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CalFresh Disaster Response


Important Information About the CalFresh Disaster Response

As California continues to respond to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic emergency, recent wildfires have created additional challenges for clients and counties across the state. These emergencies have resulted in a unique and ongoing emergency response effort in California.

The CDSS will regularly post updates regarding CalFresh’s response to the wildfires on this webpage.

On August 22, 2020, a Presidential Declaration for Individual Assistance (FEMA 4558-DR) for Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo Counties was approved. A Disaster CalFresh (D-CalFresh) operation has not yet been approved by the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. More information will be shared here as available.

On August 27, 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) approved CDSS’ request to implement the following waivers:

  • Timely Household Reporting of Food Loss Waiver (Counties: Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo)
  • Hot Foods Waiver (Counties: Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Yolo, Alameda, Colusa, Contra Costa, Glenn, Marin, Mendocino, Sacramento, Santa Clara, and Sutter)

On August 28, 2020, the FNS approved CDSS' request to implement the following waiver:

On September 3, 2020, the FNS approved CDSS' request to implement the following waiver for specific ZIP codes:

  • Automated Mass Replacement Waiver
    (for specific ZIP codes in the following counties:  Butte, El Dorado, Marin, Napa, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sonoma, Sutter, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba)

On September 13, 2020, a Presidential Declaration for Individual Assistance (FEMA 4558-DR-Amendment) for Butte County was approved. A D-CalFresh operation has not yet been approved by FNS. More information will be shared here as available.

On September 14, 2020, the FNS approved CDSS' request to implement the following waiver:

On September 15, 2020, the FNS approved CDSS' request to implement the following waiver:

On September 21, 2020, the FNS approved CDSS' request to implement the following waiver for specific ZIP codes:

  • Automated Mass Replacement Waiver (for specific ZIP codes in the following counties: Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Tehama, Tuolumne, and Yuba)

On September 24, 2020, the FNS approved CDSS’ request to implement the following waiver:

Outreach materials are available for use in English and Spanish:

For additional resources or needs, email DisasterCalFresh@dss.ca.gov.

This page includes information to assist County Welfare Departments with the implementation of Disaster CalFresh and general emergency response. If you are an individual who has been impacted by a recent disaster and needs food assistance or additional information on Disaster CalFresh or general CalFresh emergency response efforts, please contact your local County Welfare Department for additional information.

Information

What Is 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 of the following elements occur:

  • A Presidential Declaration 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 of California has been approved to operate a D-CalFresh program.

The 58 County 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) for final 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 Department for additional information on how to request 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 can apply in person at your local County Welfare Department or 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

Residency

  • 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 for households who have suffered a disaster loss.

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. View the disaster gross income limits for the period of 10/01/19 - 09/30/20.