Can students get CalFresh?

In general, students are not eligible for CalFresh.  A person is considered a "student" if they are:

  • Aged 18-49, 
  • Do not have a physical or mental impairments or disabilities,  (If a student has a disability, they should not be barred from receiving CalFresh.)
  • Enrolled at least “half time” as defined by the school, and
  • Enrolled in higher education. 

There are many situations where people who are students can still get CalFresh.  Those are when the student is:

  • Employed 20 hours a week
  • Receiving federal or state work-study money. “Receiving” means when the student is approved for state or federally work study for the current school term, anticipates working during the term, and has not refused a work assignment.  
  • Approved for a TANF-funded Cal Grant A or B. [ACL 17-05.] The California Student Aid Commission should provide written notification to recipients of Cal Grant A or B awards regarding their potential eligibility for CalFresh. 
  • Students with children, as follows:
    • full-time student with a child under age 12; or
    • part-time student with a child under age six or a child between ages six and 12 for whom adequate care is not available; or
    • receiving CalWORKs;
  • Enrolled in a CalFresh employment and training (FSET) program; or other state or local job training programs. 
  • Does not intend to register for the next normal school term. 
  • Enrolled in a program to increase the student’s employability, including programs for low-income students that are operated by a state or local government where one or more of the components of the program are equivalent to an Employment and Training (E&T) component.  A list of current programs is here
  • Enrolled in a program to increase employability for current and former foster youth 
  • Enrolled in a Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act program. 
  • Enrolled in Extended Opportunities Programs and Services.

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