CalFresh Contra Costa County (2021 Guide)
CalFresh is a benefits assistance program that helps limited-income individuals and families buy the food they need in order to stay healthy. If you live in the County of Contra Costa and need help with CalFresh, we can help. In this post, we will review everything you need to know about CalFresh Contra Costa – including CalFresh eligibility, how to apply for benefits, How to renew your benefits, MyBenefits CalWIN login help, and EHSD contact information.
Before we get into CalFresh eligibility guidelines, first, we will explain what CalFresh is about and who is eligible to apply.
Next, we will explain each of the eligibility guidelines in detail, including the income limit, which is the most important criteria.
We will then walk you through the 3 ways you can apply for CalFresh in Contra Costa County.
Also, we will walk you through how much you are likely to receive in CalFresh if you are approved.
Additionally, we will review the CalFresh renewal process in Contra Costa County and what you need to know to successfully complete SAR 7 or recertification.
Furthermore, we will explain the restaurant meals program in Contra Costa County and how you can use your EBT card to buy food at restaurants and fast food places if you are eligible.
Lastly, we will provide EHSD contact information, including the phone number and hours of operation.
Table of Contents:
Applying for CalFresh in the County of Contra Costa
- CalFresh In Contra Costa County
- Who is Eligible for CalFresh?
- CalFresh Eligibility Guidelines
- CalFresh Income Limits – 2021
- How Much in CalFresh will I Get?
- How do I apply for CalFresh Benefits in Contra Costa?
Managing Your CalFresh Benefits
- Contra Costa CalFresh Login (MyBenefits CalWIN Account Login)
- How to Renew CalFresh in Contra Costa
- CalFresh Contra Costa Phone Number
What is CalFresh?
The CalFresh Program is California’s version of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP and formerly known as Food Stamps.
CalFresh assists low-income individuals and households to purchase nutritional food.
Eligibility for CalFresh, as well as the benefit amount, is based on your household’s size and income level.
A household can be one person, a group of people, a family, or any combination of people that buy and prepare food together.
Children living with their parents are considered part of the same household until age 22.
Furthermore, many legal non-citizens are eligible for CalFresh benefits.
Also, even if you can’t get CalFresh benefits for yourself, other members of your household may be eligible.
Once approved monthly benefits are provided on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that works just like a bank debit card to buy food at most grocery stores and markets (including some Farmers Markets).
CalFresh Contra Costa County
In Contra Costa County, the CalFresh program is managed by the Employment & Human Services Department (EHSD).
In addition to CalFresh benefits, the EHSD also handles CalWORKs, General Relief, and MediCal applications and benefits.
Furthermore, MyBenefits CalWIN is the website forContra Costa County Residents to apply for and to view their benefits online.
We will walk you through how to sign up for a MyBenefits CalWIN account or log in to your account if you already have done.
Who is Eligible for CalFresh?
Here are the categories of people who live in the state of California that are eligible for CalFresh:
- Any California household or individual (including homeless) with low or no income
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients
- CalWORKS or CAAP applicants can apply for CalFresh as part of their application process for those services
- Students of higher education who meet eligibility requirements
- Legal permanent residents and qualified immigrants
CalFresh Eligibility Guidelines for 2021
Here’s what you need to apply for CalFresh:
Proof of Identity
Applicants must provide proof of their identity to show that they are the person they claim to be.
Identity may be verified through a variety of documents, including but not limited to,
- Department of Motor Vehicles ID or driver’s license
- Work or school ID
- Voter registration card
- Birth certificate
Social Security Numbers
Individuals, including children, applying for CalFresh benefits, must either provide a Social Security number or proof they have applied for a Social Security Number.
Household members that are not eligible for CalFresh do not have to provide or apply for a Social Security Number.
The applicant must live in the state of California and must apply in their county of residence.
Persons without a permanent residence or a fixed mailing address can get CalFresh as long as they can prove residency in a county.
There are special rules for able-bodied adults without dependent children.
If you are an able-bodied adult without dependents and are between the ages of 18 and 50, here’s what you need to know:
You must register for work or be working at least 20 hours per week or an average of 80 hours per month to receive CalFresh benefits.
