California Fire Victims Have Three More Days to Apply for Disaster CalFresh Food Benefits

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is reminding residents affected by wildfires in Sonoma, Napa, Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Nevada and Yuba Counties of the November 1, 2017 deadline to apply for disaster food assistance through the Disaster CalFresh program. Any individual or family that resided or worked in the seven affected counties before the disaster, and was negatively affected by the disaster, may be eligible to receive food assistance.

Disaster CalFresh benefits are provided via an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which is a debit-like card that can be used to purchase food items at grocery stores and other authorized retailers. Disaster CalFresh and CalFresh may also be used to purchase hot foods at participating retailers in the disaster region.

Individuals and families may be eligible for Disaster CalFresh if the household experienced at least one of the following as a direct result of the wildfires: Damage to or destruction of the home or self-employment business; Loss or inaccessibility of income including a reduction or termination of income or a significant delay in receiving income due to disaster related problems; or Disaster-related expenses (home or business repairs, temporary shelter, evacuation, etc.) that are not expected to be reimbursed during the disaster benefit period.

How to Apply

To find out how to apply for benefits in your county, please call the toll free number 1- 844-719-8808. Apply online at www.benefitscal.com or by visiting any of the 58 county human or social services agencies across the state. Individuals and families seeking assistance must apply by Wednesday, November 1, 2017. Applicants applying online will also need to visit a local office in person to provide necessary verifications. A list of county social services agencies in all 58 counties can be found at www.cdss.ca.gov/County-Offices.

In addition, individuals or families with new needs for assistance may always apply for ongoing CalFresh benefits and CalWORKs cash aid at their local county social services agency, or at www.benefitscal.com.

Additional information about local assistance centers and other services available to individuals and families impacted by the wildfires can be found at www.cdss.ca.gov/Media-Center/October-2017-Wildfires.

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