The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued guidance regarding Disaster CalFresh approval for Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Tehama and Trinity Counties. People can apply for Disaster CalFresh from October 18 to 21, and October 25-26.
To be eligible for Disaster CalFresh, a household must have lived or worked in the disaster area at the time of the disaster, purchased or planned to have purchased food during the benefits period, experienced adverse effects because of the disaster, and meet the Disaster CalFresh income guideline. Households are eligible even if they are temporarily residing outside of the disaster county. Adverse effects include food loss, loss of income, inaccessible resources or incurred disaster-related expenses.
The benefit period for people affected by the Dixie Fire in Lassen, Plumas, and Tehama Counties is July 14, 2021 through August 13, 2021. The benefit period for people affected by the Monument Fire in Trinity County is July 30, 2021 through August 29, 2021. The benefit period for people affected by the River Fire in Nevada and Placer Counties is August 4, 2021 through September 3, 2021.
Interviews should be in person when possible, but interviews for this round of Disaster CalFresh can be by telephone. For online applicants, counties must make three attempts to reach the applicant for an interview, and provide a reasonable amount of time between each attempt. The 72-hour period for counties to issue benefits begins when the telephone interview is completed. All documents can be signed by telephonic signature.
A Disaster CalFresh household includes people who lived together, and purchased and prepared food together, on the start date of the disaster. A Disaster CalFresh household can include individuals who had been excluded from an ongoing CalFresh household at the time of the disaster such as ineligible students.
Disaster CalFresh has three verification requirements: identity, residency and loss or inaccessibility of resources if possible, and household composition and food loss when questionable. Verification of residency should be done from other sources such as a rent or mortgage billing statement, utility billing statement or identity document. No specific type of documentation is required for verification. Counties should assist households in obtaining necessary verification.
Authorized Representatives may be used for Disaster CalFresh following the same policy as regular CalFresh.
Ongoing CalFresh households are not eligible for this round of Disaster CalFresh because they are already receiving the maximum allotment for their household size because of the Emergency Allotment. (ACWDL, October 13, 2021.)