General Information

CalFresh (formerly known as Food Stamps) General Information

Food Stamps General Information for low-income people

The CalFresh Program is a federal nutrition program that helps eligible, low-income, people purchase the food they need for good health. For most households, CalFresh benefits are only part of their food budget. CalFresh benefits are not cash. Some households must spend some of their own cash along with their CalFresh benefits. Households that are eligible will receive a plastic electronic benefit card (EBT) that can be used at most grocery stores when buying food items.


To be eligible for CalFresh benefits:

  • You must be a resident of Orange County.
  • You must have a Social Security Number (SSN). Everyone in a household that receives CalFresh benefits must have a Social Security Number, including children.
  • You must report all household members' income and property owned. Property and income limits vary depending on the number of persons in your household and their ages.
  • Your personal vehicles are not included in determining CalFresh eligibility.
  • If you receive SSI/SSP benefits in California, then you are not eligible for CalFresh benefits, per State law. However, other members of your household might be eligible for CalFresh benefits even if you are not eligible to receive them because you receive SSI/SSP benefits.

Amount of Benefits

Click here for a Pre-Screening Tool that will provide you with an estimate of your eligibility for CalFresh benefits. Please note that this is only an estimate; it is not an application for CalFresh. Once you apply for CalFresh benefits, an Eligibility Technician who is an expert in the program will review your information and determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements to receive CalFresh benefits and, if so, how much you are eligible to receive. You may apply for CalFresh benefits at your local CalFresh office, or you may apply online at Benefits CalWIN web site.

Semi-Annual Reporting

Effective June 1, 2016, households comprised of homeless, elderly and/or persons with disabilities will transition from Change reporting to Semi-Annual reporting.

All households that receive CalFresh benefits must complete a Semi-Annual Report (SAR 7) documenting their income, property, and any changes to their household, with the exception, elderly households with no earned income will complete a SAR 7 at the 12th month during their 24 month certification period. This report must be submitted to the Social Services Agency on time (by the date requested) or their CalFresh benefits could be discontinued.