CalFresh Eligibility Requirements

If you are wondering how to qualify for food stamps in California, eligibility is determined by different categorical regulations. California food stamps eligibility requirements encompass the categories of citizenship and immigration status, income, reporting requirements, resource limits, work requirements, work rule for able-bodied adults not receiving cash aid and transitional CalFresh benefits.

Requirements for food stamps in CA are elaborated upon in the following sections:
•    SNAP citizenship and immigration requirements in California
•    Income requirements for CalFresh benefits in California
•    Food stamps for college students and expedited services in California
•    Food stamps reporting requirements in California
•    Resource limit requirements for food stamps in California

SNAP Citizenship and Immigration Requirements in California

The Food stamps eligibility California sets forth regarding citizenship and immigration requirements are available online. In essence, certain non-citizens, such as those admitted to the United States for humanitarian reasons and those admitted for permanent residence, may be eligible for CalFresh benefits.  Eligible household members can receive CalFresh benefits even if other members of the household are not eligible. In general, requirements for food stamps in CA for most lawfully-present immigrants include that they: have lived in the U.S. in a qualified status for five 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 to have a lawful permanent residence status or qualified immigration status and meet all other program eligibility criteria. This CalFresh benefits program is known as the California Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Non-citizens that are in the U.S. temporarily, such as students and tourists, are not eligible just as undocumented individuals are not eligible.

Income Requirements for Food Stamps in California

Regarding income requirements for food stamps in CA, CalFresh households, except those containing an aged (60 or older) or disabled member or where all members receive cash assistance, are subject to gross and net income determination tests. If you want to know how to qualify for food stamps in California, gross income is defined as all non-excludable income from any source, including all earned income and all unearned income. The maximum gross income allowed is 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (except for households who are sanctioned or households who have been convicted of an Intentional Program Violation.

Maximum allowable annual income per household size is currently broken down as such: 
•    Household Size  =  1, Maximum Income Level  =  $15,444
•    Household Size  =  2, Maximum Income Level  =  $20,826 
•    Household Size  =  3, Maximum Income Level  =  $26,208 
•    Household Size  =  4, Maximum Income Level  =  $31,590
•    Household Size  =  5, Maximum Income Level  =  $36,972
•    Household Size  =  6, Maximum Income Level  =  $42,354
•    Household Size  =  7, Maximum Income Level  =  $47,749
•    Household Size  =  8, Maximum Income Level  =  $53,157.

If the household passes the California food stamps benefits gross income test, then the net income test is computed. Net income is computed by deducting several considerations like earned income, excess shelter, homeless household shelter and more. The resultant amount cannot exceed 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. You can get more details on these reductions when speaking with your CalFresh benefits representative.
For food stamps eligibility California, income that is considered exempt includes: In-kind Benefits, which is any gain or benefit not in the form of money (such as meals, clothing, and housing provided by the employer); Vendor Payments which is money paid to a third party for a household expense by a person or organization outside of the household; Deferred Education Loans; Grants and Scholarships; Cash donations from a charitable organization of not more than $300 in a calendar quarter; and Income received too infrequently/irregularly to be reasonably anticipated but not more than $30 in a quarter.

Food Stamps for College Students and Expedited Services in California

To meet requirements for food stamps in CA, college students (age 18 to 49) enrolled half-time or more must meet one of the following criteria on the date of the CalFresh interview: working an average of 20 hours per week or 80 hours per month; approved for state or federally funded work-study for the current term or enrolled in a WIOA or EOPS program; have parental responsibility for a child under six; and enrolled full-time and a single parent with responsibility for a dependent child under age 12.

Regarding food stamps eligibility California Expedited Services, the petitioner must have combined gross monthly income and liquid resources that are less than their rent/mortgage and utilities, or, their gross monthly income is less than $150 and their total household liquid resources are less than $100.

Food Stamps Reporting Requirements in California

After you apply for food stamps in California, CalFresh beneficiaries must notify their local County Welfare Department about any changes in their income or other circumstances which may affect eligibility for benefits. There are two kinds of reporting: Change and Semi-Annual.

Change reporting households are those in which household members are seasonal and/or migrant farm workers, elderly, disabled or homeless. These households are required to report changes to a CalFresh application within 10 days in writing, verbally, or in person. 

Semi-Annual Reporting (SAR) households must submit one periodic report form (SAR 7) once a year followed by a CalFresh benefits recertification form no later than six months later. The SAR 7 asks the household to report income, medical and dependent care expenses, and any other change the household is expecting for the remainder of their certification period.

Resource Requirements for Food Stamps in California

Regarding resources requirements for food stamps in CA, most households are not subject to the resource limit. Households that are subject to the resource limit include ones that: contain a member who has been disqualified from participating in CalFresh because of an Intentional Program Violation; have a head of household who does not comply with work requirements; and have any member of the household who has been convicted of certain categories of drug felonies. Households that fit one of these three restrictions are subject to a resource limit of $2250. If they also have a member who has a disability or who is 60 years of age or older, the resource limit is $3250. Resources that are counted include liquid resources and non-liquid resources such as personal property, buildings, land, and recreational properties.