Changes to California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

May 30, 2019 • By

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Last Updated: May 30, 2019

" "Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that provides monthly payments to people who have limited income and few resources. SSI is for people who are age 65 or older, as well as for those of any age, including children, who are blind or who have disabilities. People who have worked long enough may also be able to receive Social Security disability or retirement benefits as well as SSI.

You can now file for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) online but only if you meet certain requirements. You are eligible to file online for SSI if you:

  • Are between the ages of 18 and 65;
  • Have never been married;
  • Aren’t blind;
  • Are a U.S. citizen residing in one of the fifty states, District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands;
  • Haven’t applied for or received SSI benefits in the past; and
  • Are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance at the same time as your SSI claim. Find out if you are eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits.

If you receive SSI and live in California, you will soon be eligible to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, also known as CalFresh. California is currently the only state where SSI recipients are not eligible for SNAP benefits because a food assistance benefit is included in the State Supplementary Payment (SSP). The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is ending the state’s cash-out for SNAP benefits in the SSP. Beginning June 1, 2019, SSI recipients living in California will be eligible for CalFresh, provided all other eligibility criteria are met. Your SSP will not be reduced because of this change in the law.

Starting June 1, 2019, Social Security staff will screen California SSI applicants and recipients who live in all-SSI households for eligibility to have field office personnel take their SNAP/CalFresh application.

Visit the CDSS website to apply for CalFresh, or for more details about this change in the California state law.

If you are a California resident in an all-SSI household, receive or are applying for SSI, and need assistance with your SNAP/CalFresh application, please contact your local Social Security office or call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can speak to a Social Security representative between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. defocus s.

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  2. Alicia

    I live on Las Vegas, but I tried to go back to live in California. My question is I received disability check and I am 68 years, but i am not a citizens, i am only a resident. So I will like to know how much i will received there. Thanks. God bless.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Alicia. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. Generally, you will have a shorter wait if you call later in the day. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  3. Ebony T.

    Will any money be taken out of Ssi or ssa to receive food stamps. That what I was told. I need all my cash for rent and lights and hot water. Things like house hold good like tolite paper and u can use food stamps for only cash.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Ebony. Thanks for your question. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formally known as the food stamp program, provides help for low-income households to buy the food needed for good health. In most states, if you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you may be eligible to receive SNAP assistance to purchase food. The assistance you receive from SNAP does not affect your SSI benefits. For more information, visit here. We hope this helps.

      • Deborah P.

        Actually the opposite is true! Your little consumer Price Index increase of 1.6 don’t know how you arrived at this incredibly low amount? On my SSDI it comes to 12$ and I received a letter from DHS stating that since I either had a income change or I no longer needed this amount they took away 40$ and since I only receive 770$ that’s including the 38$ SSI check this hit hard and concidering Medicare doesn’t think it’s important to have healthy teeth after my Aunt died in 08 I became a part of the fraudulent dental of Medicade system were they work on commission so padding the ticket is common practice till you have no teeth and because there only employed for 6mth they care not! And what this has to do with food? I can only get certain things to eat because I’m swollowing my food pretty much whole! So to answer the question it does affect the total of what your allowed!

  4. steve w.

    It has become more difficult to sign in to mysocialsecurity. I forget my pass word and try to recover it. Then I am locked out of my account.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Steve. We are sorry to hear you are having difficulty accessing your personal my Social Security account. If you are still unable to access an account or encounter a problem with your personal my Social Security account, you may:
      •Call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “helpdesk”; or
      •Contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

      • Kenneth h.

        Go directly into your SS office and tell them you. Forgot your password bring proof of I’d andSScard with you . I don’t trust any one giving me info on line

  5. Robert M.

    Thanks for having Social Security, handle CalFresh Applications for: SSI Recipients, as well! Thanks!

  6. Paula K.

    Will SSI/SSP income be countable in the SNAP budget? Or will it be exempt?

    • Kenneth H.

