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CalFresh Frequently Asked Questions

When can I start using my CalFresh card?

You can use your card a soon as you have a PIN number and benefits are added. To check your benefit balance, click here or call (877) 328-9677.

Can I check the balance of my CalFresh card online?

Yes. Log in with your card number. Your last CalFresh food receipt would also show your balance.

What if I think my account balance is wrong?

How do I replace a damaged, lost or stolen CalFresh card?

Report the lost, stolen or damaged card as soon you can. It will be blocked so the benefits cannot be used by anyone else.
  • Online: ebt.ca.gov
  • By phone: (877) 328-9677. You’ll be sent a free replacement card within three working days.
  • In-Person: Your card will be replaced immediately at your visit to:             
    Economic Assistance, 2550 Paulin Drive or 520 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, OR
    Human Services South County Center, 5350 Old Redwood Highway, Suite 100, Petaluma

Will my benefits be replaced if someone steals benefits from my CalFresh card?

Unfortunately, no. Your account can only be used with an active card and PIN. You will have to get a replacement card. Any use of your card lowers the amount on the card, even if it was used was without your knowledge. 

How do I keep my PIN number from being stolen?

Don’t share your PIN with anyone. Never write it on the card or anything kept with the card. Never keep your Social Security number with your card or PIN to prevent identity theft.

What if my card doesn't work?

Call the customer service number on the back of your CalFresh card: (877) 328-9677.

What if I forget my PIN number? Or want to change it?

Either visit an Economic Assistance office to select another PIN, or call the customer service telephone number, (877) 328-9677. You will need to provide information to verify your identity. Your new PIN will work with your current CalFresh card.

Why does my neighbor/friend get more CalFresh than I do?

CalFresh benefit amounts vary based on household size, earned and unearned income, housing expenses, day care costs, child support payments and in some cases, medical costs. Your amount is specific to your income and situation.

Can I use my CalFresh card in another state?

Yes. In all states, including the District of Columbia, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (except Puerto Rico).

Do I have to use all my CalFresh benefits in month I get them, or do they carry over into the next month?

Benefits left on your CalFresh card at the end of the month WILL be there for you the next month.

When are CalFresh benefits put into my account?

At the beginning of the month, based on case number. For example, if your case number ends in a 3, your benefits are loaded on the 3rd day of the month.

Can I let someone else use my CalFresh Card to buy food for me?

No. You are the only one allowed to use your card and PIN number. It is illegal to let someone else use your card or benefits. However, Economic Assistance can set up an Authorized Representative account for someone you wish to have access to your CalFresh account. That person will get a separate card, account number and PIN number. That way, CalFresh can track which card is used to access your account.

Can a market charge a fee for using my CalFresh food benefits?

No. Federal regulations prohibit any store or vendor from charging a fee for using your CalFresh benefits.

If I get more benefits than I’m due, will I have to repay the extra CalFresh benefits?

Yes. When the CalFresh finds the mistake, you’ll be asked to pay back the over-payment, even if it was due to a mistake by CalFresh. To repay the over-payment, your benefits may be reduced until it is repaid, by asking for payments or taking other benefit monies owed you. To avoid this, please report your income and bills to CalFresh correctly.

My CalFresh allocation for the month is used up, and I’m out of food. What can I do?

Contact an agency on the list of other food programs in Sonoma County. They may be able to help until your CalFresh benefits are added again.

How do I stop my CalFresh benefits and close my account?

Call (877) 699-6868 or visit an Economic Assistance office. You can also mail in a signed request: County of Sonoma Human Services Department, P.O. Box 1539, Santa Rosa, CA 95402

How do I transfer my CalFresh benefits because I’ve moved to another county in California?

Contact Economic Assistance and ask for an inter-county transfer. You shouldn’t need to reapply in your new county.

I have a question that is not answered here. What do I do?

Check the FAQs at mycalfresh.org or call Economic Assistance at (877) 699-6868.

Contact Information

Economic Assistance
Human Services Department
Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Addresses
Address

Santa Rosa

2550 Paulin Drive (Main Office)

520 Mendocino Avenue (current clients)

Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.465026, -122.721484
Petaluma Office
5350 Old Redwood Highway

Suite 100

Petaluma, CA 94954
38.278495, -122.668033

Drop off paperwork at any office or mail to:

Economic Assistance

P.O. Box 1539

Santa Rosa, CA 95402