CalFresh SSI/SSP Expansion Enrolls Over 800 Eligible Recipients

In June 2019, California became the last state to offer nutrition benefits (CalFresh) to older adults and persons with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income and State Supplemental Payment (SSI/SSP).

Earlier this year, the Marin County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution declaring May 2019 as CalFresh Awareness month. The Board encouraged the community to support efforts to increase awareness of, and participation in, CalFresh in light of the CalFresh Expansion roll out in June. There are approximately 3,000 SSI/SSP recipients in Marin County. According to state government estimates, 1,260 newly eligible SSI/SSP households are expected to benefit from CalFresh expansion. In the first three months of this expansion, the Public Assistance branch of Health and Human Services added 842 SSI/SSP recipients to CalFresh. The high level of interest in the program is the result of robust outreach done by community organizations and the County.

CalFresh Benefit Updates for Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD)

Starting September 2019, Marin County along with Contra Costa and Alameda counties, will be part of the second wave of counties that will apply ABAWD requirements for CalFresh recipients who are Able-Bodied Without Dependents. 

We estimate 1,118 Marin County CalFresh participants will be covered by ABAWD requirements. Individuals who are considered ABAWDs are limited to three full months of CalFresh benefits in any 36-month period unless they are working or participating in a qualifying work activity for at least 20 hours per week, are exempt from the ABAWD time limit, or are living in a waived area. ABAWDs can meet requirements through work, or by participating in CalFresh programs, offered by the Employment and Training branch of HHS.

In preparation for the ABAWD changes, Marin County Public Assistance Program hosted an ABAWD stakeholder meeting in August 2019 for community partners. Additionally, all eligibility workers received policy training from UC Davis and California Department of Social Services (CDSS). For more information regarding ABAWD requirements and exemptions, please visit CDSS.