COVID-19 CalFresh Information
Emergency CalFresh Allotments:
- June 2020 emergency CalFresh allotments have been approved for CalFresh recipients.
- All households with active CalFresh cases for June 2020 will receive the maximum amount of benefits for their household size.
- The bump in benefits for June will be issued to EBT cards on July 12th.
- Households that already receive the maximum amount of benefits will not receive an extra issuance.
- There is no extra paperwork to turn in to get the extra CalFresh benefits. It will simply be added to your EBT card, and you'll be able to use it just like regular CalFresh.
- What if you're not getting CalFresh currently? Apply at getcalfresh.org (recommended for fastest process) or call Humboldt County DHHS at 1-877-410-8809.
- You can also click here to visit our CalFresh Help page.
- Some CalFresh participants can continue receiving SNAP benefits for longer: Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order on March 17 waiving all redetermination requirements for CalFresh benefits (and Medi-Cal and CalWORKS) for 90 days. On March 23, USDA approved the state’s request to waive periodic reports for CalFresh. Now, CalFresh clients who have recertifications or SAR-7s due before June do NOT need to complete them now and will NOT lose their benefits.
- Childless adults who were subject to CalFresh time-limits will no longer be subject to time limits and related work provisions: USDA has temporarily suspended SNAP’s three-month time limit on benefits for adults under age 50 without children in their home, effective April 1.
Online Purchasing with CalFresh EBT card:
- Starting on April 28, 2020, CalFresh households can use their EBT cards to purchase food online through Amazon and Walmart only.
- Currently, Walmart and Amazon are the only stores that are allowed to accept EBT cards online in California. The state is working hard to add more stores in the future.
- Amazon will accept CalFresh benefits, and Walmart will be able to accept CalFresh and CalWORKs cash aid. CalWORKs cash aid can be used on non-food items.
- Starting on April 28, 2020, the process for EBT online purchasing follows a similar process as is currently used for debit or credit card purchases. After shopping for items online, choose a delivery date and time, and then go to the payment page. Select method of payment, and enter EBT card number. A virtual securePersonal Identification Number (PIN) pad will be presented on the screen. Enter PIN to complete the transaction.
- Amazon and Walmart offer free delivery on online purchases over $35.00. Delivery fees for orders under $35.00 vary and can be found on the respective retailers’websites. Federal law prohibits the usage of CalFresh benefits to pay for delivery, convenience, or other fees and charges associated with online purchasing. CalFresh shopers will be required to use another method of payment for any delivery fees. Walmart accepts CalWORKs cash benefits to pay for delivery fees.
- To help address delivery fees, Amazon offers "Amazon Cash" at over 11,000 locations throughout California, including 7-Eleven, RiteAid, and CVS stores. EBT cardholders can create an account and deposit as little as $5.00 cash at any Amazon Cash location. There are no fees associated with this service. Cardholders may then use the money they deposited to pay delivery fees or purchase other items from Amazon. Cardholders can find locations by visiting the Amazon Cash website, found at this link. This web page provides detailed instructions for setting up and using the Amazon Cash service.
- More info in English and Spanish.
More changes are in the works, in response to COVID-19, and we'll post those as they are implemented.
- Due to COVID-19, children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school will get extra food benefits called Pandemic EBT or P-EBT.
- Children are eligible for P-EBT if their school is closed due to COVID-19 and they are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
- Families can participate in both P-EBT and current "grab & go" school meal programs through COVID-19 emergency feeding sites offered by schools.
- P-EBT is not CalFresh, but it is used the same way at grocery stores, farmers' markets, and online with Amazon or Walmart (shipping is not covered--more on that below).
- Cards are issued in the child's name.
- Students who attend a school that participates in National School Lunch and/or National Free Breakfast Program are potentially eligible for P-EBT and fall into 2 categories (Directly Certified Households and Non-Direct Certified Households) that are explained further below.
How do I get P-EBT benefits?
- Most families with children who receive CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits do not need to apply. They will get their P-EBT card in the mail during the month of May. P-EBT cards will begin arriving around May 7, 2020 through May 22, 2020. Cards will be mailed in multiple batches due to the large quantity of households receiving the benefit.
- Families with children who applied for CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits after their school closed will get their P-EBT card in the mail before June 30, 2020.
- Families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals and who do not get CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits must apply online before June 30, 2020. On May 22, 2020 the online application opens for those who are eligible but did not receive a card.
Where and where can I apply?
- The P-EBT online application will be available in late May. Families will receive more information about when and where to apply soon! As long as you apply before June 30th, 2020 and you are eligible, you will get the full amount of benefits for all four months.
How much in P-EBT benefits will I get?
- The total amount you will get depends on how many eligible children are living in your home. Most families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals will get $365 for each child. Families with children who applied and got CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits after their school closed, may get less.
- For each eligible child, your card will be paid the following for each month: March 2020: $68 per child; April 2020: $120 per child; May 2020: $120 per child; June 2020: $57 per child.
- The amount of benefits loaded on the card is all the benefits you will get for this P-EBT program.
What do I do when the P-EBT card arrives?
- Follow the instructions that come with the card, and create your private PIN number. Then your card will be ready to use for purchasing food in most grocery stores and farmers' markets.
How long do these benefits last?
- Benefits are only available while schools are closed due to COVID-19. If you didn't get a P-EBT card in the mail and do not apply by June 30, 2020, you will not be able to get P-EBT benefits. You have one year to spend the benefits, which start on the date you get your P-EBT card.
What if I applied online and haven't received my P-EBT card?
- Call California's EBT customer services center at (877) 328-9677, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Local Humboldt County office will NOT have access to the amounts people receive and are not part of this process. This process is entirely generated by the state.
- Click here to download this information as a flyer. Click here for a shorter version of the flyer.