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CalFresh Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs)

Please check out the FAQs on the temporary changes to CalFresh Student Eligibility. To find more information please click here.


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.

Is there a maximum income for CalFresh?

Yes, the CalFresh maximum income limits for San Diego county starts with a gross monthly Income of $2,148 per month for a household of 1 and increases from there. Follow this link to learn more about it.

We still encourage all to try to apply even if your income is above the max limit because each case is unique.

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 and professional students?

Graduate and Professional students fall under the same student eligibility guidelines as undergraduate students. However, this can often 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 and professional 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)

There are graduate and professional student programs exemptions as well. Follow this link to see the list of eligible exempted programs.

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.

The Education Opportunity Program (EOP) is in the process of expanding their scholarships to eligible graduate students.

If you are a graduate and professional student who is in need of basic needs assistance, we  encourage you to reach out to our team and to fill out the Basic Needs Needs Assistance on our Basic Needs 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.

How do I show my eligibility if I’m part of a participating Graduate and Professional Program Exemption?

You will need to upload your Acceptance Letter or a document that states that you are part of the graduate and professional program. The document must include your name and the graduate and professional program you are part of.


I’m part of my parent’s CalFresh Benefits and I’m moving to campus/San Diego. Will my parent’s benefits change?

Yes, your benefits will change and we highly encourage you to outreach to the county via calling the phone number listed on the EBT Card of the household or calling the CalFresh Access Line. You will most likely be removed from your family’s benefits and you’re welcome to apply for your own benefits if you find yourself eligible. Please check out eligibility on our website for students via this link.

If I had CalFresh before can I apply again? I didn’t submit my SAR7 application and I want EBT benefits again.

If it’s been less than 30 days since your benefits were discontinued we recommended outreaching to the county to try to rescind your discontinuance. You may be able to rescind it by submitting documents that county is asking for. We can assist you on outreach to the county as well. 

If it’s been over 30 days since your benefits were discontinued we recommend applying for CalFresh again. We at UC San Diego CalFresh can help you reapply. Please fill out our CalFresh Assistance Form on our website for more information.

Can I apply while moving? I haven’t moved yet, but I have my housing contract?

The county recommends waiting until you have moved in to apply for CalFresh. However, if you are moving in a week or two, please feel free to reach out to us and ask about how to apply.

If you would like to outreach to the UCSD CalFresh Team to set up a one-on-one appointment please fill out our CalFresh Assistance Form on our website. 


What documents do I need to apply to CalFresh?

A photo ID (State or Student is fine)

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. Please make sure your name is on your document. 

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. If you have roommates and you split the rent amount, the total on the leasing document can be different than the amount you pay. For on campus students, you will submit your housing and dining contract (obtainable from HDH). Follow this link on how to obtain your housing contract from HDH and scroll down to view SIgnature of Tenancy Verification.

 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).

Your Student Schedule (Obtainable from WebReg) Your student schedule must include your name on it. 

*If you are a graduate student, you may not be able to find it on mytritonlink. Reach out to your department about obtaining a copy of your financial aid award letter. 

**If you are part of the School of Medicine program, you can follow this link to the email that you will email for obtaining a copy of your financial aid award letter.

 If you have any questions about specific documentation, where to find it, or how to submit it, please contact our team at  CalFresh Assistance Form


The country has sent me documents to fill out and mail back. How do I fill them out?

Documents may vary person to person, please check our Application Tools section of the website about how to obtain certain documents. Keep in mind you may be able to send a document you already have versus having to fill out the document the county is asking of you.

 If you’re unsure where to start feel free to fill out the CalFresh Assistance Form on our website. We will get back to you on how to find the documents you need.

Where do I go to fill out the Enrollment Verification Form?

To provide the county with Enrollment Verification, first go to mytritonlink, then you can go to the Order Verification tool on Tritonlink tools under 'Grades and Transcript Tools.'  If this is your first time using this, you will be prompted to enter your personal information. Make sure to complete this, then move forward to the next step. Click "Send to Yourself, Another Individual, or Third Party" (blue bar below the search bar), and select 'Enrollment Verification - Electronic.' Then, fill out the Order Options and upload a picture or PDF of the School/Educational Institution Attendance Verification Form at the bottom for the school to fill out. Once you receive the filled out form, you can upload it to your application at this link

How do I count my stipend/TAship?

If your TAship and/or Stipend must be earned by working a certain number of hours, it must be counted as income and not financial aid. Some students apply with stipends that CAN be counted as financial aid, but it’s not the case with yours according to the county.

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 (

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!

If I live with roommates and I only pay a certain amount of the rent, what do I put for monthly rent? Does my leasing contract have to show how much I pay?

For this section you will just put the amount of the rent you pay. It’s okay if your leasing contract says a different amount versus the one  you pay, they’ll see that you have roommates and that you are all splitting the rent.

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!


How often do I need to renew my benefits?

Every student who receives CalFresh will have to submit both semi-annual; these are known as SAR 7 Eligibility Reports. You should check and renew your benefits every 6 months! This can be done here ( For every one year you will need to fill out a Recertification For CalFresh Benefits and you are able to upload it via this link. If you need help with this process, please reach out to our team by filling out our CalFresh Assistance Form.

How long will it take to receive an update from the county?

After you have submitted your application, the county has 30 days to review your case. You will most likely receive something in the mail which can be about being approved, your case is pending, the county needs you to fill out documents, or your case was denied. You can outreach by calling the phone number from the documents the county says, by calling the CalFresh Access Line, or by having a UCSD CalFresh Assistant outreach to the county on your behalf.

If you would like the UCSD CalFresh Team to receive an update on your case on your behalf please fill out our CalFresh Assistance Form on our website. 

How do I transfer my benefits from another county?

You will have to start the ICT Transfer process. It’s best you do this a month you’re moving as your benefits may change due to moving to a different county. Please check out this link to learn more about this process.

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.

What places on campus can I use my EBT Card?

You can use your EBT card at any of the following locations: Goody's Market | The Market at Seventh College | Roger's Market | Earl's Market at Canyon Vista Marketplace | Sixth Market | Sunshine Market | Target at Price Center


Please refer to the COVID-19 Resources tab via this link about COVID-19 Related questions that involve CalFresh.