CalFresh Benefits

CalFresh Customer Service

Are you trying to reach CalFresh Customer Service and speak to a live person? We can help. In this post, we will help you reach CalFresh Support and get your questions answered.

However, Before we do that, we will give you a brief summary of CalFresh and how the program works.

Next, we will provide you with the top reasons why people call CalFresh customer service and answer some of those questions to save you time.

Finally, we will provide you the CalFresh support number, including tips on how to reach a live person.

NOTE: If you would like to write a review and rate your experience with CalFresh Customer Service, see the review and ratings form immediately below the end of this article.

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.

For more on CalFresh and how to apply, see our post on CalFresh Eligibility Guide.

Before You CalFresh Customer Service

Before you call the CalFresh Customer Service team, it is important to know the top issues people call customer service for and what you should expect if you are calling about one of the following issues:

CalFresh FAQs

Here are the top questions people call regarding CalFresh.

What is the maximum income I can make and get CalFresh?

To be eligible for CalFresh, you must make less than the maximum gross income listed below, based on your household size.

In addition, you must make less than the maximum net income listed below by household size.

Net income is calculated after allowable deductions are taken from the gross income.

For more on how to calculate your gross and net income, see our post on CalFresh Calculator.

Number of People in Household Maximum Gross Income Allowed – 200% Federal Poverty Level Maximum Net Income Allowed – 100% Federal Poverty Level
1 $2,128 $1,064
2 $2,874 $1,437
3 $3,620 $1,810
4 $4,368 $2,184
5 $5,114 $2,557
6 $5,860 $2,930
7 $6,608 $3,304
8 $7,354 $3,677
Each Additional Member +748 +377

How Much in CalFresh will I Get?

How much in CalFresh benefits you get partly depends on the number of people in your household.

The table below shows you the maximum amount of benefits you may receive if you are approved, based on the number of people in your household.

Household Size CalFresh Maximum Monthly Allotment
1 $204
2 $374
3 $535
4 $680
5 $807
6 $696
7 $1,071
8 $1,224
Each Additional Member +153

Do I have to be employed or have some income to receive CalFresh?

No. Employment is not an eligibility requirement for CalFresh.

In addition, there is no minimum income requirement to qualify for food stamps in California.

You may still qualify to receive CalFresh if you:

  • Earn money from a job
  • Get unemployment benefits
  • Get child support
  • Own a house or a car
  • Get disability benefits
  • have money in savings

CalFresh EBT FAQs

Here are the top questions people call regarding CalFresh EBT.

Do Restaurants and Fast Food Places take California EBT?

Yes. There are restaurants that take EBT in California.

Your CalFresh EBT Card or Golden State Advantage card can be used at select restaurants and fast food places if you meet the eligibility criteria.

This is part of the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP).

For details about the program and to see if you qualify, see our post on Restaurants that Take EBT in California.

How do I replace my CalFresh EBT Card?

If your California EBT card is lost or stolen, the first thing you want to do is contact California EBT card customer service to report the issue.

Upon contacting customer service, they will deactivate your EBT card. This means that you will no longer have access to your benefits until your replacement card arrives.

To contact California EBT Card Customer Service use the contact information below.

1-877-328-9677

TTY: 1-800-735-2929

You can call 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week

See our post on California EBT Card Replacement for details.

When will I receive my benefits on my EBT Card?

In the state of California, each county distributes CalFresh benefits to those who qualify.

In addition, there is not one date on which all CalFresh benefits are issued.

Instead, Food Stamps Benefits are deposited on EBT Cards over the first 10 days of every month.

When your food stamps benefit is deposited on your EBT Card depends on the last digit of your case number.

Benefits are available on Weekends and Holidays.

Any remaining balance on your EBT card is added to the next month’s balance.

See our post on California EBT Deposit Calendar for when you can expect your benefits this month.

California P-EBT FAQs

Here are the top questions people call regarding the California P-EBT program.

For details about the California P-EBT program and when benefits will be issued each month, see our post on California P-EBT Program.

Who is eligible for P-EBT benefits?

Children are eligible for P-EBT benefits if:

  • Their school is closed due to coronavirus (COVID 19); and
  • They are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals

Can I use a P-EBT card to withdraw cash from an ATM?

No. You cannot use a P-EBT card to get cash at an ATM.

A P-EBT card can only be used to purchase food in most grocery stores and farmer’s markets.

Also, you can use your P-EBT card to buy groceries online for delivery from Amazon or pick-up from Walmart.

For how to use EBT cards online, see our post on Buying Groceries Online with California EBT.

If I already got a P-EBT card in the mail do I need to apply online?

No. If you already got a P-EBT card in the mail do not apply online.

Just follow the instructions on your card and create your private PIN number.

After that, your card will be ready to use.

