Basic Needs

Frequently Asked Questions

Section 1

For any questions not addressed below, you are welcome to contact our CalFresh Team at

Will CalFresh affect my Financial Aid?
No. You are not required to report your CalFresh Benefits on your FAFSA application.

Will CalFresh affect my taxes?
No. You are not required to report CalFresh Benefits on your taxes.

Do I have to repay the benefits I receive from CalFresh?

What if I missed my phone interview with a case worker?
If you missed your phone interview, immediately call the same number. If this is a private phone number, you can call the Orange County social services office to ask about your phone interview. Their number is (800) 281-9799.

What if I did not submit my SAR7/Annual Recertification before/on the due date?
If you missed the deadline for your SAR7/Annual Recertification, OC SSA will automatically discontinue your benefits. The next step would be to re-apply.  

Do I have to reapply every month to keep getting my benefits?
No. Once you submit an application and receive your Golden State (EBT) card via mail or pick up, benefits are automatically dispersed onto the account once a month. After 6 months, you are required to fill out an Eligibility Status Report (also known as SAR7). This can be done online, or with the assistance of a CalFresh advocate at FRESH.

How do I check if I receive a TANF-funded CalGrant A or B?
First, check to see if you receive Cal Grant. Log on to your UCI financial aid→ click print my awards → award summary. CalGrant A or CalGrant B should be listed. Please note that CalGrant A/B is not the same as the Pell Grant or UC Irvine Grants. Not all Cal Grants are funded by TANF, and only those funded by TANF are eligible for CalFresh. You can check to see if you’ve received this email. It would’ve been sent from to the email you used to apply for financial aid (which may not be your UCI email). For the 19-20 academic year, the email needed to have been sent in Fall of 2019, as indicated in the image.

Myths & Facts

Myth: CalFresh is welfare.
Fact: CalFresh is NOT welfare, it is a U.S Department of Agriculture nutrition program.

Myth: Only those who are unemployed can qualify for CalFresh.
Fact: Anyone can apply for CalFresh as long as they meet the income limit requirements.

Myth: Applying for CalFresh can affect my immigration status.
Fact: Applying for CalFresh will not affect your immigration status. Legal permanent residents are able to apply, without affecting one’s chance of becoming a citizen. For undocumented parents, applying for CalFresh for their citizen children will be kept confidential and not shared with authorities.

"Public Charge" Information

"On October 10, 2018, the Trump administration proposed a public charge rule change — a regulation to dramatically broaden the 'public charge' test that has been a part of federal immigration law for decades." This update has caused valid anxiety and confusion for non-citizen individuals and families using public benefits. Please visit Informed Immigrant for correct information regarding this "public charge" discourse or email