63-156  California Food Assistance Program (CFAP)


Table of Contents
The California Food Assistance Program (CFAP) section includes the following information:
Qualifying CFAP Immigration Status
Battered Non-Citizens Eligible to CFAP
Senate Bill (SB) 1569 and CFAP Eligibility for Victims of Human Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes
Sponsored Non-Citizens Eligible to CFAP
CFAP Work Requirements
Exemptions to the CFAP Work Requirement
Failure to Meet Work Requirement
36-Month Calendar
Regaining CFAP Eligibility by Meeting the ABAWD Work Requirement



The State of California provides state-funded CalFresh through the California Food Assistance Program (CFAP) for qualified noncitizens who do not qualify for federal benefits. CFAP benefits are issued through the same case as federal CalFresh benefits.


Qualifying CFAP Immigration Status

In order to be eligible to CFAP, a noncitizen must be:

·  A qualified noncitizen (Legal Permanent Resident (LPR));

·  Ineligible for federal CalFresh benefits SOLELY due to his/her immigration status under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 as amended by the Food Stamp Reauthorization Act of 2002; and

·  Meet all existing federal CalFresh eligibility requirements such as income, resources, etc., and the CFAP work requirements as explained in Section 63-156.6.


Battered Non-Citizens Eligible to CFAP

Effective August 1, 1999 all federally ineligible battered legal non-citizens, regardless of the date of their entry, are eligible indefinitely to CFAP benefits if:

·  The abuse was inflicted in the U.S. by the non-citizen’s spouse, or parent, or member of the spouse’s or parent’s family; and

·  The abuser resided in the same household as the non-citizen at the time of the abuse.

A sworn statement about the abuse by the victim shall be sufficient to verify abuse if one or more additional items of evidence is also provided. Additional evidence may include, but is not limited to:

·  Police, governmental agency, or court records or files; or

·  Documentation from a domestic violence agency; or

·  A statement from any other individual with knowledge of the circumstances that provided the basis for the claim; or

·  Physical evidence of the abuse.

When the victim cannot provide additional evidence of abuse, a sworn statement written by the non-citizen will suffice and will be documented in writing in the case file.  The worker must also document that the applicant’s statement is credible by making an entry on the SAWS-2 or DFA 285 A2 “County Only Use” column or a case narrative entry notating all the information provided to the worker that makes the client’s statements credible.


Senate Bill (SB) 1569 and
CFAP Eligibility for Victims of Human Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes

The federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act of October 2000 makes adult victims of severe forms of trafficking eligible for federal CalFresh benefits to the same extent as refugees, and created two new non-immigrant visas;

·  The “T” Visa for victims of a severe form of trafficking in persons, and

·  The “U” Visa for victims of criminal activity.

Senate Bill (SB) 1569 was enacted to provide state-only CalFresh assistance to non-citizen victims of human trafficking, domestic violence and other serious crimes prior to federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) certification of their application for a “T” or a “U” Visa.  SB 1569 also recognizes that applicants for “U Visa Interim Relief” who are willing to cooperate with law enforcement officials also need support and services.

·   These non-citizens are eligible to state-funded benefits and social services equivalent to those available to refugees, including CFAP.

Note:  Effective 10/17/07, the Final Rule regarding the “U Visa “was issued by the federal government. In order to be eligible for California Food Assistance Program (CFAP) benefits, applicant must present evidence that they have filed for a “U Visa” or have obtained one if they do not have verification of filing for a “U Visa Interim Relief” prior to 10/17/07.  The “U Visa” application can be viewed at  http://www.USCIS.gov/files/form/I-918.pdf. 

For additional information see Section 63-155 regarding Qualified Battered/Abused Non-citizens and Victims of Trafficking.


Non-Citizens Eligible to CFAP

Sponsored noncitizens who entered the U.S. on or after August 22, 1996 and are ineligible to federal CalFresh benefits SOLELY due to their noncitizen status (i.e., LPR noncitizens who have been in the U.S. for less than five years) can receive benefits through CFAP. Regulations and exceptions applicable to federally-eligible sponsored noncitizens, also apply to sponsored noncitizens eligible to CFAP (see Section 63-157) with the following exceptions:

·  The sponsor’s income and resources are deemed for three (3) years from the date of the execution of the affidavit of support (USCIS Form I-864 and/or I864A).

