"All in one sheet" CalFresh information flyer (in English & Spanish)
Created by Food for People, this one-pager gives a brief introduction to CalFresh, includes a basic pre-screen with income eligibiligy guidelines, lists documents a household may need to be prepared to provide to the county, gives a brief overview of what to expect in the application and eligibility process, has information on how and where to apply and how to reach the county DHHS office, and much more. It is available in both English and Spanish.
Income Guidelines Changed as of October 1, 2019:
The Federal Fiscal Year begins October 1, which usually means CalFresh/SNAP income guidelines and maximum benefit amounts increase for a Cost of Living Adustment (COLA). Please visit Food for People's CalFresh page for full income guidelines.
Replacement Benefits due to October 2019 power outages:
CalFresh households that lost food purchased with CalFresh, due to power shutoffs, are eligible for replacement benefits.
There was a mass replacement of CalFresh benefits for some (but not all) Humboldt County households on Wednesday night Oct 23, 2019, due to the October 8, 2019 power shutoff. Many CalFresh households lost food purchased with CalFresh due to the October 26, 2019 power shutoff too.
Read our full article at this link for more information on how the following:
- Who was included in the Oct 23 mass benefit replacement and who was not
- What to do if you were not included in it
- What to do if you lost more than 60% of food purchased with October CalFresh benefits
- Download and complete the CF303 replacement form --check the due dates for each separate power shutoff at the link!
- What happens when there are multiple replacements needed in one month due to multiple power shutoffs
Click here for an updated flyer to post to share the basic information about the November 8th deadline.
Click here for an informative fact sheet with more information about power outages and CalFresh disaster response.
CalFresh expansion to SSI households:
Starting June 1, 2019, anyone that receives SSI may receive CalFresh benefits. Humboldt County DHHS will begin accepting early applications beginning May 1, 2019 (for benefits that can begin in June 2019). SSI and SSP benefits will not change. There are close to 6,000 SSI recipients in Humboldt County. Humboldt County DHHS created the following materials to help CalFresh partners understand more of the details on how CalFresh expansion impacts Humboldt County residents:
- Info sheet on CalFresh expansion to SSI households, with details on how SSI income will be counted, allowable medical deductions, and changes for households adding a household member who receives SSI.
- Info sheet on Supplemental Nutritional Benefit (SNB) and Transitional Nutritional Benefit (TNB), which are intended to help CalFresh cases that now include newly eligible SSI/SSP recipients who were previously ineligible. These two benefits are granted for households whose CalFresh benefits decrease when an SSI recipient is added to the household and for households that lose CalFresh eligibility once the SSI income starts being used in the CalFresh eligibility budget.
- PowerPoint presentation on CalFresh expansion to SSI households, presented by Humboldt County DHHS
For more information, visit Western Center on Law & Poverty, or ca4ssi, or California Assocation of Food Banks (CAFB). CAFB put together this overview of special CalFresh rules that apply to seniors and people with disabilities who are SSI recipients and newly eligible for CalFresh. Its intended audience is providers and application assistors who may want a refresher on what specific CalFresh rules might apply to SSI recipients. This information may help make the application process easier and/or help maximize the CalFresh benefit amount.
Here is a sample outreach flyer for clients in English and Spanish. California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has made a toolkit accessible with customizable materials (flyer, poster, brochures, fact sheet). In addition, CDSS recorded a policy webinar series that gets into more detail on how CalFresh policies affect people with SSI, which you can view here. Here's a quick overview of the statewide impact CDSS is expecting due to the expansion:
- 369,000 new SSI-only households to join the caseload over a 15-month period
- 44,800 households will see an increase in benefits
- 73,200 households will see a decrease in benefits
- 7,100 households will lose eligibility
- The households who will experience a decrease or loss of benefits will be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Benefit or Transitional Nutrition Benefit
f you've been using or promoting getcalfresh.org to help households apply for CalFresh, Code for America (the creators of getcalfresh.org) created an SSI-specific landing page: ssi.getcalfresh.org.
