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 Tuolumne, California, and need help with CalFresh, we can help. In this post, we will review everything you need to know about CalFresh Tuolumne County.
This includes CalFresh eligibility, how to apply for benefits, How to renew your benefits, BenefitsCal login help, and Tuolumne County Department of Social Services (DSS) 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.
We will then walk you through the 3 ways you can apply for CalFresh in Tuolumne County.
Also, we will share details on how much you are likely to receive in CalFresh if you are approved.
Additionally, we will review the CalFresh renewal process in Tuolumne County and what you need to know to successfully complete SAR 7 or recertification.
Furthermore, we will explain the restaurant meals program in Tuolumne 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 DSS contact information, including the phone number and hours of operation.
Table of Contents:
Applying for CalFresh in the Tuolumne County
- CalFresh In Tuolumne County
- Who is Eligible for CalFresh?
- CalFresh Eligibility Guidelines
- CalFresh Income Limits – 2023
- How Much in CalFresh will I Get?
- How do I apply for CalFresh Benefits in Tuolumne County?
Managing Your CalFresh Benefits
- Tuolumne County CalFresh Login (BenefitsCal Account Login)
- How to Renew CalFresh in Tuolumne County
- CalFresh Tuolumne County Phone Number
- Restaurants that take CalFresh in Tuolumne County
What is CalFresh?
The CalFresh Program is California’s version of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP and was 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.
Additionally, Seniors and certain students are eligible for CalFresh benefits.
Once approved monthly benefits are provided on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that works just like a bank debit card.
You can use your California EBT card to buy eligible food items at most grocery stores, markets (including some Farmers’ Markets), and online.
CalFresh Tuolumne County
In Tuolumne County, the CalFresh program is managed by the Department of Social Services (DSS).
In addition to CalFresh benefits, the DSS also handles CalWORKs, General Relief, and MediCal applications and benefits.
Furthermore, BenefitsCal is the website for Tuolumne County Residents to apply for and to view their benefits online.
We will walk you through how to sign up for a BenefitsCal 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 the 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
What You Need to Apply for CalFresh
Here’s what you need to apply for CalFresh benefits:
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.
Some Households are Subject to Resources (Asset) Limit
Some households are subject to resource limits when applying for CalFresh
Resources are counted as part of CalFresh eligibility only for those households that :
- Contain a member who has been disqualified from participating in CalFresh because of an Intentional Program Violation,
- Have a head of the household that does not comply with work requirements,
- Have any member of the household that has been convicted of certain categories of drug felonies
CalFresh Resource Limit
Households that fit one of the three descriptions above are subject to a resource limit of $2,500.
However, households with an elderly or disabled person must have assets of $3,750 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 – 2023
Here’s what you need to know about CalFresh income limits for 2023:
Most households must have a total gross monthly income less than or equal to 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL), 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.
|California SNAP (CalFresh) Income Eligibility Standards for Fiscal Year 2023|
|Effective October 1, 2022 – September 30, 2023|
|Household Size||Monthly Gross Income (200% of FPL)||Monthly Net Income (100% of FPL)|
|Each Additional Household Member: Add||$787||$394|
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 $193 for households with 1-4 members,
- A standard deduction of $225 for a household with 5 members,
- Standard deduction of $258 for a household with 6 or more members,
- Cost of childcare 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.
|CalFresh Maximum SNAP Benefit Amount by Household Size|
|Effective October 1, 2022 – September 30, 2023|
|Household Size||Maximum SNAP Benefit Allotment|
|Each Additional Household Member:||$211|
How do I apply for CalFresh in Tuolumne County?
There are three ways you can apply for CalFresh benefits:
Option 1 – Online
The easier and quickest way to apply for CalFresh in Tuolumne County is online at BenefitsCal.com.
Option 2 – By Phone
You can call Tuolumne County DSS to apply by phone or have an application mailed to you.
Here is the number to call:
DSS Customer Service Center (CSC) 209-533-5711 and request an application be mailed to you.
Fill out the application packet and mail it to:
Tuolumne County Department of Social Services
20075 Cedar Road N.
Sonora, CA 95370
Option 3 – In Person
Lastly, you can apply In person at any of the Tuolumne County Department of Social Services (DSS) offices.
To locate a Tuolumne County Department of Social Services office near you, click here or see the list below.
After you submit an application, you will be contacted by an eligibility worker to complete the application process.
Tuolumne County Department of Social Services office locations
Here’s the list of Tuolumne County Department of Social Services locations that handle CalFresh applications and benefits.
Tuolumne County Department of Social Services
20075 Cedar Road N.
Sonora, CA 95370
BenefitsCal Login Help
If you live in Tuolumne County, then you can use the BenefitsCal online portal to apply for and manage benefit assistance.
Follow the instructions below for help logging in BenefitsCal online account.
If you do not have an account, see our guide on how to create BenefitsCal Account.
Step 1 – Visit BenefitsCal Website
To start the login process for your BenefitsCal account, visit the BenefitsCal Account website at https://benefitscal.com/.
Once you are on the homepage you will need to locate the “Log In” button, which is usually located at the top of the site (see image below).
Click on the “Log In” button to proceed with the process.
Step 2 – Enter Email Address and Password
Next, you will be taken to a page where you will be required to enter your account email address and password, as shown below.
Once you enter the correct email address and password, click “Log In” to continue, as shown by the image below.
Step 3 – View your account
If you entered the correct email address and password, you will be automatically taken to your BenefitsCal account page, as shown below.