Will President Biden Continue P-EBT Program?

Yes. As of January 22, 2021, the Biden Administration passed a law to increase Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits by 15% to help fight childhood hunger.

Previously, the P-EBT program was capped at $5.86 per child per school day.

In addition, many households have had issues claiming their P-EBT benefits.

The 15% increase to the P-EBT Program will tackle the problem of food insecurity among children during the school year.

Extra Food Stamps (Emergency Allotment) FAQs

Here are the top questions people call regarding the California Extra Food Stamps initiative due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For details about Extra CalFresh Benefits and when benefits will be issued each month, see our post on Extra Food Stamps in California for 2021.

Who qualifies for extra CalFresh benefits?

Any household that is currently receiving CalFresh benefits qualifies for extra food stamp Emergency Allotment (EA) benefits.

There is no extra paperwork to turn in to get the extra CalFresh benefits.

It will simply be added to your EBT card, and you’ll be able to use it just like regular CalFresh.

In addition, any household that is approved for SNAP EBT in a month when EA benefits are issued, will also qualify to receive extra food stamp benefits.

To find out how much you can expect to receive in extra SNAP benefits, continue reading below.

When you’ll receive Extra SNAP Benefits in California

All households with active CalFresh cases in the benefit month will receive the maximum amount of benefits for their household size.

Emergency Allotments are approved on a rolling basis and issued by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS).

The Emergency Allotment for a benefit month is issued in the middle of the next month.

For example, when you get the extra benefit in mid-December, it’s technically for the month of November.

If you do not receive your Emergency Allotment benefits, please contact your SNAP caseworker at your local CDSS office.

CalFresh Customer Service Number

If you have questions about CalFresh, including how to apply, and would like to speak with a customer service representative, you should call the number below:

CalFresh Benefits Helpline 1-877-847-3663.

Have a pad and pen or pencil ready when you call.

Check the Status of your Case

To reach your county office for questions about your case, please click here to see the County Welfare Department List.

For issues or complaints involving your case

If you have issues regarding your CalFresh case or have complaints, or for other related question, you cal call Public Inquiry and Response at the number below:

1-800-952-5253

If you are asking a question, please include enough information for them to contact you and follow up with you.

You can also email Public Inquiry and Response at piar@dss.ca.gov.

Do you have Complaints about Customer Service?

If you have complaints about your experience with CalFresh or the CalFresh customer service department, we will like to know about it.

Scroll down to the comments section below and tell us about your issue.

As you will see, there are comments from other users about CalFresh or Customer Service. We encourage you to read through as many as you can.

You may even get answers to some of the questions you are calling customer service about since people with the same issue may have posted solutions about it.

Of course, we encourage you to add your own comments and any advice you would like to give to those trying to get their issues resolved with customer service.

How to Speak to a Live Person at CalFresh Customer Service

One of the biggest complaints about CalFresh is how hard it is to reach a live person.

We have detailed below a step by step process on how to talk to a human at CalFresh – based on our own testing of the best way to reach a live person.

Step 1

Call CalFresh Customer Service toll-free at 1-877-847-3663.

(Customer service agents’ availability may depend on County CalFresh hours. It is best to call during regular business hours)

Step 2

For English, (press 1), for Spanish (Press 2)

Step 3

Listen to the auto-attendant greeting.

You will be asked to enter your 5 digit zip code to learn how to apply for CalFresh in your county and speak to a county representative.

Step 4

Enter your 5 digit zip code and you will be transferred to your county’s CalFresh office to speak to a representative.

The phone number for your county’s CalFresh office will also be provided by the auto-attendant for you to write down.

County CalFresh office hours may vary, so to be on the safe side, you should call during regular business hours.

That will increase your odds of speaking to a live person.

How to Apply for CalFresh

There are 3 ways you can apply for food stamps in California.

Option 1 – Apply online

You can apply online through the California benefitscal.org website (as shown in the image below).

Depending on your county of residence, you will be redirected to one of the following websites to apply:

MyBenefits CalWIN
C4YourSelf
YourBenefitsNow

Click here to get started with your online application for CalFresh.

Option 2 – Apply at CDSS Office Near You

You can apply in person at the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) office near you. Click here to locate a CDSS office.

Option 3 – Download California Food Stamps Application

You can download an application, complete it, and mail it to your county CDSS office or submit it in person.

For details on CalFresh eligibility guidelines, including income limits and how much you will get in benefits, see our post on CalFresh Application.

CalFresh Customer Service Summary

We hope this post on CalFresh Customer Service was helpful.

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:
Restaurants that Take CalFresh in California
How to Apply for California P-EBT
California P-EBT Extension for 2020/2021
CalFresh Account Login Help
How much will I get in CalFresh in 2021?
January Extra Food Stamps Schedule
February Extra Food Stamps Schedule

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