SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) today announced that CalFresh nutrition assistance benefits for the month of February will be issued early, to most client’s Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) accounts, on January 16, 2019. The early issuance of February benefits is necessary to access federal funds that no longer will be available as the federal government’s shutdown continues.
“We have a window of opportunity to ensure children and families across our state have the nutrition assistance they need for the month of February,” says Pat Leary, Acting Director. “We are asking everyone receiving CalFresh to please be aware that although benefits are being issued early, they should plan ahead to ensure these benefits last through the month of February.”
CalFresh recipients who are required to recertify in the month of January and complete their recertification after January 15, 2019, will have their benefits issued on or after February 1, 2019, if federal funds are available. Individual and families who apply for benefits after January 15, 2019, will also have their February benefits issued on or after February 1, 2019, if federal funds are available.
CalFresh is the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program. It provides nearly 4 million individuals (one in ten Californians, including 2 million children) with food benefits each month. These federally funded benefits total approximately $515 million monthly.
Individuals or families can apply for CalFresh benefits and CalWORKs cash aid at their local social service agency, or online at www.benefitscal.com. CalFresh recipients with questions regarding their case should contact their local county. A listing of all 58 county contacts is available on the CDSS website at http://www.cdss.ca.gov/County-Offices.
The State is awaiting guidance from the federal government regarding the issuance of CalFresh benefits in the month of March.