It’s a new year and with the continued increase in food prices, one of the questions we have received from CalFresh recipients is whether there will be an increase in California food stamps benefits. Specifically, will there be a cost of living adjustment to food stamps benefits in 2022 to make up for the increase in food prices? In this post, we will explain in detail what the 2022 California Food Stamps Increase will be, the income limits to qualify for benefits, and how much a family of 4 or 5 will get in CalFresh.

Additionally, we will provide a list of other food stamps changes in 2022 that may affect your benefits.

2022 California Food Stamps Increase

If you are approved for food stamps in California, how much in benefits you get partly depends on the:

  • Number of people in your household,
  • Total amount of your household’s income, and
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Thrifty Food Plan.

The Thrifty Food Plan is a government estimate of how much it costs to provide a household with nutritious, low-cost meals.

The table below shows the maximum CalFresh benefits for households with zero income.

As your income increases, your CalFresh benefit amount goes down.

Household Size CalFresh Maximum Monthly Allotment
1 $250
2 $459
3 $658
4 $835
5 $992
6 $1,190
7 $1,316
8 $1,504
Each Additional Member: +$188

How Much will a Family of 4 Get in Food Stamps?

Here’s how to calculate how much a family of 4 will get in CalFresh benefits.

First, we need to start with the household income.

If you have a countable net income, multiply your net monthly income by 0.3 (30 percent).

Round up this amount to the nearest dollar.

Next, take this amount and subtract it from the maximum benefit level for a household of your size.

From the table above, the maximum a household of 4 could receive in CalFresh is $835.

The result is the amount of your monthly CalFresh benefits for a family of 4.

Here’s an example:

Example: Frank and his family of four (4) have $2,000 in net income after allowable income and shelter deductions. To determine the family’s SNAP benefits, take 30% of the “net income” (30% of $2,000) and subtract it from the maximum benefit, as follows:

$ 2000 Net Income for Frank’s family
x .30 (Multiply by 30%)
$ 600 Countable Income
$ 835 Maximum SNAP for 4 persons
-$600 Countable income (round up)
$ 235 Monthly SNAP benefits for the Frank’s family

How much will a Family of 5 get in California Food Stamps?

Using the same example above, we are going to calculate how much Frank’s family will get if they were a family of 5 with the same $2,000 net income.

From the table above, the maximum a household of 5 could receive in CalFresh is $992.

Example: Frank and his family of five (five) have $2,000 in net income after allowable income and shelter deductions. To determine the family’s SNAP benefits, take 30% of the “net income” (30% of $2,000) and subtract it from the maximum benefit, as follows:

$ 2000 Net Income for Frank’s family
x .30 (Multiply by 30%)
$ 600 Countable Income
$ 992 Maximum SNAP for 5 persons
-$600 Countable income (round up)
$ 392 Monthly SNAP benefits for the Frank’s family

What are the Income Limits for CalFresh for 2022?

The biggest factor when determining if you are eligible for food stamp benefits is your household income.

Each year, the USDA is responsible for setting the Income Eligibility Standards for SNAP. These standards are then used to perform an income test on all households that apply for food stamp benefits.

The income test is required for all households, unless your household is already receiving cash assistance benefits from the federal government or your state.

Most households must have a total gross monthly income less than or equal to 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL), to be potentially eligible for CalFresh.

If your household has a person who is 60 or older or disabled, only the net income limit must be met.

The CalFresh Income Limit for 2021-2022 is based on your household’s total income and size.

To see if your household’s income meets the fiscal year 2022 SNAP Eligibility Requirements, use the chart below:

Other Food Stamps Changes in 2022

Here are the other CalFresh changes in 2022 that may affect your benefits:

CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program Available Statewide

The CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) allows for elderly and disabled recipients or recipients who are experiencing homeless to use benefits to purchase premade meals at participating restaurants using their EBT card.

Previously, the restaurant meals program was active in 18 counties.

However, effective October 12, 2019, the California legislature passed Assembly Bill (AB) 942, which mandates the CDSS to implement the RMP as a statewide program.

As a result of the AB 942, restaurant vendors who are federally approved may participate in the RMP statewide, within all 58 counties in California.

According to the CDSS, as of September 1, 2021, the RMP has expanded to a statewide program.

If you have any questions about the RMP program, please feel free to contact the CDSS at CDSSRMP@dss.ca.gov.

Updated CalFresh Income Limits for 2022

The biggest factor when determining if you are eligible for food stamp benefits is your household income.

Each year, the USDA is responsible for setting the Income Eligibility Standards for SNAP. These standards are then used to perform an income test on all households that apply for food stamp benefits.

The income test is required for all households, unless your household is already receiving cash assistance benefits or SSI/SSP from the federal government or your state.

Most households must have a total gross monthly income less than or equal to 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL), to be potentially eligible for CalFresh.

If your household has a person who is 60 or older or disabled, only the net income limit must be met.

The CalFresh Income Limit for 2021-2022 is based on your household’s total income and size.

To see if your household’s income meets the fiscal year 2022 SNAP Eligibility Requirements, use the chart below:

CalFresh Income Eligibility Standards for Fiscal Year 2022
Effective October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022
Household Size Gross Monthly Income (200% of FPL) Gross Monthly Income (130% of FPL) Net Monthly Income (100% of FPL)
1 $2,148 $1,396 $1,074
2 $2,904 $1,888 $1,452
3 $3,660 $2,379 $1,830
4 $4,418 $2,871 $2,209
5 $5,174 $3,363 $2,587
6 $5,930 $3,855 $2,965
7 $6,688 $4,347 $3,344
8 $7,444 $4,839 $3,722
​9 $8,202 ​$5,331 $4,101
​10 $8,960 ​$5,823 $4,480
Each additional member +$758 +$492 +$379

New Allowable Deductions for 2022

To calculate your net monthly income, you must deduct approved household expenses. Here are the expenses that can be deducted from your household’s gross income:

  • 20% deduction from Earned Income
  • Standard deduction of $177 for households with 1 to 3 people and $184 for households with 4 or more people (see chart below)
  • Dependent care deduction when needed for work, training, or education
  • A deduction for elderly or disabled members medical expenses that exceed $35 a month (if not paid by insurance or someone else)
  • Any legally owed child support payments can be deducted
  • Homeless Household’s shelter costs deduction of $159.73.
  • A deduction for excess shelter costs that exceed more than half of the household’s income (after the other deductions listed above & cannot exceed $597 unless a household member is elderly or disabled).

2022 California Food Stamps Increase Summary

We hope this post on the 2022 California Food Stamps Increase was helpful.

Questions?

If you have further questions about CalFresh or California EBT Card, please let us know in the comments section below.

Be sure to check out our other articles about CalFresh and CalFresh EBT, including:
Emergency Allotment for CalFresh – Extra Food Stamps for 2021
Free Cell Phones with CalFresh
How to Apply for California P-EBT
California P-EBT Extension for 2020/2021
CalFresh Account Login Help
CalFresh Income Limits for 2021
January 2022 California Extra Allotment

Kwame Kuadey

Kwame Kuadey writes about personal finance and the social safety net. His career started in banking but he caught the entrepreneurial bug and has spent the last decade building successful businesses, including an Inc. 500 Company. Kwame believes everyone has the power to improve their quality of life by seeking knowledge and taking action. In 2012, Kwame founded Empower Media to help low-income households improve their financial situation. His expertise is in topics relevant to low-income households, including government benefits and assistance, banking products, access to credit, plus tools & resources to help reduce income volatility and build wealth. Kwame has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, Washington Post, ABC, and NPR.

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