Eligibility & Contacts

COVID-19 CalFresh Resources

Emergency Allotments:

Replacement Benefits (due to power outage, damage, etc.)

Online & Curbside Food Purchasing with CalFresh EBT card:

CalFresh Hot Foods Waiver

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) for Eligible Schoolchildren:

Temporary College Student Eligibility Changes

Income Updates & Benefits Available when Federal Unemployment Benefits End

  • Updates and details on our COVID-19 CalFresh page, re: CalFresh and other programs
  • Info includes downloadable form for updating income mid-period, for a benefits adjustment, after losing federal unemployment benefits
  • In addition, the state has provided sample messaging that can be promoted via orgs' social media.

New CalFresh customer portal (BenefitsCal)

  • Updates and details on our BenefitsCal page
  • How to access your online CalFresh account after the changes coming on September 27, 2021
  • Questions & Answers about the new portal
  • Links to training videos about the new portal

ABAWD on hold:

  • Childless adults (or, ABAWDs) who were subject to CalFresh time-limits will no longer be subject to time limits and related work provisions: USDA has temporarily suspended SNAP’s three-month time limit on benefits for adults under age 50 without children in their home, effective April 1.
  • Updates and details at our ABAWD page for more background on this topic and its impact on hunger.

Income Guidelines Changed as of October 1, 2022 

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.

Public Charge information for non-citizens

STATUS UPDATE -- March 9, 2021:

Public charge is part of federal immigration law, to identify who might depend on the government as their main source of support in the future. If someone is considered a public charge, then the government can deny that person's application for admission into the U.S. or an application for lawful permanent resident status (LPR or "green card").

Though there had been recently been a short period of time when the definition expanded, please note that the definition is returned back to what was outlined going back to 1999.

As of March 9, 2021 public charge applies only to people who recive public cash assistance for income maintenance and/or who are instiutionalized for long-term care at government expense.

There are many programs that are safe, and the list is long. It is safe to access food assistance programs such as CalFresh/SNAP, WIC, school meal programs, and food banks!

Read our full article at this link for more background on this topic, who it applies to, what programs are safe, and additional resource links.

SNAP / CalFresh ABAWD Time Limit

Update: Effective July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021 the CalFresh time limit rule is waived in all California counties. This means no ABAWDs living in California will have to meet the work requirement to keep receiving CalFresh benefits. ABAWDs who have lost their CalFresh benefits (in counties that implemented ABAWD) may reapply and continue to receive CalFresh if otherwise eligible.

Read our full article at this link for more background on this topic and its impact on hunger.

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:

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.

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.