CalFresh Outreach

Statewide Disaster Response

Emergency Allotments (EA)

Since March 2020, CalFresh households have automatically been receiving the maximum benefit level for their household size through supplemental benefit issuances referred to as “Emergency Allotments(opens in new window).” With the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023(opens in new window) which was signed into law in December 2022, Emergency Allotments will end effective February 28, 2023. This means that CalFresh households will receive their last Emergency Allotment issuance on March 26, 2023(opens in new window). CalFresh households will continue to receive their regular monthly benefit amount after Emergency Allotments come to an end. CalFresh benefits (including Emergency Allotments) will remain on EBT cards and will not expire as long as their EBT card is used at least once within a nine-month period. Client and CalFresh Outreach resources by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS)(opens in new window).

Timeline

Beginning
January 17, 2023

The Notice to all CalFresh Recipients regarding the end of Emergency Allotments (EA)(opens in new window) will be mailed

February 28, 2023

End of EA

March 26, 2023

Final distribution of EAs

Public Health Emergency (PHE)

Since the onset of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency(opens in new window) in March 2020, federal authority has allowed for several temporary flexibilities for CalFresh. These flexibilities have made it easier to apply for and maintain CalFresh benefits in addition to boosting benefit levels for all CalFresh households:

Temporary Student Exemptions (PDF)

CalFresh eligibility rules for college students are complex. With the Public Health Emergency, states were able to expand eligibility for this specific population. Under normal circumstances, college students (individuals who are within the age range of 18-49; physically and mentally fit for employment; and enrolled at least half-time at an institution of higher education) are not eligible for CalFresh unless they meet an “exemption.” The definition of a previously existing exemption was temporarily expanded to provide higher access to CalFresh for college students:

  • Students who are eligible for Work Study. Previously, students had to be approved, awarded, or have accepted work study funds in order be exempted from the student eligibility rule; In addition,
  • Students with a “$0 Expected Family Contribution” (EFC) as determined by CSAC may also be used to temporarily meet the student eligibility exemption rule.

Timeline(opens in new window)

On or before
June 9, 2023

Students applying for CalFresh can still use the temporary exemptions listed above.

Students with applications submitted on or before 6/9 and who completes all other eligibility requirements are eligible for the temporary student exemptions until their next certification period.

On or before
June 30, 2023

Recertification applications received will continue to have the temporary student exemptions applied.

Students with certification due in July, submits a recertification application on 6/29 and completes all other eligibility requirements in July. The student is eligible to the temporary student exemptions for the new certification period.

On or after
July 1, 2023

Recertification applications received will no longer have the temporary student exemptions applied.

Household with certification due in June, submits a recertification application on 7/10 and completes all other eligibility requirements in July. The student is not eligible to the temporary student exemptions for the new certification period.

Student Eligibility 

Students can still be eligible for CalFresh after the PHE ends. There are additional exemptions that may apply to students. You can learn more about the other student exemptions criteria on our Student Exemptions page(opens in new window).

Increasing Awareness

With the end of PHE, some students have heard that CalFresh is ending for college students. This is NOT true. Download the Public Health Emergency (PHE) Awareness Flyer (PDF) to share with students to help debunk this myth and provide better understanding of Student Exemptions.

Waivers (PDF)

Timeline

March 31, 2024

Telephonic Signature Waiver and Interview Waiver have been extended through March 2024.

Disaster Response

Find more information about Disaster CalFresh (D-CalFresh), replacement food loss waiver, mass replacement of food loss in large impacted zip code areas, Presidential Major Disaster Declarations, and other disaster response at the CDSS CalFresh Disaster Response Webpage(opens in new window).

Questions

Please reach out to the Support Desk(opens in new window) if you have questions about the information above.