·  Noncitizens whose sponsor and/or sponsor’s spouse is abusive are exempt from deeming (Section 63-157.4).


·  The federal 12-month exemption from sponsorship rules based on “indigence” as explained in Section 63-157.3, also applies to CFAP sponsored noncitizens.

·  Existing federal CalFresh regulations apply to victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, or other serious crimes.  Refer to Sections 63-157.4; and 63-155.1.


CFAP Work Requirements

As a condition of eligibility, CFAP recipients who are not exempt from the CFAP work requirements must participate as follows:

CFAP Noncitizens Who Receive CalWORKs

Noncitizens who receive CalWORKs meet the CFAP work requirement by satisfactorily participating in Welfare-to-Work (WtoW) activities in accordance with the recipient’s CalWORKs WtoW plan. Adults are considered to be satisfactorily participating unless they are W2W sanctioned. Non-citizens who receive cash aid through CalWORKs but are not participating in a WtoW plan because of a CalWORKs WtoW exemption are considered to be “satisfactorily participating” and meet the CFAP work requirement.

A CalFresh Program disqualification would be imposed if, at the time of the WtoW sanction, the CFAP recipient does not qualify for any of the work registration exemptions as per Section 63-158.3.

Adult Legal Noncitizens Who Do Not Receive CalWORKs

Non-citizens who do not receive CalWORKs are only eligible to CFAP benefits when the adult:

·  Is exempt from the CFAP work requirement; or

·  Is entitled to receive three “free” months; or

·  Meets the minimum requirement of 20 hours of work per week averaged monthly. The household member must be receiving monetary compensation for counted employment equivalent to the State minimum wage or more; or

·  Works for in-kind income or is self-employed. In-kind or self-employed hours worked may be used to satisfy the CFAP work requirement even if income generated is less than the State minimum wage multiplied by the number of hours worked. The recipient/applicant must provide documentation verifying that the in-kind income reported is an actual benefit received from an employer who is not a member of the household.

Note:  Work for in-kind income refers only to services directly provided to an employer in exchange for a benefit such as rent.  The domestic tasks described in this situation are provided as a benefit to the food stamp household not directly to the employer.

CFAP adult household members (18 years or older) without dependents are subject to ABAWD work requirements (see Section 63-160), not to the CalFresh work registration requirements (Section 63-900).

Only full weeks will be considered when determining whether the CFAP work requirement has been satisfied through employment. Thus, an individual has met the CFAP requirement when the total number of hours worked in the month divided by the number of full weeks in the month equals an average of 20 hours or more per week.

When the CFAP household member is subject to ABAWD work requirements, they are also subject to Mandatory Mid-Quarter Reporting and must report any reduction in the number of hours worked to less than 20 hours per week or 80 hours per month.


Exemptions to the CFAP Work Requirement

CalFresh work registration exemption requirements at Sections 63-158.3 and 63-158.6 apply to CFAP recipients who do not receive CalWORKs.


Failure to Meet Work Requirement

Refer to Section 63-160.9 for failure to meet ABAWD Work Requirement.

Refer to Section 63-159 for failure voluntary quit and reduction of work effort requirement.


36-Month Calendar

Effective April 1, 2003, if an ABAWD CFAP recipient begins receiving federal CalFresh after reaching his/her five-year residency requirement, the HSS must establish a new 36-month period in accordance with Section 63-160.2 and begin tracking the 36-month calendar on the Medi-Cal Eligibility Data System (MEDS) as specified in Section 63-160.4.


Regaining CFAP Eligibility by Meeting the ABAWD Work Requirement

Persons receiving CalWORKs who are mandated to be in the CalFresh household must be added to the case when it is discovered that they are otherwise eligible and are meeting or exempt from the ABAWD work requirement.  Such persons are to be added on the first of the month following the month that the ABAWD work requirement or exemption is met.  Refer to 63-160.10.


CFAP/      ABAWD Forms

 Refer to Section 63-160.8.