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General Information

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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.

Eligibility

To be eligible for CalFresh benefits:

  • You must be a resident of Orange County.
  • 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.
  • Effective June 1, 2019, the CalFresh food assistance program expanded to include eligible older adults with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) Benefits.

Amount of Benefits

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:

  • Online at Benefits CalWIN or getcalfresh.org
  • By phone at 1-800-281-9799. Our Call Center  is open 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays
  • By mail – mail in your CalFresh application to:
    County of Orange Social Services Agency
    PO Box 70003
    Anaheim, Ca 92825-9922
  • By fax 714-645-3489 – fax in your CalFresh application
  • At your local CalFresh Regional Office from 8.am. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

Your CalFresh application only needs to have your name, address, and signature to begin the application process.

Downloadable CalFresh Application

Expedited Service

You may be eligible to get CalFresh Expedited Service within 3 DAYS if you meet certain criteria. Your application will be reviewed to see if you meet the criteria.

To be eligible for Expedited Service, your household must meet one of the criteria below:

  • Have both less than $150 in gross monthly income and liquid resources of $100 or less; or
  • Have combined gross monthly income and liquid resources less than your monthly rent or mortgage and utility costs; or
  • With migrant or seasonal farmworkers who are destitute with liquid resources of $100 or less.  

If you have any questions, you may ask the worker that is assigned to your case.

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 of elderly and disabled households with no earned income, these households must complete and submit a SAR 7 at the 12th month during their 24-month certification period.

The SAR 7 must be submitted to the Social Services Agency by the date requested or your CalFresh benefits could be discontinued; you can submit your SAR 7 via one of the following methods:

Downloadable SAR 7 Report

EBT Scam

Beware! There is an EBT scam to steal your benefits. If you’ve received a text or phone call asking for your personal information, contact your county right away. Your county and the state will never text or call you requesting your personal information such as your EBT card number and your personal identification number (PIN).

Never give your EBT Card number and PIN to anyone. With this information, someone could steal your benefits. Always keep your PIN and EBT Card number safe and secret.