Last updated on 3/6/22
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 San Diego and need help with CalFresh, we can help. In this post, we will review everything you need to know about CalFresh San Diego – including CalFresh eligibility, how to apply for benefits, How to renew your benefits, MyBenefits CalWIN login help, and HHSA 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 San Diego 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 San Diego County and what you need to know to successfully complete SAR 7 or recertification.
Furthermore, we will explain the restaurant meals program in San Diego 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 HHSA contact information, including the phone number and hours of operation.
Table of Contents:
Applying for CalFresh in the County of San Diego
Managing Your CalFresh Benefits
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).
In San Diego County, the CalFresh program is managed by the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA).
In addition to CalFresh benefits, the HHSA also handles CalWORKs, General Relief, and MediCal applications and benefits.
Furthermore, MyBenefits CalWIN is the website for San Diego 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.
Here are the categories of people who live in the state of California that are eligible for CalFresh:
Here’s what you need to apply for CalFresh:
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,
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.
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.
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.
|Number of People in Household||Maximum Montly Gross Income Allowed – 200% Federal Poverty Level||Maximum Monthly Net Income Allowed – 100% Federal Poverty Level|
|Each additional member||+$758||+$379|
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:
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.
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|
|Each Additional Member:||+$188|
There are three ways you can apply for CalFresh benefits:
The easier and quickest way to apply for CalFresh in San Diego County is online at Your MyBenefits CalWIN!
Apply online by clicking here.
You can call the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) to apply by phone or have an application mailed to you.
Here is the number to call:
HHSA Customer Service Center (CSC) 1-(866) 262-9881.
You can complete the paper application and return it to the HHSA office for processing.
Lastly, you can apply In person at any of The Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) Family Resource Centers.
To locate an HHSA Family Resource Center office near you, click here.
After you submit an application, you will be contacted by an eligibility worker to complete the application process.
If you live in the County of San Diego, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
In order to keep your CalFresh benefits in San Diego County, there are four requirements you have to meet each year.
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|
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.
Here are the steps you need to take to complete the CalFresh recertification process.
Be sure to answer all questions on the recertification application.
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 HHSA Family Resources Center office. Click here to locate a California Food Stamps Office near you.
You can mail the form to your County HHSA office. Click here to locate an office near you.
You can fax the completed, signed application form to your County HHSA 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.
The County CalFresh office will send you an interview appointment letter to discuss your recertification application.
Most interviews are done by phone.
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:
It is very important to keep your interview even if you do not have proof of the changes discussed above.
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.
Here’s how to contact the HHSA regarding your San Diego County CalFresh benefits:
The Customer Service Center (CSC) is a “single point of contact” currently providing services for the following aid programs:
To find out about the status of your case or application, or to ask any other question about your case, you can:
The phone number to ACCESS is: 1 (866) 262-9881
The TDD number for the hearing impaired is: 711, or
The fax number is (858) 467-9088.
To help you reach the correct program, please call 619-515-6555
Hours of Operation — excluding holidays:
Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
If you currently live in the County of San Diego and receive CalFresh benefits we have great news!
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 CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program.
The Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) allows CalFresh recipients who are 60 years of age or older, disabled, or homeless to use their CalFresh benefits to purchase lower-cost prepared meals at approved participating restaurants in certain counties.
Currently, the restaurant meals program is active in the following counties:
Using your EBT Card to purchase hot meals at restaurants and fast food locations is easy.
Here’s what you do:
Currently, there are over 350 restaurants that accept EBT Cards in San Diego County, California.
The list includes restaurants in the following San Diego County cities:
For a list of these restaurants and to find one near you, click here or see our full article on Restaurants that take CalFresh EBT in San Diego.
We hope this post on CalFresh San Diego was helpful.
If you have further questions about CalFresh in San Diego 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
Restaurants that Take CalFresh in California
How to Apply for California P-EBT
California P-EBT Extension
CalFresh Account Login Help
CalFresh Income Limits for 2022
May California Extra Allotment
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