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Disaster CalFresh

Disaster CalFresh (D-CalFresh), federally known as the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP), is a way to meet the temporary nutritional needs of disaster victims within a 30-day period, following a natural disaster such as a flood, fire, earthquake or any other natural disaster. D-CalFresh provides a month's worth of benefits on an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card which can be used to purchase food at authorized retail stores. D-CalFresh is only available when all ofthe following elementsoccur:

  • A PresidentialDeclaration for Individual Assistance has been declared in the affected area;
  • Commercial channels of food distribution have been disrupted and those commercial channels have been restored; and
  • The State ofCalifornia has been approved to operate a D-CalFresh program. The 58County Welfare Departments (CWDs) administer CalFresh and in the event of a disaster administers D-CalFresh. The affected county is responsible for submitting an application request to implement a D-CalFresh or program waivers, whichever is the most appropriate response, to CDSS for review. CDSS will forward the application request to the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) forfinal approval.

If you are a current CalFresh recipient affected by the disaster and you meet the household eligibility requirements listed below, please contact your local County Welfare Departmentfor additional information on how torequest supplemental disaster benefits.

If you are a new applicant affected by the disaster, meet the household eligibility requirements listed below, and you would like to apply for D-CalFresh, you canapply in person atyour local County Welfare Departmentor other designated D-CalFresh application site.

In order to qualify for a temporary disaster benefit all disaster victims must meet the household eligibility requirements listed below.

Household Eligibility Requirements under D-CalFresh


  • The household must have lived in the disaster area at the time of the disaster.
  • In some cases, D-CalFresh approvals may include eligibility for people who worked in the disaster area.

Purchase of Food

  • To be eligible, households must plan on purchasing food during the disaster benefit period.

Adverse Effect

The household must have experienced one of the following adverse actions:

  • Damage to home or self-employment property
  • Disaster-related expenses
  • A disruption in income
  • Inaccessible liquid resources
  • In some cases, D-CalFresh approvals may include eligibility for households that lost food, but had no other disaster-related expenses.

Income and Resources

Modified Categorical Eligibility (MCE), in the regular CalFresh program, wherein the CalFresh households resources are excluded when determining CalFresh eligibility does not apply in the D-CalFresh program. Income and resources must be counted in order to determine eligibility in the D-CalFresh program forhouseholds who have suffered a disaster loss.

See below how disaster gross income is calculated.

Note: The total net (take-home) income received during the benefit period plus accessible liquid resources, minus eligible disaster-related expenses, shall not exceed the disaster gross income limit. Click to view disaster gross income limits for the period of 10/01/15 - 09/30/16.

Useful D-CalFresh Links and Resources

If you have any questions regarding the State of California Disaster CalFresh Program, please send an e-mail to DisasterCalFresh@dss.ca.gov.