Disaster CalFresh April 2023

The California Department of Social Services has issued guidance and information regarding implementation of Disaster CalFresh for April, 2023 for the California winter storms and power outages.  Disaster CalFresh has been approved for Kern, Mariposa, Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz, Tulare, and Tuolumne Counties.

Disaster CalFresh provides one month of temporary food assistance to households affected by natural disasters who were not already receiving CalFresh.

To be eligible for Disaster CalFresh, a household must have:

1) lived or worked in the disaster impacted county at the time of the disaster;

2) Purchased or planned to purchase food during the benefits period, which is February 21, 2023 through March 22, 2023;

3) Experienced an adverse effects because of the disaster, such as food loss, loss of income, inaccessible resources, or disaster-related expenses;

4) Meet the Disaster Gross Income Limit.  To be eligible, the household’s income received plus accessible liquid resources, minus disaster related expenses, must be less than the Disaster Gross Income Limit.

A Disaster CalFresh household includes people who lived and purchased and prepared food together on the start date of the disaster. A Disaster CalFresh household does not include people who the applicant is temporarily staying with at the time of application due to the disaster. A Disaster CalFresh household may include people who had been excluded from an ongoing CalFresh household at the time of the disaster.

Disaster CalFresh requires verification of 1) Identity; 2. Residency and loss/inaccessibility of income or liquid resources, if possible; and 3. Household composition and food loss, when questionable.

While identity verification is required, a specific type of documentary proof is not Acceptable identity verification may include, but is not limited to, a driver’s license, a work or school identification card, an identification card for health benefits, a voter registration card, a foreign passport, and “matricula consulares.”

A social security number is not required to apply for D-CalFresh.

To the extent possible, verification of residency should be satisfied via information from other sources, such as a rent or mortgage billing statement, utility billing statement, and identity documents. No specific type of documentary proof is required.

Counties should assist households in obtaining necessary verification. This includes, with the client’s permission, verifying information through alternative sources such as online banking or utility accounts, and using collateral contacts.

Certified households must be able to access benefits within 72 hours of application, which begins to run on the day of the interview.

Authorized representatives may assist with Disaster CalFresh applications following the same policy as for regular CalFresh.

The Disaster CalFresh application for April, 2023, is April 17, 2023 through April 21, 2023, and April 24, 2023 through April 25, 2023.  The filing date is the day that the interview is completed and not the day that county receives the application.  Applicants must complete the CF 385 form and submit it during the application period.  Applications can be submitted by phone, online or in person. When accepting Disaster CalFresh applications by phone, verbal attestation is acceptable. Applicants who submit the application and verification online will be called for an interview within 24 hours.  If an online application does not have a phone number, the county must send the applicant a reminder notice to complete the interview no later than April 28, 2023..

Disaster CalFresh interviews should be done in-person when possible, but they can be done by phone.  (ACWDL, April 14, 2023.)