The Fresno County Department of Social Services (DSS) announced that March CalFresh benefits will be made available beginning March 1 instead of the normal staggered dates, which are the 1st – 10th of each month. CalFresh households should know that benefits may come early, but are not an additional benefit. This change will reduce the effects of the early issuance of February benefits and the resulting gap in food assistance.
In January, DSS announced the early issuance of February CalFresh assistance benefits for most recipients, in order to access federal funds that would not be otherwise available due to the federal government’s shutdown. In order to reduce the impact and shorten the period between the early issuance of February benefits and March benefits, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) approved for March benefits to be made available beginning March 1.
DSS recognizes the change to having benefits available on March 1, rather than a staggered issuance, may cause some confusion for both CalFresh households and retailers. CalFresh households should know that early March benefits are not an additional benefit and are asked to budget accordingly. Grocery stores and farmers markets that accept CalFresh Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards should know their payments will process as usual through March. Benefits will resume to their normal staggered schedule starting in April.
DSS will continue all other CalFresh operations as usual. Individuals or families can apply for CalFresh benefits and cash aid at their local social service agency, or online at www.mybenefitscalwin.org. CalFresh recipients with questions regarding their case should contact their local welfare department at 1-855-832-8082.
Clients are reminded they will never receive a call or text message asking for their EBT Personal Identification Number (PIN). Clients are never to disclose this information to anyone.