CalFresh Benefits to Increase by 25% – See When

Here’s great news for California food stamps recipients: CalFresh benefits will soon increase by more than 25% – the largest single increase in the program’s history. Yes, you read that right. The Biden administration has announced a major increase in SNAP benefits. This is the first time since 1975 that the CalFresh program has seen a boost in purchasing power. In this post, we are going to explain the CalFresh Benefits 25% increase for 2021 and when California SNAP recipients can expect to start receiving the increased benefit. We will also answer how long this increase will last.

Also, we will answer the most frequently asked questions about the increased SNAP benefits, including how much you are likely to receive.

President Joe Biden’s administration has approved this increase because studies show that more than a quarter of the households enrolled in SNAP exhaust their monthly benefits in the first week after issuance, and more than half do so by the second week.

"CalFresh Benefits 25% increase for 2021"

Why Are SNAP Benefits Getting an Increase Now?

The real reason for this change is because the USDA made changes to the shopping list used to determine food stamp benefits, known as the Thrifty Food Plan.

A provision in the 2018 Farm Bill called for an update of the market basket, and Biden ordered the department to proceed with the review two days after he took office.

The USDA’s study found that the cost of a “nutritious, practical, cost-effective diet” is 21% higher than the Thrifty Food Plan’s current rates.

Furthermore, the USDA’s conclusions are in line with the estimated 60% of participants who in a June study reported affordability as a barrier to achieving a healthy diet.

As a result, the Biden administration made an adjustment to the Thrifty Food Plan to reflect the current cost of food and adjust for years of the plan not being a fair reflection on what it takes to buy nutritious food.

Proponents say the increase will help reduce hunger, improve nutrition and lead to better health.

What is the Thrifty Food Plan?

The USDA develops four food plans that estimate the cost of a nutritious diet across various price points—the Thrifty, Low-Cost, Moderate-Cost, and Liberal Food Plans. The Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) is the lowest cost of the four.

The TFP represents the cost to purchase groceries for a family of four – an adult male and female, ages 20-50, and two children, ages 6-8 and 9-11.

It is designed to meet the nutritional needs of an average person consuming a healthy, cost-conscious diet at home.

The U.S. has periodically what it costs to feed a family.

It was first called the Economy Food Plan in 1961 and updated in 1975 as the Thrifty Food Plan, to adjust for changes in nutritional guidelines and food consumption patterns.

However, the most recent review was in 2006 and prior reviews never kept up with the real changes in food cost and food consumption patterns.

CalFresh benefits to Increase by 25% in 2021 (FAQs)

Here are the most frequently asked questions about the 25% increase in SNAP for California:

How long will the increase in food stamps last in California for 2021?

Unlike the 15% increase in food stamps that was approved from January – September 2021, the 25% increase in food stamps for 2021 is permanent.

This means that you will receive this benefit increase indefinitely if you qualify.

How Much will I get a month in SNAP from the 25% Increase?

The table below shows the new SNAP benefit amounts with the 25% increase.

These benefits will begin in October 2021.

"CalFresh Food Stamps Increase for 2021 - Biden"

Also, the average monthly benefits, $121 per person before the pandemic, will rise by $36.

How does the 25% increase compare to last year’s benefit?

The table below shows what SNAP benefits would have been without the 15% increase that has been in effect from January to September 2021.

Household Size Current Maximum SNAP Monthly Benefit without 15% Extra Allotment New Maximum SNAP Benefit with 25% Increase
1 $204 $250
2 $374 $459
3 $535 $658
4 $680 $835
5 $807 $992
6 $969 $1,190
7 $1,071 $1,316
8 $1,224 $1,504
Each additional member (+$153) (+$188)

How about the 15% Extra SNAP Benefits?

Demand for food stamps increased in spring 2020 as the coronavirus emerged and the American economy fell into recession.

A 15% increase in food stamp benefits extended by Congress in March to aid families during the COVID crisis is set to expire on September 30, 2021.

The 25% permanent increase fills that void the expiration of the 15% increase would have left after expiring in September.

CalFresh benefits to Increase by 25% in 2021 Summary

Here’s the bottom line about CalFresh Benefits 25% increase for 2021:

The Biden administration has made an adjustment to the Thrifty Food Plan to reflect the current cost of food and adjust for years of the plan not being a fair reflection on what it takes to buy nutritious food.

As a result, starting in October 2021, there will be a $25% increase in the maximum benefit for SNAP recipients.

As a result, a family of four would qualify for a maximum benefit of $835, compared to $680.

The increase is permanent.


We hope this post on the CalFresh Benefits 25% increase for 2021 was helpful.

If you have further questions about California SNAP or 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:
Restaurants that Take CalFresh in California
How to Apply for California P-EBT
California P-EBT Extension for 2020/2021
CalFresh for San Diego County
How much will I get in CalFresh in 2021?
How to Complete CalFresh SAR 7 Form
Get Printable CalFresh SAR 7 Form
$3,000 Stimulus Child Tax Credit for Families

Get the Complete Guide of EBT Discounts for 2024! $1,000+ Worth of Savings!