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CalFresh Frequently Asked Questions

When can I start using my CalFresh card?

You can use your card a soon as the application is approved, benefits are added and you have a Personal Identification Number (PIN). 

How can I check the balance of my EBT Card?

You can check your EBT card balance online at www.mybenefitscalwin.org, or by calling (877) 328-9677.

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.  
  • By phone: (877) 328-9677. You’ll be sent a replacement card by mail, which can take 3-10 business days.
  • Online: ebt.ca.gov
  • In-Person: Your card will be replaced immediately at your visit to:             
    Economic Assistance, 2550 Paulin Drive, 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 the 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. However, some stores may charge for bags and that charge cannot be paid for with CalFresh benefits. If you also receive a cash benefit amount and have a balance available at the time of purchase, the cash portion can pay the bag fee.

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

Yes. If CalFresh determines that you received too much in CalFresh benefits, you will be required to pay those benefits back. This is called an over-payment. Even if the error was determined the fault of the CalFresh program, you will need to pay back those benefits. If this happens, you will be notified in writing and provided options for repayment, including a reduction in your regular allotment each month until the balance has been paid. To help prevent over-payments, please report your income and household information. 

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?

Call Economic Assistance at (877) 699-6868.

Contact Information

Economic Assistance
Human Services Department

In-person Lobby Hours

Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Phone Hours
Monday – Friday
9:00 AM – 3:30 PM
(Due to volume of calls, wait times may be extended)

Contact us by Phone

Santa Rosa

2550 Paulin Drive

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