Do I qualify for CalFresh?

You can use the information table below to get a basic understanding of the eligibility requirements and understand how CalFresh benefits can assist households of various sizes.

Effective Oct. 1, 2020 – Sept. 30, 2021

Number of People in Household Gross Monthly Income Maximum CalFresh Allotment
1 $2,128 $16-$204
2 $2,874 $16-$374
3 $3,620 $16-$535
4 $4,368 $16-$680
5 $5,114 $16-$807

Understanding the table:

Use the number of people in your household to determine which row to use on the chart.

If yes, go to next question. If no, your household is likely not eligible for CalFresh benefits.

If yes, go to next question. If no, your household is likely not eligible for CalFresh benefits.

If yes, the household will not be eligible for CalFresh.

If yes, they likely won’t be eligible for CalFresh benefits BUT others in your household still may be.

If yes, please see student eligibility information below.

Student Eligibility Information

Students need to meet AT LEAST ONE of the following:

  • Working and getting paid for at least 20 hours per week OR a total of 80 hours a month on average
  • Approved (or awarded or accepted) for federal or state work study, anticipates working, and have not refused a work assignment (can still be eligible even if a work study job has not begun or is not currently available)
  • Have an expected family contribution (EFC) of $0 in the current academic year
  • Students attending CSU, UC, or private university receiving Cal Grant A OR B, and that have received a letter from the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) noting that they are potentially eligible for CalFresh benefits
  • Enrolled in a state funded program that increases employability (EOP, EOPS, WIOA, DSPS, CARE, McNair, Puente Project, or MESA) or ADDED exempted programs *
  • Enrolled in a program that increases employability for current and former foster youth (Guardian Scholars, FYSI, CAFYES, ETV, or Extended Foster Care) or ADDED exempted programs**
  • Exerting parental control over a dependent household member under the age of 6 OR between the age of 6 and 12 with no adequate childcare (as determined by the county on a case-by-case basis) OR are a single parent of a dependent household member under the age of 12
  • Participating in the CalFresh Employment and Training Program (CFET) or Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS), or be a recipient of CalWORKs or Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)

Other Things to Consider

  • Students who live with their parents must be 22 years of age or older in order to apply as an individual household.
  • International, DACA, and DREAM students will not be eligible, even with a work VISA/Social Security Number.
  • Out-of-state students can still be eligible for CalFresh if they are residing in California for the school year.
  • Student eligibility is based on enrollment at a higher education institution, which is either: business, trade, technical or vocational schools normally requiring a high school diploma or GED to enroll; or a junior, community, two-year or four-year college or university, or graduate school, regardless whether a high school diploma or GED is required.
  • Veterans and foster youth may have many different forms of income—the applicant’s eligibility worker will help them determine what income counts and what doesn't—all will need to be reported on the application.
  • Anyone over 60, on SSI, or with disabilities can claim medical deductions on their application.
  • Participants in the WIC (Women Infant Children) program can also be eligible for CalFresh.

Updated: September 14, 2021