The California food stamp program, commonly referred to as SNAP, is more popularly known in the area as CalFresh. This program was created to ensure that low income families would be able to have access to affordable and healthy food. This allows for families that are struggling to make ends meet and working on a budget to have a chance to provide good health and nutrition to those within their households. The benefits of the program are transferred through an EBT card that can be used at various locations that accept SNAP. Although the program has only recently been renamed to CalFresh, it has been part of the SNAP plan since 1977. Individuals have the opportunity to apply in person at an agency or online. The applications for the program are also available in a variety of different languages.
The Department of Social Services website is used to apply for benefits with this program. Individuals have to select their county of residence and then provide the site with the necessary information about themselves. This can include social security number, name, financial need, income information, and some information about any assets. It is also possible to download the application and print it. There are a variety of different languages available to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to apply for assistance. Afterward, an interview must be set up so that the department can determine eligibility. Individuals who are applying in person have to apply at the correct local office and must go to the department for their county. Generally speaking, you will have to provide proof of your income and some of the other types of information that you may have provided in your application during the time of your interview. You may also be asked for information about individuals that are living with you in your household to help determine your financial need and overall eligibility. The interview can be held over the phone or may also be conducted in person, depending on your availability.
In most cases, people are only denied based on the amount of income that they are making each month when put in comparison with the amount of people that are in their household. Students may also have a difficult time getting benefits with the program, depending on if they have been awarded financial aid. Assuming that the individual is approved, they will have access to an EBT card. The card provides the funds on a monthly basis so that individuals can use their card in replacement for cash when purchasing food. The benefits provided by the program are only to be used for foods for human consumption, seeds, and plants that can grow food. The card can be used anywhere that accepts SNAP benefits. County offices can provide more information about locations where it has been verified that SNAP benefits are accepted.
The following information can be used to learn more about applying for SNAP in the San Jose, California area.
Helpful Links and Phone Numbers
E-Benefits Application Page - http://www.benefitscal.org/
By County - http://www.benefitscal.org/county/santaclara.html
CalFresh Information Form - http://www.shfb.org/calfresh
Santa Clara County – Social Services Agency 1-877-962-3633