Once there, you can perform a variety of tasks, including applying for:
- Federal Emergency Rental Assistance
- Food Stamps/SNAP
- Cash Assistance
- Discounts on Subway Fares
Step 4 – First Time Login
When you first log in to your BenefitsCal account, you will see the page below.
Accept the terms and conditions to proceed.
Step 5 – BenefitsCal Dashboard
After you have accepted the terms and conditions, you will be taken to the page below, which is your BenefitsCal dashboard.
If you forgot your password, click on the “Forgot Your Password” link as shown in the image below.
Next, you will be required to enter your email address to reset your password, as shown in the image below.
Once you have entered your email address, click “Next” to reset your password.
The video below does a great job of walking you through how to reset your password.
If you still need further assistance in resetting your BenefitCal password, we suggest you watch the video below.
How to Renew CalFresh in Tuolumne County
In order to keep your CalFresh benefits in Tuolumne County, there are four requirements you have to meet each year.
- CalFresh Work Requirements
- Income Change Reporting
- Semi-Annual Report (SAR 7 form)
- Annual CalFresh Renewal and Recertification
Tuolumne 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|
Tuolumne 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
Click here for 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:
Submit your Renewal form in person at your County Department of Social Services (DSS) office. Click here to locate a DSS Office near you or see the address above.
If you are submitting by mail or fax, contact your county CalFresh Office for their fax number or mailing address.
You can complete the re-certification online using the BenefitsCal Portal.
Click here for help logging into your BenefitsCal account or see the instructions above.
If you do not have a BenefitsCal account, click here for help creating one.
Step 3 – CDSS 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 the 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 Tuolumne County Phone Number
Here’s how to contact the Tuolumne County DSS regarding your CalFresh benefits:
The Customer Service Center 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 questions about your case, you can call:
Tuolumne County Department of Social Services Call Center:
Frequently Asked Questions About CalFresh in Tuolumne County
Here are the most frequently asked questions about CalFresh in Tuolumne County.
Can I Use my California SNAP EBT on Instacart?
Yes. You can also use your California Food Stamps benefits with Instacart.
Instacart is an online grocery delivery service, to buy groceries at SNAP-participating retailers for delivery or pickup.
Instacart provides groceries through the following EBT SNAP retailers:
- Lucky Supermarkets
- Save Mart
What Farmers Markets Accept CalFresh in Tuolumne County?
Many Farmer’s Markets across Tuolumne 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.
You can also get an extra $10 to spend on produce when you use your CalFresh EBT Card at select farmers’ markets under the Market Match program.
To find a Market Match farmers market near you, click here.
Tuolumne County Farmers Markets
Below is a list of farmers’ markets in Tuolumne county. Be sure to call each market to make sure they accept EBT.
You can also find out whether they offer Double EBT Match.
- Sonora Certified Farmers Market Location: Theall & Stewart Street, Sonora, CA 95370 Contact: Rachelle Kellogg, (209) 532-3508 Schedule: Saturdays, 7:30am – 11:30am, May – October
- Peaceful Valley Farmers Market Location: 14888 Peaceful Valley Rd., Sonora, CA 95370 Contact: Erin O’Hare, (209) 770-7147 Schedule: Fridays, 4pm – 8pm, May – October
I need food Now. What Should I do?
If you need food now, you can contact Food Pantries and soup kitchens in Tuolumne County using the phone numbers below:
Food Pantries in Tuolumne County, CA
The Emergency Food Assistance Program provides monthly government commodities to those in need.
There are nine distribution locations across Twain Harte, Sugar Pine, Jamestown, LaGrange, Sonora, Columbia, Tuolumne, and Groveland.
Additionally, the Food for Kids Program is available for families with children.
Monthly Government Commodities Distribution:
Distribution takes place on the 3rd Tuesday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the following locations:
- All Saints Catholic Parish – 23260 C Joaquin Gully Road, Twain Harte
- Mount Calvary Lutheran Church – 24176 Pine Lake Drive, Sugar Pine
- ATCAA Food Bank – 10059 Victoria Way, Jamestown
- Lake Don Pedro Baptist Church – 4175 Abeto Street, LaGrange
- Discover Life Seventh-day Adventist Church – 40 N. Forest Road, Sonora
- Nancy’s Hope – 11151 Jackson Street, Columbia
- Revive Warehouse – 18649 Pine Street, Tuolumne
- Groveland Evangelical Free Church – 19172 Ferretti Road, Groveland
- Distribution takes place on the Friday after the 3rd Tuesday, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Columbia Community College
Student Center in Ponderosa Building, 11600 Columbia College Drive, Sonora
- Distribution takes place on the 3rd Wednesday from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and Fridays by appointment only. Call (209) 588-2174 or (209) 588-5111 to schedule an appointment. The center is closed from May to August.
Food for Kids Program:
For more information about the Food for Kids Program, call (209) 984-3960 x101.
Mobile Emergency Food Assistance
This program is open to all income-eligible clients but is primarily for those with a lack of transportation. If you already pick up food at another farmers market location, you are not eligible to use this program. The distribution takes place on the Thursday and Friday following the third Tuesday of every month.
Distribution Locations and Times:
- Eproson Park, 22901 Meadow Drive, Twain Harte
- Thursdays, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
- Old Burger King Lot, 13796 Mono Way, Sonora
- Thursdays, 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
- Mary Laveroni Park, 18950 CA-120, Groveland
- Fridays, 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
- Jamestown Apartments, 10330 Preston Lane, Jamestown
- Fridays, 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Please check the specific distribution dates for each program and plan accordingly.
CalFresh Tuolumne County Summary
We hope this post on CalFresh Tuolumne County was helpful.
If you have further questions about CalFresh in Tuolumne 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: