CalFresh Outreach

FAQ CalFresh Food

Common answers to overall eligibility, including income, household, student requirements, older adults, and more!

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Application and Process

Application Assistance

Follow Up Best Practices

Following up with clients provide outreach staff the ability to support them through the application process to reduce the amount of times they have to reapply. This also increases approval rates and helps to track recurring trends. By reaching out and reconnecting with clients who have applied, this helps to communicate that your outreach team cares about their well-being, which results in building a sense of trust so they can refer others to your services.

Application Submission

Application Approved

Application Delayed/Denied/Withdrawn

  • Application was denied.
    • Did the county inform the student why they were denied? (Student should receive a letter of denial.)
    • Did the student complete an interview with a county worker and submit verifications?

    If student:

    • was told they did not meet the requirements but, after reviewing basic eligibility, you find they do, confirm if their case worker screened them for that.
    • did not submit verifications or submitted late, they may contact their case worker and resubmit.
    • disagrees with county's decision, they may file a fair hearing(opens in new window) on the back side of their denial notice.
    • is above the income threshold, they may reapply if/when their income changes. Refer student to community resources.
  • Benefits were stopped.
    • How long has student had benefits?
    • When did their benefits stop?
    • When was the last time they used/spent their CalFresh benefits?
    • Did the student receive renewal paperwork from the county?
      • If yes, have they completed the renewal paperwork, and when did they submit it?

    Benefits can be stopped if a Semi-Annual Report (SAR 7) or Recertification (RE) is not submitted by a particular deadline. If the SAR 7 or RE is submitted after the deadline, there may be a delay in benefits.



Expedited Service

  • What is Expedited Service?

    If a household qualifies for Expedited Service, they can get their CalFresh Food benefits in three days or less.

  • How is a household eligible for Expedited Service?

    A household must meet one of the following:

    • Have less than $150 of gross monthly income and less than $100 of cash on hand or in their checking or savings accounts; or

    • Housing cost (rent/mortgage and utilities) are more than their monthly gross income and cash on hand or in checking or savings accounts; or

    • Migrant or seasonal farmworker with less than $100 in checking or savings and their income has stopped, or their income has started but they do not expect to get more than $25 in the next ten days.

County Notice of Action





Older Adults & Individuals with Disabilities

Receiving Meals/Food From Another Source



Students on Summer Break

Maintaining Benefits

Semi-Annual Report (SAR 7)

  • What is a SAR 7?

    A SAR 7 is a short report that most households must complete to maintain their eligibility for CalFresh Food benefits.

  • When is a SAR 7 due?
    • Most households will have to complete and submit a SAR 7 in the sixth month of receiving their benefits. 
    • For households where all adults are over 60 years old or have a disability and no earned income, a SAR 7 is due in months 6, 12, and 18. 
    • For households where all adults are over 60 years old or have a disability and earned income, a SAR 7 is due in months 12 and 24. 
  • What if the household submitted the SAR 7 report and/or verifications late?

    The household has 30 days after the report month to submit a completed SAR 7 and verifications, but their benefits for that month will be prorated, so make sure households are submitting their SAR 7’s and verifications timely. 

  • Is an interview required?

    No. The household only has to submit the report along with verifications of changes. 

Recertification (CF RE)

  • When are CalFresh Food recertifications due?
    • Most households must complete an annual recertification to maintain their CalFresh Food benefits. Recertification happens in the twelfth month of receiving benefits. 
    • For households where all adults are over 60 years old or have a disability and no earned income, their recertification is due in month 36. 
    • For households where all adults are over 60 years old or have a disability and earned income, their recertification is due in month 24. 
  • What does a household have to submit?
    Households must complete their CF 37 Recertification Application and submit all the necessary verifications as determined by their eligibility worker.  
  • Is an interview needed?

    Most households will also have to complete an interview during their recertification.

    For households where all adult members are over 60 years old or have a disability and no earned income, their recertification interview is waived unless the client requests for an interview or if the client reported conflicting information or verification. 

  • How long does the recertification interview last and what will they ask the household?

    Depending on the household’s situation, the length of the interview may vary.

County Relationship

County Contact Information

Release of Information (ROI)