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What to do when the CalFresh Emergency Allotment ends


Are you among the nearly 3 million households in California that have been accustomed to receiving extra monthly CalFresh Emergency Allotment (EA) benefits for almost 3 years and are concerned about how you will cope when these extra payments end, amongst the rising cost of living? Don’t despair, there are many avenues to receive free weekly nutritional groceries and other benefits to curb your costs or even a change in your circumstances that may entitle you to an increase in your usual monthly CalFresh benefits.


CalFresh EA monthly payments are ending due to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 response to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. The EA ended in February 2023, with the final allotment payment to be issued in March. CalFresh recipients will continue to receive monthly benefits, but they will drop by at least $95 per month.


Since March 2020, emergency allotments have raised each household’s regular monthly CalFresh allotment to the maximum allowable allotment based on household size. The EA increase was changed to include households already receiving the maximum regular CalFresh benefit and every eligible CalFresh holder to receive a minimum payment. For example, if you were already receiving $234 you could receive $329 ($234 + EA $95) and if you were receiving $139, could receive $234 ($139 + EA $95). If you received a $19 minimum regular allotment, you would receive $234 ($19 + EA $215). That was due to the minimum of $95 in EA.

In April 2023, CalFresh benefits will return to the regular amount and be received by electronic payment on the EBT card between the 1st and 10th of each month. The regular benefits are based on individual circumstances, including your household size, income, and deductions. With rising cost of living costs, many are naturally wondering how they will feed their families and avoid increasing levels of food insecurity.

Fortunately, there are a number of options to consider ensuring you can access nutritional groceries, and other benefits. It’s important to report any changes that may affect your CalFresh benefits including updating your contact details. If certain circumstances have changed you may also be entitled to more in CalFresh benefits. The changes to consider may include:

1. Increase in housing or rental expenses

2. Increase in medical expenses

3. Disability

4. Additional children

5. Senior status (60 years plus)

6. Unemployment (no income earned)


You can supplement your CalFresh benefit by accessing free weekly fresh and packaged groceries via our 11 school and community Grocery Grab N Go locations. Our free grocery services operate from at least 4 Long Beach Grocery Grab N Go locations each week. Seniors (60 years plus) may also be eligible to receive free groceries home-delivered monthly via Long Beach Food Pantry Delivery.


There are other benefits you may be eligible for that can offset your cost-of-living expenses, to include Medi-Cal (free or reduced cost medical care), General Relief (temporary cash aid), or you may be able to access your Social Security benefits. Help Me Help You Benefits Access Support specialists are available to provide you with free enrollment assistance. They are also equipped to refer you to other community services that provide critical resources and housing solutions.


Make sure you are making the most of your CalFresh benefits. Qualifying for a CalFresh EBT debit card means you would also qualify for several other beneficial services including:

· National School Lunch Program for FREE/reduced prices of nutritious school meals and other services for school children

· Health & Wellness Services

· Fee Waivers for College Apps, Admissions Tests

· Discounted utility services, transportation, and more.


To ensure you receive your entitlements and make the most of your benefits, or for benefit enrollment assistance, contact our Benefit Access Support experts at www.helpmehelpu.org/contact-us or on 562 612 5001.

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