SNAP: How Much You Can Earn to Receive Food Stamps in California

As a state with high lifestyle costs, California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known as CalFresh, has wide income ranges, which can make it easier (or harder) for you to qualify for SNAP.

California is one of the highest cost-of-living states in the United States. While it may be surprising to many of its residents that people require the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) because of the high likelihood of acquiring a high-paying job, the high prices of goods and services are also a strong challenge to many households’ pocketbooks. Therefore, it is important to know how much you can earn to receive food stamps in the state.

In California, 4,627,700 residents received SNAP in 2022, or 12% of the state’s population, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). This reflects the importance of SNAP in the state.

The SNAP program in California is named CalFresh, which establishes the oversight, regulation, and operation of food stamps in each county.

California does not have an asset or resource limit for SNAP benefits, but has eligibility requirements for both gross and net income. The gross income limit is 200% of the federal poverty level, while the net figure is 100%.

What is gross income? It is the total combined income of all household income before taxes have been accounted for. Gross income includes any earnings from work, along with income from any disability, alimony, unemployment or pension programs. These are the gross income limits, depending on the size of your household.

Understanding this, these are the maximum gross income amounts to qualify for CalFresh (California SNAP), based on your household size:

  • 1 person: $2,266 dollars per month.
  • 2 people: $3,052 per month
  • 3 people: $3,840 per month
  • 4 persons: $4,626 per month
  • 5 people: $5,412 per month
  • 6 people: $6,200 dollars per month
  • 7 persons: $6,986 dollars per month
  • Each additional person: +$788 per month

If the household’s gross income exceeds these levels but includes an elderly or disabled member, the household may qualify if it meets the net income requirements only.

What is net income? This is the household’s gross income minus deductions, which includes taxes and a number of deductions specific to the SNAP benefit program in California. Eligible deductions include:

  • Child support payments
  • Medical expenses
  • Utility payments
  • Telephone allowance
  • Essential costs, such as rent or mortgage payments.

So, because of this consideration for a household with a vulnerable member, whether elderly or disabled, this is the net income limit you must have to qualify for CalFresh:

  • 1 person: $1,133 per month
  • 2 people: $1,526 per month
  • 3 people: $1,920 per month
  • 4 people: $2,313 per month
  • 5 people: $2,706 dollars per month
  • 6 people: $3,100 per month
  • 7 people: $3,493 dollars per month
  • Each additional person: +$394 dollars per month

It should be noted that the final amount you will receive in SNAP benefits is based on your net income and the number of people in your household. As a general rule of thumb, for every additional $100 in net household income, your SNAP benefit allotment will be reduced by $30.

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