U. S. citizens and many non-citizens are eligible for CalFresh.
Furthermore, even if some members of the household are not eligible, those who are may be able to get CalFresh benefits.
Eligibility for Aged and Disabled Households
There are special rules for households with seniors and people who are disabled.
If you are age 60 or over, or you are receiving Social Security Disability or Medi-Cal due to a disability, or a full VA pension here’s what you need to know.
You may be eligible with income over the regular limits if you pay very high rent and utilities and/or have medical expenses over $35 per month.
However, this must be computed on a case-by-case basis.
Your household assets must fall below certain limits.
Households without a member who is elderly or has a disability must have assets of $2,250 or less.
However, households with an elderly or has a disabled person must have assets of $3,500 or less.
Income and Deductions
To be eligible for CalFresh, your monthly gross income (before payroll deductions) must be the same or below the amount listed in the chart for your household size.
CalFresh counts most types of income to determine if a household is eligible.
Most households must have a total gross monthly income less than or equal to 200% of the federal poverty level, to be potentially eligible for CalFresh.
For CalFresh purposes, gross monthly income means a household’s total income before excluding allowable deductions.
Also, deductions are expenses that are subtracted from the household’s monthly gross income to arrive at the net monthly income.
CalFresh Income Limits – 2021
Most households must have a total gross monthly income less than or equal to 200% of the federal poverty level, 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.
|Number of People in Household||Maximum Monthly Gross Income Allowed – 200% Federal Poverty Level||Maximum Monthly Net Income Allowed – 100% Federal Poverty Level|
|Each additional member||+$758||+$379|
CalFresh Income Deductions
Deductions are allowable expenses that can be subtracted from the household’s monthly gross income to arrive at the net monthly income.
The net monthly income is used to determine eligibility and the amount of CalFresh benefits that will be received monthly.
CalFresh deductions include:
- 20% deduction from earned income,
- A standard deduction of $177 for households with 1-3 members,
- Standard deduction of $184 for a household with 4 members,
- A standard deduction of $215 for a household with 5 members,
- Standard deduction of $246 for a household with 6 or more members,
- Cost of child care when needed to work, seek work or attend training for work,
- Medical expenses exceeding $35 for elderly or disabled household members,
- Court-ordered child support payments paid to non-household members, and
- A portion of shelter (rent or mortgage) and utility costs
How Much in CalFresh will I Get?
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|
|Each Additional Member:||+$188|
How do I apply for CalFresh in Contra Costa County?
In Contra Costa County, here are the minimum requirements to file a CalFresh application:
- Applicant’s name and
- Household’s address (unless homeless), and
- Signature of head of household, any adult household member or an authorized representative, or responsible minor.
There are three ways you can apply for CalFresh benefits:
Option 1 – Online
The easier and quickest way to apply for CalFresh in Contra Costa County is online at Your MyBenefits CalWIN!
Apply online by clicking here.
Another way to apply for CalFresh in Contra Costa County is through www.getcalfresh.org.
Option 2 – By Phone
You can call the Contra Costa County Employment & Human Services Department (EHSD) to apply by phone or have an application mailed to you.
Here is the number to call:
EHSD Customer Service Center (CSC) 1-(866) 663-3225.
You can complete the paper application and return it to the EHSD office for processing.
Option 3 – In Person
Lastly, you can apply In person at any of the EHSD offices.
To locate an EHSD office near you, click here.
After you submit an application, you will be contacted by an eligibility worker to complete the application process.
Contra Costa County EHSD office locations
Here’s the list of Contra Costa County EHSD office locations that handle CalFresh applications and benefits.
4545 Delta Fair Boulevard
Antioch, CA 94509
151 Sand Creek Road
Suite A, Building 6
Brentwood, CA 94513
400 Ellinwood Way
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
1305 Macdonald Avenue
Richmond, CA 94801
151 Linus Pauling Drive
Hercules, CA 94547
Costa County EHSD CalFresh Fax Number
You can also Fax a completed CalFresh application to (925) 228-0310.
MyBenefits CalWIN Login Help
If you live in the County of Contra Costa, then you can use the MyBenefits CalWIN online portal to apply for and manage benefit assistance.
