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General Information

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CalFresh (formerly known as Food Stamps) General Information

Food Stamps General Information for low-income people

The CalFresh Program is a federal nutrition program that helps eligible, low-income, people purchase the food they need for good health. For most households, CalFresh benefits are only part of their food budget. CalFresh benefits are not cash. Some households must spend some of their own cash along with their CalFresh benefits. Households that are eligible will receive a plastic electronic benefit card (EBT) that can be used at most grocery stores when buying food items.


To be eligible for CalFresh benefits:

  • You must be a resident of Orange County.
  • You must report all household members' income and property owned. Property and income limits vary depending on the number of persons in your household and their ages.
  • Your personal vehicles are not included in determining CalFresh eligibility.
  • Effective June 1, 2019, the CalFresh food assistance program expanded to include eligible older adults with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) Benefits.

Amount of Benefits

Once you apply for CalFresh benefits, an Eligibility Technician who is an expert in the program will review your information and determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements to receive CalFresh benefits and, if so, how much you are eligible to receive. You may apply for CalFresh benefits at your local CalFresh office, by phone 1-800-281-9799, by fax 714-645-3489, or you may apply online at Benefits CalWIN web site.

Semi-Annual Reporting

All households that receive CalFresh benefits must complete a Semi-Annual Report (SAR 7) documenting their income, property, and any changes to their household.

With the exception of elderly and disabled households with no earned income, these households must complete and submit a SAR 7:

  • at the 12th month during their 24 month certification period, or
  • at the 12th and 24th month during their 36 month certification period if the household is participating in the Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP)

The SAR 7 must be submitted to the Social Services Agency by the date requested or your CalFresh benefits could be discontinued; you can submit your SAR 7 via one of the following methods:

Expedited Services

You may be eligible to get CalFresh Expedited Services within 3 DAYS if you meet certain criteria. Your application will be reviewed to see if you meet the criteria. If you have any questions, you may ask the worker that is assigned to your case.