is a Cuban or Haitian entrant
  • Is an Afghan entering with special Immigrant VISA (SIV), (SQ/SI) Parole, or other forms of humanitarian parole
  • Is Hmong/Laotian or American Indian born in Canada

Please visit the CalFresh Guide for Immigrants for more information.

No, CalFresh benefits are not considered taxable income and will not have an impact on the future of your finances.

1) Start your application: The CalFresh application takes about 5-10 minutes to complete. 

2) Submit required documents: Submit your required documents within the 30 days of applying. 

3) Complete your phone interview: A case worker from the county will call you within two weeks to complete an interview.

4) Status of application determined: You will receive approval/denial within 30 days of your initial application submission.

5) Receive your EBT Card: If approved, you will receive your EBT card within 10 days

6) Buy groceries!

In total, it may take up to 40 days from the start of your application to the point where you are able to use your CalFresh benefits.

Tell your case worker during your interview. CalFresh will generally accept a sworn statement as a last resort if you cannot get the documents needed.