How much in food stamps does a family of 4 get in California? Also, how much can a family of 4 make to qualify for CalFresh in 2021? In this post, we will answer these two questions, providing a detailed, step-by-step process to help you calculate Calfresh for a family of 4.
This post will cover:
To calculate Calfresh for a family of 4, you have to go through 3 steps:
In step 1, we will review eligibility for CalFresh.
Next, we will walk you through the income limit and how to arrive at your Net Income amount, which will be used to calculate how much your household will get in benefits.
Lastly, we will help you calculate how much your household will get in CalFresh based on your net income calculations in step 2.
Note that these are estimated benefits. To find out exactly how much you will receive in benefits, you will have to apply.
For help in applying for CalFresh, click here.
Otherwise, continue reading to see how much a family of 4 will receive in CalFresh benefits in California.
Generally, you may be eligible for CalFresh benefits if you:
You may be eligible even if you:
The CalFresh program has two income tests: gross and net monthly income limits.
However, it is important to note that CalFresh rules exclude some money from being counted as income to the household.
“Gross monthly income” is the household’s income before any allowable deductions.
You must meet the gross monthly income limit for your household as shown in the table below in order to qualify for CalFresh.
For many households, the gross income eligibility limit is 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL).
Your gross income includes gross pay from work before your employer takes out taxes and other deductions.
You can locate your gross income on your pay stub.
See the table below for the gross income limit by household size.
For CalFresh eligibility purposes, if all members of a household are on cash welfare assistance, the household is eligible for CalFresh regardless of its gross or net income.
Furthermore, if any member of the household is elderly or disabled, there is no gross income test.
However, a household with an elderly or disabled person must still meet the net income limit.
The net income of a household is the income after all allowable deductions have been subtracted.
In order to be approved for food stamps in California, you must meet the CalFresh net income eligibility standard.
The net income limit is 100% of the federal poverty guidelines.
Therefore, if your household’s net monthly income is more than the net income limit, you do not qualify for CalFresh.
See the table below for the net income limit by household size.
As you can see from the table below, to qualify for CalFresh, the gross and net incomes for a family of 4 must be at or below $4,368 and $2,184 respectively.
|Household Size||Gross monthly income |
(200 percent of FPL)
|Net monthly income |
(100 percent of FPL)
|Each additional member||+$748||+$374|
To arrive at your net income, you have to take your gross income and subtract allowable deductions.
Here are the deductions that are allowed.
|Deductions and Allowances||Amount|
|Standard Deductions by Household Size||$167 for households of 1 to 3 persons|
|$181 for households of 4 persons|
|$212 for households of 5 persons|
|$243 for households of 6 or more persons|
|Dependent Care||No Dependent Care Maximum Limit|
|Maximum Shelter Deduction||$586|
|Standard Utility Allowance||$438|
|Limited Utility Allowance||$139|
|Telephone Utility Allowance||$18|
|Homeless Household Shelter Deduction||$157|
|Excess Medical Deduction||Under $35 a month-not eligible for deduction|
|$35.01 to $155 a month-eligible for $120|
$155.01 a month and over-eligible to deduct the actual medical expense in excess of $35
To calculate Calfresh for a family of 4, we start with the maximum SNAP benefits by household size:
The table below shows the maximum allowable SNAP benefit amount by household size.
From the table, you can see that a household of 4 will get a maximum benefit of $835.
However, how much your household will get depends on your net income, as calculated using the instructions above.
If you know what your net income is, follow the instructions below to figure out how much your family of four will receive in Calfresh.
|Household Size||Maximum SNAP Benefit with |
|Each additional member||(+$188)|
First, 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 using the table above.
The result is the amount of your monthly benefits.
To illustrate this point, we are going to use an example of a family of four with a net monthly income of $1,400 a month.
To determine the family’s CaFresh benefits, take 30% of the “net income” (30% of $1,400) and subtract it from the maximum benefit, as follows:
|$1,400||Net Income for Family in Example|
|x .30||(Multiply by 30%)|
|$835||Maximum SNAP for 4 persons|
|-$420||Countable income (round up)|
|$415||Monthly SNAP benefits for the Example Family of 4|
Therefore, in the example above, the family of 4 with a net income of $1,400 a month will get $415 a month in CalFresh Benefits.
There are 3 ways you can apply for food stamps in California.
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:
Click here to get started with your online application for CalFresh.
You can apply in person at the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) office near you. Click here to locate a CDSS office.
You can download an application, complete it, and mail it to your county CDSS office or submit it in person.
Here are the most frequently asked questions about the CalFresh application process.
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:
As mentioned above, you may apply for CalFresh online through the California benefitscal.org website.
Interviews for food stamps applications are usually done over the phone.
However, If you do not have a phone, are unable to keep a phone
appointment, or would prefer an appointment in the office, you can request one.
Yes. Both Social Security (SSA) benefit and Disability (SSDI and SDI) benefit recipients
may be eligible for CalFresh.
As mentioned in the income limit requirements above, households that have people age 60 or older, or people with a disability, don’t have to pass the gross income test.
Furthermore, as of June 1st, 2019, SSI/SSP recipients may be eligible to receive CalFresh in addition to receiving a monthly Social Security Disability benefit.
If you meet the eligibility for CalFresh and are approved to receive benefits, you will not become a public charge.
Here are some things to know about CalFresh and Public Charge:
For complete details about CalFresh and public charge, see our post on Is CalFresh considered a Public Charge?
We hope this post on Calfresh for a family of 4 was helpful.
If you have further questions about Extra SNAP Benefits, 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
How much will I get in CalFresh in 2021?
How to Complete CalFresh SAR 7 Form
$3,000 Stimulus Child Tax Credit for Families