CalFresh Increase


CalFresh Increase

Current updates for the CalFresh program due to the Coronavirus.

What will happen?

If you get CalFresh, you will get extra money. This is an Emergency Allotment (EA) on your Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Card.


People can get 2 EAs. If your household got CalFresh in March, you will get one on April 11.  If your household got CalFresh in April, you will get one on May 10.

Why is this happening?

On March 18, 2020, The Families First Act became law because of the COVID-19 virus.

How much?

The amount is different for every household.  It may change by month.  The EA is supposed to give each household the most money allowed.   

Subtract your household CalFresh benefit amount from the most benefit a person can get.  That is the amount you will get.

Example: If in March and April, you, a household of 1 person would get $100 in CalFresh.  The most a household of 1 person can get is $194.  You will now receive a $94 EA on April 11 and a $94 EA on May 10.  This will bring your benefit up to the most of $194.

How will this happen?

If you get CalFresh, you don’t need to do anything.  The benefit will be loaded on your EBT account.

If you need to apply for CalFresh, do it soon!  This way, you can get the extra money for the next month.

Do the counties know what to do?

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) will post an All County Welfare Directors Letter at:

Questions and Answers

Q. This help is only for households not already getting the most CalFresh benefit.  Will households already getting the most benefit get anything?

A. No.  California tried to do this, but it is not happening yet.

Q. Will CalFresh applicants get an EA if they haven’t been approved for benefits yet?

A. No.  Only a household approved to get CalFresh benefits in March or April will get an EA.

Q. Will the EA benefit be based on how many people are in the CalFresh applicant household, even if some are not eligible for CalFresh?

A. No.  Only members of the household eligible for CalFresh benefits will be counted when determining the EA.    

Q. Will people getting California Food Assistance Program (CFAP) receive an EA?   

A. Yes, they will get an EA payment using state funds.

Q. Will Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients who receive a Supplemental Nutrition Benefits (SNB) or Temporary Nutrition Benefit (TNB) Benefits receive an EA?

A. Only SSI recipients who get CalFresh and SNB will get an EA.  This is because SSI recipients getting TNB benefits cannot get CalFresh.    

More information about our Pandemic COVID-19 Advocacy:

California Association of Food Banks: or contact: Andrew Cheyne at or Becky Gershon

California Food Policy Advocates: or contact: Jared Call at

County Welfare Directors Association of California: or contact: Cathy Senderling-McDonald at

Western Center on Law and Poverty’s Pandemic Advocacy:, or contact Jessica Bartholow at