The People's Guide

35th Edition 2013-2014

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33 The People's Guide 2013-2014 CalFresh better diet through nutrition education. Visit WHERE CAN I USE CALFRESH/FOOD STAMPS? • Almost every food store • Many certified Farmer's Markets. look at Famers Markets section for more information • Some meals-on-wheels programs • Certain restaurants can accept Cal- Fresh/food stamps from homeless, disabled or elderly participants • Some shelters are authorized to take CalFresh/Food Stamps as payment from clients What Can I Buy With My Benefits? • Any food item except hot foods that are meant to be eaten immediately (except at certain restaurants for the homeless, disabled or elderly) • Non-alcoholic beverages • Seeds to grow your own food. • CalFresh/Food Stamps cannot be used for non-food products such as soap, tobacco, or diapers. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? Each month you get help to buy nutri- tious food. The highest (maximum) amount your household can get is listed on the chart in the next column. The amount you get depends on your income and expenses. You may qualify to receive up to the following amount of CalFresh/Food Stamps benefits: # in Household Maximum Amount 1 $200 2 $367 3 $526 4 $668 5 $793 6 $952 7 $1052 8 $1202 For each additional person, add $150 (Accurate until Sept. 30, 2013) AM I ELEGIBLE? 1. General Eligibility SSI recipients in California who are placed on "pending status" by SSI may be eligible to receive CalFresh/Food Stamps. If you are convicted of a drug-related felony for sales, manufacturing, traf- ficking, or distribution occurring after August 22, 1996, you are ineligible for CalFresh/Food Stamps. If your felony was for possession or use of drugs, you can get CalFresh/Food Stamps if you show that you are in a drug recovery program, OR have completed one OR are on a waiting list for one, OR take a drug test, OR sign an affidavit that you are no longer using drugs. This rule may change. You can be permanently disqualified from the program if you are caught sell- ing CalFresh/Food Stamps worth over $500. Strikers and their families are usually kept out of the program, unless they meet the income limits one day before the strike. Employees who honor a picket line of another union, who are laid off as a result of the strike, or who are locked out, are not considered strik- ers and may be more likely to qualify. 2. Special Rules for Students Most students can't get CalFresh/Food Stamps. But students between the ages of 18 and 49 who are enrolled at least half-time in a program of higher educa- tion can get CalFresh/Food Stamps if they are doing any one of the following: • Enrolled in CalWORKs • Working and getting paid at least 80 hours per month • Receiving a work-study grant • Responsible for the care of a depen- dent child under age 12 if a full- time student • Responsible for the care of a depen- dent child age 6 to 11 where no adequate child care is available • Going to school through the Job Training Participation Act (JTPA) If the student doesn't meet any one of these requirements, the other people in the home may still receive CalFresh/ Food Stamps even though the student can't. 3. If You Get Free Meals If you do not pay for any of your meals, you may not be able to get CalFresh/ Food Stamps. Even if you don't prepare your own meals you may be able to get CalFresh/Food Stamps if you live in: • a non-profit shelter for domestic violence or homeless people, • a drug or alcohol treatment facility, documents are required and what you can bring instead, if you don't have it or can't find it. If everyone in your household is disabled or 65 years of age or over, you may re- quest either that an eligibility worker be sent to your home at a time you agree to or that you be interviewed by phone. A worker may also visit or phone you if no adult in your household can go to the office for good reasons such as illness or disability. Fingerprints: Fingerprints are no longer required for applicants for CalFresh/ Food Stamps benefits only. (You still need to be fingerprinted if you are also applying for cash aid such as General Relief or CalWORKs.) Next steps: Write down your worker's name, and your case number. If you are asked to mail additional papers to the DPSS office, ask the worker for a stamped envelope addressed to him or her. If you take in any documents, make sure to get a receipt to prove that you dropped off the documents requested. Keep your own copy of all the paperwork you submitted. If you need help and your worker is not available, a supervisor must help you. Within 30 days of your applying, the DPSS office will send you a notice of action explaining if your case was approved or denied with a reason for de- nial. If your case is approved, you will receive your EBT card and PIN number by mail. Each item is sent separately. Contact your county office if you do not receive any of these items. The notice of approval will tell you how long you are eligible (usually a "certi- fication period" is 12 months) and the amount of benefits that you will receive If your CalFresh/Food Stamps case is denied and you believe you qualify for benefits, request a hearing or call a legal aid organization for assistance. (See page 68 "Good Advice.") Any time your income, expenses, or other circumstances change, report this on the form called "QR 7." (More infor- mation on Reporting in pg. 34) Nutrition Education: The University of California Cooperative Extension has a free program to help CalFresh/Food Stamp participants purchase foods for a

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