      Oh it’s used and affects the amount you receive I went from 45.00 in June to 15.00 in July here in mass. Since they reported the amount . Even though I reported the same amount to snap in January when my benefits increased . So once again the government programs needed for disabled people screwed screwed things up and who gets stuck with paying more for things who can’t afford to buy the they need

  7. Jahangir J.

    No Fear Act for speaking my mind in the past got me in trouble from An Immigration officer who was waiting very anxiously to show me (his body language and the words he used by intimidating, scaring, disrespecting & humiliating me with the threat of deportation bringing a misdemeanor thrown and dismissed by a Judge in year 1994 proof was brought from New York; and a case expunged paid for taken care of in 2002, no officer in any State of these United States goes 25 years back demanding the paper work when mailed exactly what he asked for in the letter; imagine traveling to New York from Los Angeles with limited income and disability, As a result of his ” I will show you No Fear Act” A Mexican looking English speaking Officer, upon asking he gave me his name Francisco with very negative body language. He was informed during interview of my being a College Graduate with BA degree, living in these United States since March, 1981, am a Permanent Resident living legally as a permanent Resident since Ronald Reagan passed an Amnesty law in 1986, the price of freedom of speech, I received a letter from this man after many follow up requests of taking too much time for my Citizenship Oath letter, I received insane letters in response of my emphasis on my very basic human right to vote like, wait for 90 days then an other 90 days then third 90 days, then finally he said he will discuss with the team answer in 90 days, An other written appeal was filed, this time I was told in very bold in writing there is no way of telling how long will it take him to decide which I knew is not legal and the man is making his own laws; couldn’t afford an attorney thus the only way I knew was to let his superiors know of his giving bad name to the Department and these United States.
    I approached in person to the reception to see if I could talk to the Director or any of his superiors, the answer to me was a big laugh like I was talking something impossible meaning it is easier to talk to the President by a voter than a man living for over 40 years as a Permanent Resident to talk to or complain against an immigration officer to his superiors meaning once these few bad ones think of hostility they go any distance to make their own laws and create their own books; knowing and it is very well known fact that immigrants don’t dare speaking the law or criticizing regardless.
    Talk their website called checking status if I give you my case number it will give you @ least six months old, in my case which was denied unfairly and unjustly for Citizenship after two years long wait and continuous follow-up. on web case status it still tells me I was called for an interview July 2017, immigrants are afraid to talk and ask questions because of retaliations.
    Don’t take my words pick up any immigrant who talks and see what you will go through, no checks or balances at all when it comes this particular Department called INS and the Madam just signs blindly called Director without knowing or looking will in my opinion have days numbered until someone who cares finds out about the law in books only & not in practice under her Management.
    So far change in benefits of SSI Recipients is concerned is long due for the reason even a blind man can tell the way limited income people are struggling to survive do need all the help they can get and definitely deserve every bit of it, let me give a very simple supporting example: Most SSI, SSDI recipients do remember the market minimum wage in one month used to equal one fourth of SSI income meaning if SSI MAN got $750.00 per month, the minimum wage man used to get $420.00 a month,(Maryland monthly minimum was even less)
    Minimum wage per month gone up= $520.00 per week =2,080 per month.
    HIGHEST IN CALIFORNIA 930.00—-1,000.00
    statistics is defined as numerical statements of facts
    Should I expect Retaliation for stating the facts.?

    • Marc

      And this unintelligible rant is relevant to this article HOW??

    • RJ

      Do you know how to use punctuation?

  8. Walt

    Why is SSA doing the work for a California state program?? The FOs are a crowded zoo already!!

    • Marc

      SNAP itself is not a state program. The states administer Federal SNAP benefits based on their individual local needs. That’s how all federal programs work, and the Constitution too, by the way. Feds run the overall program, states dole out their part to their people. Basic, basic, basic knowledge, duh.

  9. Jose

    About Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

    Jose Samuel Zuniga
    Red alert
    My identity
    My SSI my SSDI
    I’m disabled they have me being tortured.

    Jose Samuel Zuniga

    *** – ** – ***

    I’m in Hollywood CA
    90038 90029
    White crashed Jeep me pet.

    Help serious.

    Jose s Zuniga

    J s ZUNIGA. Edd state disability.



  10. Craig

    Bullshit assholes I paid into this I have cancer and u fuckfaces won’t pay wait till I get done with you!

    • Bryan


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