In California, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is distributed through what is known as “CalFresh.” CalFresh is for low-income individuals and families who meet federal income guidelines in order to receive money each month to buy fresh food and groceries.
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Like other SNAP programs, California distributes its SNAP benefits (also known as food stamps) through an electronic benefits transfer, or EBT card. This acts like a prepaid debit card that is automatically loaded each month with the amount of the recipient’s benefit.
The amount of benefit loaded will depend on the size of the household that qualifies. California has named this card the Golden State Advantage EBT card.
California distributes SNAP benefits on the first 10 days of the month, and the specific day is tied to the last number of your case number. For example, if your case number ends with one, your EBT card should have loaded on March 1 with your benefit, and so on. If your case number ends with zero, your benefit will be distributed on March 10.
|Case # ends in||Benefits available|
|1||1st of the month|
|2||2nd of the month|
|3||3rd of the month|
|4||4th of the month|
|5||5th of the month|
|6||6th of the month|
|7||7th of the month|
|8||8th of the month|
|9||9th of the month|
|0||10th of the month|
If you have not previously signed up for benefits, you may be eligible for expedited service, sometimes in as little as three days. You can qualify if your household makes less than $150 in monthly income and has less than $100 on hand right now OR your household’s combined monthly income and money put aside are less than the total household monthly rent and utilities.
You may also qualify for expedited service if you are a seasonal farm worker and also have less than $100 on hand right now.
The USDA approved emergency allotments to SNAP recipients during the pandemic last year, and these supplemental funds are still in effect. What this means is that all households are now eligible to receive the maximum amount of SNAP benefit each month until the emergency declaration expires. Currently, this means a household of four can receive the maximum benefit of $835 in California.
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