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CalFresh Application: Guide for SSI Recipients

California: SSI recipients are qualified to receive CalFresh benefits.
California: SSI recipients are qualified to receive CalFresh benefits. (Photo: Parkview Health)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federally funded program that provides a monthly benefit to low-income people 65 years old, disabled, or blind. The benefits are increased in California through State Supplementary Payment (SSP).

SSI or SSP recipients have been eligible to receive CalFresh benefits since 2019. SSI recipients are encouraged to apply for CalFresh, and they will receive an EBT card once approved. The CalFresh benefit will be loaded onto it each month. Recipients can use the card to purchase eligible food items at approved grocery stores. Eligible food items include, but are not limited to fruits and vegetables, rice, bread, cereal, milk, seeds, and plants that produce food.

SSI recipients are eligible to receive CalFresh benefits.

SSI recipients are eligible to receive CalFresh benefits. (Photo: iStock)

Also Read: Social Security Income Recipients Now Allowed To Get Food Benefits; Who Is Qualified? 

Guide for Applying for CalFresh

The iCaliforniaFoodStamps make a comprehensive guideline on how to apply for the program.

  1. Visit California and fill out the necessary application.
  2. You must provide the following documents

Proof of identification

Address Verification

Proof of income

Proof of immigration status

Proof of expenses (rent receipts, utility bills, child care, mortgage payment, and child support)

               The complete list of necessary documents is posted in Human Services Department.

  1. Complete the interview, which is usually conducted by phone call. But you may also request the interview in your home or the nearest county welfare offices.
  2. The process may take up to 30 days after you submit your application. However, some counties may grant CalFresh benefits within three days if the household becomes eligible for “expedited service.”
  3. If approved, the California EBT card will be mailed.


Qualified residents may receive $20 – $250 monthly benefits. The benefit amount will be based on income, monthly expenses, and household size.

In case you are living with someone who is also a recipient of CalFresh benefits, you can have the option to be added to their household at the next reporting date. However, adding an SSI recipient may result in an increased income, resulting in a partial or total loss of the CalFresh benefit. If adding an SSI recipient reduces the household’s CalFresh benefits, the households are eligible to receive Supplemental Nutrition Benefit (SNB) through their existing EBT card. Additionally, if adding an SSI recipient results in a total loss of CalFresh benefits, the household is eligible to receive a Transitional Nutrition Benefit (TNB) through their existing EBT card. Both SNB and TNB is a state-funded nutrition benefit programs.

Read More: SSI/SSP Recipients: Do They Qualify for CalFresh? 

California: 2023 Changes in Food Stamps Changes