Follow the instructions below for help logging in MyBenefits CalWIN online account.
Step 1 – Visit MyBenefits CalWIN Account Website
To start the login process for your MyBenefits CalWIN, visit the MyBenefits CalWIN website at www.mybenefitscalwin.org.
Once you are on the homepage you will need to locate the “Sign In” button, which is usually at the top part of the site (see image below).
Click on the “Sign In” button to proceed with the process, as shown below.
Step 2 – Enter username
Next, you will be taken to a page where you will be required to enter your account username, as shown below.
You will have to enter a valid username in order to proceed to the password page.
Once you enter the correct username, click “Next” to continue, as shown by the image below.
Step 3 – Enter username
If you entered the correct username, you will be taken to the password page, with the sign-in image/picture you selected showing.
Make sure the picture is the one you picked.
Once you enter your password, click the “Sign In” button as shown below.
Step 4 – View your account
If you entered the correct password, you will be automatically taken to your MyBenefits CalWIN account page.
Once there, you can perform a variety of tasks as listed above, including:
- See if you are eligible for benefits
- Apply for Benefits
- View or Continue an Application
- Learn about Affordable Health Insurance
Forgot Username and Password
If you do not remember your login credentials, follow the instructions below:
If you do not remember your username, click on the “Forgot Username?” link, as shown below.
Next, You will then be taken to a page where you have to provide your email address to retrieve your username.
Enter your email address in the space provided, then click “Submit”. You will receive an email with instructions about your username.
If you forgot your password, click on the “Forgot Password” link as shown in the image below.
This link will only be revealed once you have successfully entered your username at the login page.
Next, you will be taken to the page below where you will have to answer one of the secret questions you selected when you signed up for your MyBenefits CalWIN account.
Provide the answer to the question in the space provided and click “Submit” for further instructions on how to retrieve your password.
MyBenefits CalWIN Video
We strongly suggest that you watch the video below, which does an excellent job of explaining in detail how to navigate the MyBenefits CalWIN website.
It explains the various task you can perform once logged in, including how you can check your eligibility for benefits and the status of your application.
How to Renew CalFresh in Contra Costa County
In order to keep your CalFresh benefits in Contra Costa County, there are four requirements you have to meet each year.
- CalFresh Work Rules
- Income Change Reporting
- Semi-Annual Report (SAR 7 form)
- Annual CalFresh Renewal and Recertification
Contra Costa County CalFresh Renewal Timeline
The table below provides a simple overview of the CalFresh renewal process.
It includes SAR 7 renewal and annual recertification timeline.
As you will see below, the table shows the specific date each renewal process has to be completed based on the date of your initial application for CalFresh.
|Initial CalFresh Application||SAR-7 Timeline||Recertification Timeline|
Please see the following important informational videos regarding mandatory mid-period reporting for CalFresh:
Contra Costa County CalFresh Renewal Process
You must turn in this recertification application and be interviewed before the end of your certification period to continue receiving CalFresh.
In many counties, you can complete this recertification application online.
We will first explain the recertification process, then we will explain how you can complete the process online.
CalFresh Recertification Process
Here are the steps you need to take to complete the CalFresh recertification process.
Step 1 – Complete the Recertification Application Form
Be sure to answer all questions on the recertification application.
Step 2 – Submit Your Recertification Application Form
Next, turn in the signed application to the County.
You can do so in person, by mail, by fax, or online. Here’s how:
Apply in person at your County EHSD office. Click here to locate an EHSD Food Stamps Office near you.
You can mail the form to your County EHSD office. Click here to locate an office near you.
You can fax the completed, signed application form to your County EHSD office. Click here to locate an office near you.
You can complete the re-certification online using the MyBenefits CalWIN Portal.
Click here for help logging into your MyBenefits CalWIN account or see the instructions above.
If you do not have a MyBenefits CalWIN account, click here for help in creating one.
Step 3 – EHSD Acknowledgment and Interview Appointment
The County CalFresh office will send you an interview appointment letter to discuss your recertification application.
Most interviews are done by phone.
