If you are a senior citizen in California and are considering applying for CalFresh (SNAP or food stamps), we can help. In this post, we are going to explain in detail all you need to know about food stamps for seniors in California, by answering the most frequently asked questions about CalFresh for Seniors.

CalFresh for Seniors

SNAP is federally funded but managed and distributed by state departments. In California, the program is called CalFresh.

The CalFresh program is there to help ensure everyone can purchase the most basic of needs:

CalFresh used to be called Food Stamps. It is a nutrition program, funded by the USDA, with taxes you helped pay.

CalFresh is not the same as welfare.

Benefits come on a plastic card, like a debit card. It is private and easy to use at grocery stores and farmers’ markets.

Who is considered a Senior by CalFresh?

For CalFresh eligibility purposes, you are considered a senior if you are 60 years or older.

Are Seniors Eligible for CalFresh?

Yes. Low-income seniors, families, and individuals, with or without children, may be eligible for CalFresh.

You can get CalFresh even if you get money from Social Security, retirement, a
job, unemployment, General Assistance or SSI benefits.

Why Should Seniors Apply for CalFresh?

Yes. Here are the many reasons why all eligible seniors should apply for CalFresh:

  • On average, senior households get more than $100 per month to buy healthy
    food.
  • Using CalFresh benefits brings money to your community.
  • You can still get CalFresh and benefit from other food programs such as Brown
    Bag, Meals on Wheels or meals from senior centers.
  • You may own your home and car, have savings or retirement accounts, and still
    be eligible for CalFresh benefits.
  • If you are an immigrant, CalFresh will not hurt your immigration status.
    Receiving CalFresh does not take it away from someone else.
  • You do not have to pay any money back unless you are overpaid. Your savings
    accounts, home, and other assets are safe. They will not be taken or reduced in
    exchange for receiving CalFresh.

Also, even if you applied for CalFresh before and were denied, you should try again.

New laws have been passed to make it easier for Seniors to get CalFresh.

FAQs about CalFresh for Seniors

Here are the most frequently asked questions about CalFresh for seniors:

Am I taking Benefits away from others by applying for CalFresh?

No. By receiving CalFresh benefits, you are not taking benefits away from
another person.

That is because everyone who applies for CalFresh benefits and is determined to be eligible will get CalFresh benefits.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) sets aside funds for the CalFresh program.

When people who are eligible don’t participate in the program, millions of dollars go unused.

This is money that can help stimulate your local economy and help create jobs in your community.

Can Senior households receive
CalFresh and meals-on-wheels at the same time?

Yes. Senior households can receive CalFresh and still get meals on wheels.

You can use CalFresh to purchase extra food in addition to your meals-on-wheels.

How much can Seniors get in CalFresh benefits?

The amount of CalFresh Food benefits a household receives is based on household size, income, and monthly expenses, such as housing, utilities, and medical costs.

Benefits amounts range from $20 – $250 per month.

See the table below for how much you are likely to get in CalFresh based on your household size.

To calculate the exact amount you are likely to get based on your household income, see our post on California SNAP Calculator.

Can I own a Home and Still get CalFresh?

Yes. You can own or buy a home and have cars and still get CalFresh.

The CalFresh Program does not require seniors to sign away their home in order to get benefits.

How often do I have to visit CalFresh Office to Keep my Benefits?

According to CDSS guidelines, households in which all adult members are seniors may only have to recertify (renew) CalFresh benefits every 24 months.

In addition, county CalFresh offices must provide the option to waive the face-to-face interview if all household members are 60 or older, or have a disability.

You may want to ask for a telephone interview. Or a friend or family member can go for you.

How much can Seniors get in CalFresh?

The amount of CalFresh Food benefits a household receives is based on household size, income, and monthly expenses, such as housing, utilities, and medical costs.

Benefits amounts range from $20 – $250 per month.

See the table below for how much you are likely to get in CalFresh based on your household size.

To calculate the exact amount you are likely to get based on your household income, see our post on California SNAP Calculator.

Household Size Maximum SNAP Allotment
1 $20 – $250
2 $20 – $459
3 $20 – $658
4 $20 – $835
5 $20 – $992
6 $20 – $1,190
7 $20 – $1,316
8 $20 – $1,504
For each additional member over 8 +$188

Where can I use my CalFresh?

You can use your CalFresh benefits at most major grocery stores such as:

Target
Walgreen’s
Costco
Trader Joe’s
Bear Market
Walmart
Whole Foods

Also, you can use your CalFresh benefits to shop online for delivery or pickup, including on Amazon.

Additionally, you can even use CalFresh benefits at Farmer Markets! To find a farmers market near you that takes CalFresh, click here.

CalFresh for SSI Recipients Summary

We hope this post on CalFresh for College Students FAQs was helpful.

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

Also, be sure to check out our other articles about California SNAP and EBT, including:

$3,000 Child Tax Credit from 2021 Stimulus
California P-EBT Extension
How much will I get in CalFresh
Does Costco Take EBT in California?
Extra Food Stamps for California
CalFresh for SSI/SSP Beneficiaries

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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