How to Appeal Food Stamps Denial in California

If a CalFresh petitioner gets his or her California food stamps denied, the petitioner has certain rights under California law. One of those rights is to file an appeal and request a State hearing. To find out how to appeal for food stamps in California, please read through the following sections:
•    Food Stamps denial in California
•    How to appeal for food stamps in California


Food Stamps Denial in California

When it comes to food stamps denial in California, the CalFresh petitioner has the right to receive written notice at least 10 days before the County lowers or stops their CalFresh benefits. Cal Fresh petitioners also have the right to discuss their case with the County and have it reviewed by request.

If a CalFresh petitioner has their request for California food stamps denied, he or she has the right to request a state hearing. However, the request must be made within 90 days from the date the County mailed the applicant a Notice of Action. Applicants can request a hearing if: their application was denied, their benefits have been terminated, or they have been asked to repay an overpayment.

However, if the petitioner did not know about the County’s action, then he or she can file a hearing request after 90 days. In this situation, the petitioner must prove that he or she never received the Notice of Action or that it wasn’t received until the 90-day period was over. Additionally, beginning in 2004, State hearing requests involving a County’s denial of Expedited Food Stamps will be handled on an expedited basis. 

CalFresh petitioners wanting to know how to appeal for food stamps in California should first know that they may continue receiving their existing aid amount until the hearing date, but only if they file their hearing request before the effective date shown on the Notice of Action. This practice is called “Aid Pending.” However, if the county wants to reduce or stop the petitioner from receiving food stamps and the petitioner requests a hearing before the effective date, the petitioner will only continue to receive the existing amount of their food stamps until the end of their current certification period. The certification period may end sooner than their hearing date. If the petitioner receives aid pending and the hearing decision is not in their favor, he or she will be asked to repay the amount of aid benefits and food stamps received as aid pending. If the petitioner requested a hearing after the effective date shown on the Notice of Action, the County may still reduce or stop the petitioner’s aid.

How to Appeal for Food Stamps in California

CalFresh petitioners wanting to know how to appeal for food stamps in California have different options available to them. To file a denial appeal, CalFresh petitioners may complete the “Request for State Hearing” on the back of the Notice of Action. CalFresh applicants will need to provide their full name, address, telephone number, the name of the county that took the action against them, and a detailed reason why they want a hearing. If the petitioner has chosen an authorized representative, he or she needs to list the representative’s name and address. It’s also beneficial if the petitioner attaches a letter explaining why he or she feels the County’s action is incorrect. Petitioners who have had their California food stamps denied can submit their denial appeal to one of the following locations: the county welfare department at the address shown on the Notice of Action, the California Department of Social Services, the State Hearings Division in Sacramento, the State Hearings Division fax number, or online for an  online hearing.

Hearings are conducted in every county in California, and some counties have two hearing sites. Hearing site addresses, phones/fax numbers, and maps can be found online.

CalFresh petitioners who cannot travel due to a disability may ask for a telephone hearing or that the hearing take place at their convalescent hospital or home. In this case, the petitioner will need to mail his or her request and medical verification that he or she cannot travel to the State Hearings Division in Sacramento. 

CalFresh petitioners may request a hearing even if they are no longer a resident of the State of California. As an out-of-state resident, a petitioner has may either return to California and attend their hearing, ask their authorized representative to appear at the hearing on their behalf, or request to schedule a telephone hearing. If a petitioner does not state which of the three hearing choices they prefer, the State will schedule a telephone hearing.