Step 4 – Attend Recertification Interview
The next step in the recertification process is to attend your interview on the appointed date.
During the interview, your caseworker will go over the information on the application and will ask questions to recertify you for CalFresh and determine your benefits.
Bring proof of changes in:
- Number of People in Your Household (People buying/eating together)
- Housing costs.
It is very important to keep your interview even if you do not have proof of the changes discussed above.
Step 5 – Recertification Application Decision
Next, your caseworker will make a decision regarding your recertification.
You will know by mail whether you will keep receiving CalFresh benefits, what your benefit amount will be, and if there are any other changes.
CalFresh Contra Costa Phone Number
Here’s how to contact the EHSD regarding your Contra Costa County CalFresh benefits:
The Customer Service Center (CSC) is a “single point of contact” currently providing services for the following aid programs:
- General Relief
To find out about the status of your case or application, or to ask any other question about your case, you can:
Call ESHD at 1-(866) 663-3225 or at 1- (877) 505-4630
Frequently Asked Questions About CalFresh in Contra Costa County
Here are the most frequently asked questions about CalFresh in Contra Costa County.
If I am receiving SSI/SSP, can I also receive CalFresh benefits?
Starting June 1, 2019, the CalFresh food assistance program expanded to include eligible older adults and people with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) benefits.
There are multiple ways to connect with DPSS for new households to apply:
CALL: 1-(866) 663-3225 to apply by phone,
CLICK: MyBenefits CalWIN to apply online, or
IN PERSON: Locate your local county office here.
Can you receive aid from other programs and receive CalFresh?
Yes. In California, 60 percent of the CalFresh households also receive cash aid from other public assistance programs.
However, there is a restriction that a household cannot participate simultaneously in the CalFresh Program and the Emergency Food Assistance Program.
What can CalFresh benefits be used to purchase?
CalFresh benefits can be used to purchase:
- Foods for human consumption.
- Seeds and plants to grow food for household use.
Are there items I cannot purchase with CalFresh benefits?
Yes. CalFresh benefits cannot be used to purchase:
- Any non-food items, including pet food, soaps, paper products, household supplies, grooming items, and cosmetics.
- Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.
- Vitamins and medicines.
- Any food that will be eaten in the store.
- Any food marketed to be heated in the store.
What Farmers Markets Accept CalFresh in Contra Costa County?
Many Farmer’s Markets across Contra Costa County allow users to use CalFresh.
Here are three reasons why it pays to use your CalFresh benefits at Farmers’ Market
- Produce may cost less at Farmers’ Market than at the grocery store!
- Farmers’ Market produce is grown locally and freshness is unbeatable!
- By using your CalFresh benefits at Farmers’ Market, you help support the local economy and small farms.
If you are enrolled in CalFresh, you can double your CalFresh dollars at a certified farmers market through the Market Match Program.
What is Market Match?
Market Match is California’s healthy food incentive program, which matches customers’ federal nutrition assistance benefits, like CalFresh and WIC, at farmers’ markets and other farm-direct sites.
Market Match is available at over 240 sites, across 40 California counties, that are run by nearly 60 community-based organizations and farmers’ market operators.
Spend $10 in CalFresh money and get an additional $10 to purchase more produce.
You can buy fruits, vegetables, bread, cereals, baked goods, meat, fish, poultry, milk, eggs, cheese, jams, jelly, honey, seeds, and plants that produce food.
To find local farmers’ markets participating in Market Match, go to FMFinder.org.
Visit https://t.co/CgQK5Digx8 to find your local farmers’ market. Look for the green pins on the map to find Market Match participating locations.#MarketMatch #CalFresh #FarmersMarkets pic.twitter.com/LRWr8nLpnP
— Contra Costa EHSD (@ContraCostaEHSD) September 21, 2021
CalFresh Contra Costa County Summary
We hope this post on CalFresh Contra Costa County was helpful.
If you have further questions about CalFresh in Contra Costa County 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
Restaurants that Take CalFresh in California
How to Apply for California P-EBT
California P-EBT Extension for 2020/2021
CalFresh Account Login Help
CalFresh Income Limits for 2021
May 2021 California Extra Allotment