Public Charge information for non-citizens:
STATUS UPDATE Oct 11, 2019:
On October 11th, 2019, three federal judges issued a nationwide temporary injunction blocking this rule from going into effect October 15th, 2019. While we wait for a permanent injunction, this means that it will continue to be safe, after Oct 15th, for non-citizens to access nutrition, housing, medical benefits, and more, and it will not impact public charge determination (and thus ability to become a U.S. citizen in the future). The Administration will likely challenge the judge's decicion on appeal, so stay tuned. Click here to read the official 24-page ruling.
The following information is based on analysis of the final public charge rule on inadmissibility and is not legal advice. For information about a specific case, please contact an immigration expert. To find help in your area, visit www.immigrationadvocates.org/nonprofit/legaldirectory.
Core community messages:
- Use of public benefits alone will not make someone a public charge. Know the facts and one's rights.
- It's not over - 3 federal judges issued temporary injunctions on October 11th, 2019, blocking the rule from going into effect Oct 15th. The law suits that were filed to stop the rule must still continue to play out. The Administration will likely file an appeal. Keep posted for updates.
History of the Proposed new rule
On August 14, 2019 the new rule regarding public charge was posted to the federal register, and it was intended to go into effect 60 days later, on October 15, 2019. Law suits were filed by states and counties, and they were successful at receiving a nationwide temporary injunction from 3 federal judges, to block the rule from going into effect for the timebeing. Please stay tuned for updates.
What was the difference between the longstanding rule and the proposed new rule? In the past public charge determination has typically applied to use of cash aid programs and long-term care institutionalization and NOT programs such as SNAP/CalFresh, Medicaid, Section 8 Housing, etc., which were included in the proposed new rule.
Read our full article at this link for more background on this topic, who it applies to, and many additional resource links.
Ordering Outreach materials, brochures and other goodies:
Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services has a variety of helpful brochures, posters, table displays, and promotional materials (like pens and bags) about CalFresh, applying online, applying for health coverage and other programs available to order for free. In addition there are some items available to borrow for outreach events, such as banners, table covers and tents with the CalFresh logo. Click here to view/download the most recent order form.
Map of CalFresh Application Assistance sites in Humboldt County:
Have you ever wondered which sites and organizations provide CalFresh application assistance in Humboldt County? This fabulous new map shows the closest site to you or someone you're assisting, along with a list of contact info and dates/times assistance is available at each site. Click here or on the map to view/download.
Humboldt County DHHS contact information:
Download this full page flyer that includes the local Humboldt County DHHS Service Center phone number, a list of services available through it, and the new call center hours, which are Monday through Friday 7:30am to 5:30 pm, including lunch hour. Please use this phone number (1-877-410-8809) when communicating the local DHHS phone number to clients. Click here to download the updated flyer in English and Spanish. Also, if interested in it as a poster to display, click here to dowload it as an 11x17 poster in English and Spanish.
DHHS Mobile Outreach Vehicle schedule
The schedule can be downloaded from our Mobile Produce Pantry webpage. The Mobile Outreach Vehicle (MOV) provides an array of County services, including help applying for County programs such as CalFresh. The MOV travels to communities in various parts of Humboldt County to bring services closer to home. Food for People's Mobile Produce Pantry travels alongside the MOV, though the two sometimes have slightly differing schedules and sites. Please visit the Mobile Produce Pantry webpage for more information.
The following links are also very useful
- The Calfornia Guide to Food Benefits is a thorough resource on some of the technical aspects of understanding CalFresh eligibility, regulations and special situations.
- The California EBT Project is a state website with information about the EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) debit card itself, and includes a link to the EBT client website, at which clients with EBT cards can log in (or establish a login account) to do things like check account balance and transaction history.
- Two other resources for households that want to find out how much they have left in benefits are to call the toll-free number on the back of EBT cards: 1-877-328-9677 or check a CalFresh account online at www.benefitscal.org. This handy link helps people in the state of California to select their county and jump straight to the online system their county uses.
BARRIERS TO ENROLLMENT
AARP published a study on SNAP Access Barriers Faced by Low-Income 50-59 Year Olds (click here to download the highlights). As discussed at the Humboldt County CalFresh Task Force, these obtacles and beliefs are common for most age groups, and the highlights of the AARP report offer suggestions for overcoming these barriers.