CalFresh (formerly Food Stamp) Interview Process

Household Member- CalFresh (Food Stamp) Households

A CalFresh household is a group of people who live together, buy food and prepare meals together and whose members meet the eligibility requirements and are approved for benefits. The amount of CalFresh benefits you get will depend on the number of eligible people in your household and on how much monthly income is left after certain expenses (deductions) are subtracted.

Interview

An interview is required before certifying your household to get CalFresh benefits.  The interview is normally conducted as a phone interview; however, you may request to have the interview in one of the county welfare offices or through a home visit.  The interview may be held with the head of household, a spouse, an authorized representative or any other responsible household member.   To continue receiving CalFresh benefits, an interview must be held each year.

During the interview, a worker will discuss the information provided on the CalFresh application.  The worker will also explain program rules, ask for information that may be missing from the application and request any proof of information that may be needed. 

After the interview, the worker will use the information provided for the household to determine eligibility to CalFresh benefits.  The County will then mail a notice of action to the mailing address provided on the application.  The notice will explain the households eligibility to CalFresh and if eligible, the amount of benefits being issued.   If the household is not eligible, the notice will explain why. 

Verification

After the CalFresh interview, the worker will ask for proof of information using a Request for Verification.  The request will list each item being requested, the date the proof is needed, and examples of alternative types of proof that may be acceptable.  Below is a list of verification that may be requested by the worker:

 Identification

 Residency

 Gross income

 Immigration Status and Sponsorship information

 Disability

 Household expenses

 

If the household needs help obtaining any requested verification, the County can provide assistance or help with paying any fees related to obtaining verification from a third party. 

 

Expedited Service

Using the information reported on the CalFresh application, the worker will determine the households eligibility to expedited services.  Households qualify for an expedited interview if they are experiencing one of the factors below:

·  The household has less than $150 in total monthly gross income and liquid resources, or the amount of cash on hand or in a bank account, is $100 or less,

·  The household’s monthly housing costs are more than the amount of monthly gross income plus the amount of liquid resources, or

·   The household consists of migrant or seasonal farmworkers who are destitute and liquid resources are $100 or less

 

If the household qualifies for expedited services, an interview will be completed within three calendar days from the date the application is provided to the county.  The household must provide proof of identification and complete the interview prior to receiving CalFresh benefits. If eligible, the household will receive one or two months of CalFresh benefits.  To receive ongoing CalFresh benefits, the household will need to provide any other needed verifications requested by the worker after the interview.