CalFresh Eligibility

Please note that temporary changes to student eligibility for CalFresh benefits are in place for the remainder of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Students are encouraged to apply if they are eligible for state or federal work study or have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0. To learn more about these temporary exemptions, contact

Student definition, according to CalFresh guidelines

  • Aged 18 - 49 years old
  • Enrolled at least half-time (6 or more units) 
  • Mentally and physically able to work
    • If you do not meet the above guidelines and/or have a verified medical condition that prevents you from working, you may not have to meet the college student eligibility requirements to receive benefits.

Quick Screening Checklist

  • Meet student definition (according to above guidelines)
  • Must have the following immigration status:
    • US Citizen
    • Legal Permanent Resident (green card)
    • U or T visa holder
    • Refugee or Asylee
  • Meet CalFresh monthly income guidelines based on household size, as seen in the table at the end of this webpage
  • Meet at least one of the four exemptions listed below and submit supporting documents

Exemptions (last updated 6.29.21)

  • Supporting Documents:
    • Proof of income for the last 30 days, such as pay stubs from your employer
  • Accessing Documents:
    • If you do not have your pay stubs on file, request copies of your pay stubs from your employer.
  • Exemption:
    • Students who have children, as follows:
      • Full-time student with a child under the age of 12
      • Part-time students with a child under the age of 6
      • Part-time student with a child between ages 6 - 12 for whom adequate childcare is not available
      • Student with child receiving CalWORKS
  • Supporting Documents:
    • Proof of parent status
  • Accessing Documents:
    • Birth certificates and/or school transcripts are commonly provided.
  • Supporting Documents:
    • Proof of Cal Grant eligibility
  • Accessing Documents:
    • Option A: Check inbox for California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) email with Cal Grant award notice. This email includes a letter that documents Cal Grant A or B eligibility. 
    • Option B: The Financial Aid Office can write a letter that verifies student eligibility for Cal Grant A or B. Students should email Financial Aid to request a letter using their USF Dons email account. 
  • Supporting Documents:
    • Proof of work-study eligibility
  • Accessing Documents:
    • Option A: The Financial Aid Office can write a letter that verifies student eligibility for work-study. Students should email the Financial Aid Office to request a letter using their USF Dons email account. 
    • Option B: If students indicated that they are interested in federal work-study on their FASFA, students can review and document their federal work-study eligibility on the Student Self-Service page. 
  • Note: This is a temporary exemption during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Before this temporary exemption was added to student eligibility guidelines, students met the work-study exemption if they had been accepted into a work-study program. 
  • Supporting Documents:
    • Student Aid Report (SAR) showing an EFC of $0
  • Accessing Documents:
    • Students can find their EFC number in their Student Aid Report (SAR) after they have submitted their FASFA. Anytime that students log into their FASFA portal, they will have access to view their SAR summary and their EFC number. Students have the option to print a copy of their SAR or save it as a PDF. 
  • Note: This is a temporary exemption during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Supporting Documents Needed

In addition to supporting documents for exemptions, students must submit supporting documents to verify student status, citizenship/immigration status, and gross monthly income.

  • Student Status: Student ID card; class schedule
  • Immigration Status: Birth certificate; applicable ID card
  • Income: Pay stubs for the last 30 days (proof is not required for no income)

Eligibility Screening and Application Assistance

In partnership with the SF-Marin Food Bank CalFresh Outreach program, The Richmond Neighborhood Center (RNC) is an application assistance site that can help you find out if you are eligible and assist you with your online application. The RNC is located in the Richmond district of San Francisco and offers remote support. 

Click here to connect with the RNC and receive assistance.

CalFresh Monthly Income Guidelines

CalFresh Monthly Maximum Income Guidelines (October 1, 2020 - September 30, 2021)

Household Size Gross Income Net Income
1 $2,128 $1,064
2 $2,874 $1,437
3 $3,620 $1,810
4 $4,368 $2,184
5 $5,114 $2,557
6 $5,860 $2,930
7 $6,608 $3,304
8 $7,354 $3,677
Each Additional Member



Follow this link for more information on student eligibility.