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. Termuxx

    Thanks for having Social Security, handle CalFresh Applications for: SSI Recipients, as well! Thanks! Nice Post 2kinfomedia.com and afrobaze.com is strongly in support

  2. Sandra C.

    I have PTSD from being sexually and mentally and physically abused from the age of 4-18. I have developed an anxiety disorder due to the PTSD. Yes I have the flashbacks and the night terrors and they are getting worse as we speak. It’s really hard for me to work with men and I don’t mean no harm when I say that. I have been denied twice and and working on my second appeal. I went to court last November, and the judge brought all the abuse out in the open,then turns around and denies me. That’s not cool,I have a hard enough time talking about it let alone be a beacon for all to look at. Does anyone stop to even think? This was 14 years of shear torture for me and I’m still fighting it,everyday. People,put yourself in my shoes and then imagine the worst things done to a 4 year old. That is burned in my head for life. For life… Wouldn’t you be asking for a little bit of help. I don’t need your sympathy, because that’s just not a part of it. What if it was your 4year old child, wouldn’t you want justice? Wouldn’t you want compensation for what your 4 year old went through. We are damaged,why can’t you see that? Then put us out to defend for ourselves. If you were to ask me my opinion on this,I would have to say it’s a sad sad thing when you turn for help and support and just don’t get it. If this was happening to you,it would be a different story, Right? I feel enough shame,why make it so many people look at me. Some are sympathetic some are downright ugly. Shame on you!

    • Amy

      I’m sorry Sandra. I understand you completely. People are so ignorant about childhood trauma and the long term effects it has on us as adults. I was raised in the LA County Foster Care system. I am now 37 years old and I struggle with my PTSD every day. I am in constant fight or flight mode. I only leave my home to go to the grocery store and that is hard, in-and-of-itself. I’ve worked extremely hard –over 20years of therapy, in addition to researching and trying alternative methods of healing, to no avail. I always thought I would be able to become an advocate for people like us but, unfortunately, my mental and emotional state is too fragile. This system, our society, is horrible! It re-victimizes victims and robs people of all hope and dignity. Too bad they don’t invest the budget into real solutions to help people come out of the plights they were unwillingly thrust into. So sorry for your situation, I really am.

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  4. Cherri F.

    I live in PA why Am I getting info about it from the state Iif California

  5. Dee

    This blog scares the begibies out of me!

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  6. heehawman

    What gets me in Mississippi, is when a disabled person works for three years, gets laid off (took three years to get that job), draws unemployment of $111 per week for 6 months, his SSI gets lowered to $299.00 per month while he is drawing unemployment, and considering all the taxes he paid in while working, he now gets $15.00 per month in snap benefits, lollllll and illegal aliens comes over here, never paid into the system, gets the full amount of SSI. Snap, subsidized housing, wow and an American citizen, in his 60s a senior, been disabled for years, but still worked part time, paid in taxes, now on unemployment cause he got laid off work in April, 2019. Now that is something that an American senior citizen is treated worse than an illegal alien.

    • Kenneth h.

      I don’t understand that either . That’s why they all want to come here . I’ve worked hard in my life and I just couldn’t do it any longer for SSI to step in to the snap program and report to them what I have to report to them on a yearly basis or when my income changes made no sense to me for my snap benefits to drop to 15.00 a month from 45.00 on the same income all year since January . We so many people who have paid into the system and are homeless . Yet America will take in these people give them benefits and allow Americans to sleep on streets in the winter and year round and we are proud Americans because we help other countries in need . Bullshit I believe anyone who comes into this country should be put into those homeless shelters and lets take care of our own citizens first . We as Americans tend to get involved in everyone else’s business on how countries treat their citizens and act on it yet no country has come forward to get involved with ours in our homeless crisis , mass shootings , etc..

  7. MIKE

    I have been battling with SSA for 2 year now. I went and saw that joke of a “state doctor”. And still denied. OK, so I appeal again and request a hearing. On 5-29-19 I recieved a phone call from some lady with the SSA and she said” Hi we acknowledge your appeal and request for a hearing, then she asked would you be willing to go see out physician? I said of course, I wouldn;t mind at all. NOW GET THIS AND TELL ME HOW IS ISN”T A FALSE/WRONGFUL DENIAL. 2 days after that phone call, I recieve a DENIAL letter saying, YES 2 days and it states. You are denied BASED ON OUR PHYSICIANS EXAM. I NEVER SAW THEIR RENT-A-DOCTOR, HOW CAN I BE DENIED BY FACTS THAT NEVER TOOK PLACE?? I HAVE A BROKEN BACK, BOTH MY FEET AND LEGS ARE NUMB, MY HIPS AND PELVIS ARE CONCAVING AND I CANNOT WORK TO PROVIDE FOR MY 8 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER. I WOULD REALLY LIKE A DETAILED, ;LIGAMENT EXPLNATION.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Mike. We are sorry to hear about your condition and situation. Unfortunately, but 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 is resolved soon.

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