BenefitsCal: What happens if you don’t report income to CalFresh?

While inflation might have slowed after the recent Federal Reserve interest rate hikes, the inflation rate across the United States of America still stands at 6.77 percent.

This means Americans across the country are still paying significantly more for basic necessities such as food, rent, and utilities with those from low income households particularly affected.

Furthermore, ever since the pandemic first broke in 2020, Americans have become more reliant on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), to meet their food requirements.

Formerly known as Food Stamps, SNAP benefits provide low-income households with funds through the use of an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card to procure groceries and other food items.

What is CALFresh?

In the state of California, SNAP benefits are essentially relabelled CALFresh.

The program, like SNAP, is designed to help residents from low income meet their daily nutritional requirements by providing them access to cheap and healthy food.

Who is eligible for CalFresh?

According to the Benefits.gov website the following is a list of criteria required to be met in order to be eligible for CalFresh benefits

  • You have a current bank balance (savings and checking combined) below 2,001 dollars, or;
  • You have a current bank balance (savings and checking combined) under 3,001 dollars and share your household with one of the following:
  • a person or persons age 60 and over or
  • a person with a disability (a child, your spouse, a parent, or yourself).

Furthermore, to be eligible a person must have an annual income of less than 17,667 dollars before taxes with an additional 6,136 dollars seen for each additional member in the household.

Penalty for not reporting income

According to the Reporting Changes For CalWorks and CALFresh form individuals who do not report their income and receive higher benefits must repay the extra benefits they receive on income they did not report.

The form also indicates that not reporting in order to gain better benefits is fraud and violators could face jail time.

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