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ELIGIBILITY QUESTIONS

Will CalFresh affect my taxes or my family’s citizenship status?

No! Applying for or receiving CalFresh benefits does not in any way affect your or  your family’s taxes or citizenship status.

How do I know if I qualify for CalFresh with CalGrant or a Work Study?

CalGrant A or B and Federal Work Studies will both appear on your Financial Aid Award Letter. This can be found on the Financial Aid Tool through TritonLink.

Does my Financial Aid affect the amount of benefits that I might receive?

No. Financial Aid information is only used for eligibility purposes, not for benefit allotment.

I live on campus and I don’t know if my meal plan covers 11 or more meals a week. Which ones do and which ones don’t?

The only meal plan that covers 11 or more meals a week is the highest option—the 5355 plan. All other meal plans that are lower than this do not cover 11 or more meals a week. You can browse through Dining Plans here.

If I am in the process of transitioning my living location and do not have a permanent address, can I still apply for CalFresh?

Yes, you can still process your application without an address and pick up your EBT card at your local CalFresh office or at a post office. However, once you have a permanent address, you should contact the county to update your information. We can help you with this process!

What does eligibility look like for graduate students?

Graduate students fall under the same student eligibility guidelines as 

undergraduate students. However, this can oftentimes be limiting based on the resources that are made available to graduate students. Because of this, the most common eligibility exemptions that are met by graduate students are:

  • Being approved for federal work study

(Graduate students can and are encouraged to convert their loans 

into work study to strengthen their application)

  • Working 20 hours or more a week, or an average of 80 hours per month
  • Having a dependant under the age of 6 (or 12 without available child care services)

This list is not exhaustive! If you have questions about eligibility, please contact 

our team to receive more information in regards to your specific situation.

Education Opportunity Program (EOP) is in the process of expanding their 

scholarships to eligible graduate students.

If you are a graduate student who is in need of basic needs assistance, we 

encourage you to reach out to our team and to fill out the Assistance Forms on our website.

I’m an International or Undocumented student, can I apply for CalFresh?

Unfortunately, CalFresh is only available to US citizens and Legal Permanent Residents. If you are in need of basic needs assistance, please make use of the other resources at your disposal from The Basic Needs Center. Additionally, we encourage you to also reach out to International Students & Programs Office, or Undocumented Student Services for more resources.

APPLICATION PROCESS QUESTIONS

What documents do I need to apply to CalFresh?

Depending on your situation, you may need to submit more or less documents than are covered here. Most of the basic documents that are required from applicants are as follows:

Photo ID - This can be a State ID, Student ID, US Passport, etc. as long as it includes your legal name and a photo.

Income Information - If you have a job, you will have to submit any paystubs or income receipts that you’ve received over the past 30 days from the day of your application.

Housing Information - It is recommended that you submit housing information as it applies to your situation. For most students, this will simply be a single page of a lease that includes your name, your address, and the rent total. For on campus students, you will submit your housing and dining contract (obtainable from HDH).

Financial Aid Award Letter - This can be found through the Financial Aid Tool on TritonLink and will be one or two pages that displays your name and your financial aid information. If you receive CalGrant you will also have to submit your CSAC Award Letter (e-mailed to eligible students after applying to FAFSA).

Student Schedule - This can be downloaded from webreg as a pdf in either list or calendar format. However you go about obtaining this document, make sure it includes your name (this is why we recommend downloading via webreg!)

Additional documentation may be required depending on your situation. For more information on some of these, please refer to the Application Tools section of our website. 

If you have any questions about specific documentation, where to find it, or how to submit it, please contact our team at calfresh@ucsd.edu

Who do I count in my Household?

Household is defined as people who regularly buy and prepare food together. This does not mean that if you occasionally share food with roommates, friends, or family that you should count them in your household. If you purchase your own groceries and are applying to receive your own individual benefits, then you would record your household as 1—just you!

Can I use a P.O. Box to receive my EBT card?

Yes, as long as your address is within the county you are applying through. When applying you can choose to receive mail at a different address than the one you are applying at; this would be where you enter your P.O. Box.

I work on campus—how do I access my pay stubs?

For a step by step guide on how to access your pay stubs on UCPath, please see this guide. 

How do I submit documentation later if I can’t submit it with my application?

Documents can still be submitted following the submission of your application, but please keep in mind that the window to do so is fairly limited. We highly recommend that you don’t delay any of your submissions, but in the event that you must, you are able to access your case and submit additional documents here (https://www.getcalfresh.org/docs).

Who do I count in my Household on my application?

A “Household” on the CalFresh Application is counted as individuals who purchase and prepare food together on a regular basis. Individuals who usually purchase their own groceries and food (even when sometimes sharing food with friends or family that they may live with) should apply for their own benefits as a Household of 1.

Should I apply to CalFresh with my family?

Students who are under 22 years of age and currently live at their family’s address will have to apply as a household with their family. If you are over 22 and living at your family’s address, you are able to apply as an independent household. Any student over the age of 18 who has an address apart from their family’s (such as an on campus address) is able to apply as an independent household.

Keep in mind that when applying with family, all individuals on the application will have to provide required documentation—proof of ID, income, etc. For more information on this, see our FAQ on required documents for the application process!

What is a CSAC Award Letter and Where can I find it?

A CSAC Award Letter is a letter sent by the California Student Aid Commission that confirms you received Calgrant A or B for the upcoming school year. Only students who meet the income requirement of annual parent and student income of no more than $50k will receive the CSAC letter with TANF (Temporary Assistance For Needy Family) language.

Your CSAC Award Letter should have been emailed to you at the beginning of the Academic Year to the Email that you used to apply to FAFSA. Alternatively, you may also find your letter through your CSAC webgrant portal under “view CAR”. Your letter may be submitted as either a PDF (recommended) or as a screenshot, but your name must be visible!

For an example of what this letter should look like, see our Application Tools pageIf you can’t find your letter or need additional assistance with this process, please contact us at calfresh@ucsd.edu!

POST-APPLICATION QUESTIONS

How often do I need to renew my benefits?

Every student who receives CalFresh will have to submit both semi-annual and annual reports; these are known as SAR 7 Eligibility Reports. You should check and renew your benefits every 6 months! This can be done here (https://www.getcalfresh.org/sar7). If you need help with this process, please reach out to our team at calfresh@ucsd.edu.

Will I be able to use my EBT card in other counties and/or states over an academic break?

Yes, you can use your EBT card at any store that displays the Quest® symbol in California and the other 49 states in the United States, as well as the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. If you do not see the Quest® symbol, look for a sign that displays EBT, SNAP, or Food Stamps. If you are unsure, ask the store manager. You are only allowed to use your EBT card out of San Diego County for up to 3 months. After 3 months you are required to report any address change to your local county public assistance office.