Can You Get Food Stamps While on SSI in California?

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program for US citizens where families can receive payments every month for disabled or blind people who cannot afford basic needs, including food. But if you are a resident in California, you have to understand that this is a separate program from food stamps.

In other words, the program that provides food stamps is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and its eligibility varies depending on the state you are in. The benefits that this provides are great for people, as it helps to buy the healthy food you need.

Normally, if you already possess SSI, you are also eligible for SNAP and its food stamps, but it was a different story for California residents. That is why we are going to tell you about the requirements for SSI, how to obtain food stamps, and the benefits of having these two programs.

Supplemental Security Income qualifications

The requirements of SSI are pretty simple, so you do not have to worry about being a strict eligibility process. If you want to apply for it, you must:

  • Be disabled, blind, or at least have 65 years old
  • Possess low-income to get the benefits
  • Reside in one of the states of the US

Keep in mind that you must also have not applied for SSI in the past, as the program’s funds are not renewable. Once you start receiving the benefits, you can apply for SNAPs benefits too, but this was not always true.

Reason why California food stamps were not available with SSI

Like we said above, the eligibility requirements for SNAP can vary depending on where you are residing, but California was the last state to allow food stamps. It is because SSI offering more money to people so that it can be used specially for food products.

But on the first day of June 2019, California SSI recipients are now able to apply for food stamps, and there are numerous ways that you can do it.

CalFresh program

Nowadays, once you have SSI, you can get a hold of the benefits offered from SNAP too. CalFresh is the program to receive food stamps in California, and it is even available for legal non-citizens.

You can determine the eligibility and amount of benefits by looking at your income level and the size of your household. You must do two tests in order to confirm the eligibility:

  • Monthly gross income. It is the income that your household receives; this does not include any exempt income. To qualify, the gross income (before payroll deductions) cannot exceed 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.

In the chart, you can see how the eligibility standards are different depending on the size of the household.

Food stamps Maximum gross income level chart

  • Adjusted net income. If your gross income is accepted by their standards, some deductions may appear and be subtracted to calculate your net income. It must be below 100% of the poverty line.

Food stamps net income level

➡LEARN MORE: How to apply for welfare in California

How to apply for CalFresh

Now that you know what you need to qualify for it, it is time to show you the ways you can apply for food stamps in California.

Doing it online is the fastest method, you just have to go to getcalfresh.org and click on ‘apply now’. Next, it will show how the process works, and once you feel that you want to start, you just have to follow the prompts.

getcalfresh.org website

We recommend that if you intend to go to one of their service centers to make an in-person application, make an appointment first by contacting one of your county centers. Click on ‘Contact you County Office’ and you will see different phone numbers available.

On top of submitting your application for food stamps in California, you must also submit the required documentation. Normally, you would need a copy of your ID and proof of any income; if you are a non-citizen or a college student, you need to submit proofs of immigration status or student status respectively.

The CalFresh program is something that you cannot miss if you are already part of SSI. If you need any assistance to obtain food stamps in California, do not be afraid to ask your county office about the process or documentation. Once you finish this process, you will receive full support for nutritious food products in your daily life.

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