Individuals can apply for CalFresh food stamp program benefits by submitting an online application at the Your Benefits Now website, which is aligned with the Department of Public Social Services. CalFresh applications are also available at local CalFresh district offices, CalFresh outreach sites, and faith-based and community organizations.
As of May 2015, people in need of a CalFresh application can obtain one by calling the DPSS customer service center at 1-866-613-3777 and requesting to have an application mailed to them. The customer service center also shares information about where outreach workers are currently stationed. CalFresh outreach workers are often found at food pantries, health clinics, farmer's markets, schools and other locations that accept food stamps. After the application's submission, a DPSS eligibility worker interviews the applicant to determine if the applicant meets the program's eligibility requirements.
Qualifying for CalFresh food assistance requires giving DPSS personal information about income, identity, budgetary expenses and deductions. Employed individuals must provide a recent pay stub that includes employer details, and self-employed individuals must provide the previous year's federal tax form or documentation showing profit and loss for three months. The agency also needs to know about income from sources such as Social Security, veteran's benefits and worker's compensation. Identity documents accepted by DPSS include California driver's licenses, state I.D. cards, resident alien cards and health insurance cards.