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November 7, 2017 > CalFresh food benefits help available to wildfire victims living in Alameda County

CalFresh food benefits help available to wildfire victims living in Alameda County

Submitted By Sylvia Soublet

Continuing through Wednesday, Nov. 1 Alameda County Social Services Agency is assisting residents of Sonoma, Napa, Butte, Lake, Nevada, Mendocino and Yuba Counties who have relocated to Alameda County to complete Disaster CalFresh applications at any of its office locations.

Sonoma, Napa, Butte, Lake, Nevada, Mendocino and Yuba Counties have been approved to provide disaster food assistance under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. Any individual or family who resided or worked in these counties before the disaster and has now relocated to Alameda County may be eligible to receive Disaster CalFresh benefits. Assistance completing and submitting a Disaster CalFresh application is available to impacted families and individuals residing in Alameda County at any of the following Alameda County Social Services office locations.

¥ Fremont Office
39155 Liberty Ave., Fremont

¥ North Oakland Self-Sufficiency Center
2000 San Pablo Ave., Oakland

Eden Area Multi-Service Center
24100 Amador Ave., Hayward

Enterprise Self-Sufficiency Center
8477 Enterprise Way, Oakland

Livermore Office
3311Pacific Ave., Livermore

ÒIt is critically important that we make this information available to fire victims. A lot of people impacted by the fires are not aware that they can receive application assistance for emergency food services in the County where they have relocated,Ó said Andrea Ford, Assistant Agency Director for the Alameda County Social Services Agency. ÒA few days following the start of the wildfires, a family from Santa Rosa lost their business and was living with family in Alameda County. They came into our Hayward office requesting food assistance. Our staff was able to provide them with an application for CalFresh and coordinate with Sonoma County to initiate the application process for much needed assistance,Ó Ford recounts.

Eligibility is based on available income, minus disaster-related expenses that are unreimbursed. All financial resources, except cash on hand and bank accounts, will be excluded from the eligibility determination. Most Disaster CalFresh benefits will be available within three days of the date of application.

Individuals and families may be eligible for Disaster CalFresh if the household experienced at least one of the following as a direct result of the wildfires:

¥ Damage to or destruction of the home or self-employment business
¥ Loss or inaccessibility of income including a reduction or termination of income or a significant delay in receiving income due to disaster-related problems
¥ Disaster-related expenses (home or business repairs, temporary shelter, evacuation, etc.) that are not expected to be reimbursed during the disaster benefit period.

Disaster CalFresh benefits are provided via an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which is a debit-like card that can be used to purchase food items at grocery stores and other authorized retailers. Additionally, Disaster CalFresh and CalFresh may be used to purchase hot foods at participating retailers in the disaster region (not statewide).

Verification rules are eased during a disaster; however, it is necessary to verify the identity of the applicant. Applicants are required to provide photo proof of identity, such as a driver license or other picture ID. If a picture ID is not available, providing items such as utility bills or other similar documents will work. Applicants must also bring some document that verifies their home address (such as utility bills, insurance bills, paystubs, etc.) or verification that they worked in the disaster area prior to the disaster

When applying for Disaster CalFresh benefits online, applicants will still need to visit an application site or local office in person to complete a face-to-face interview and provide all required documents.

To apply in person, individuals and families can visit any Alameda County Social Services Agency office to request an application. To apply online, individuals and families should go to:

Questions regarding the process or eligibility for Disaster CalFresh should be directed to: Sonoma County, (844) 719-8806, 8 a.m. Ð 5 p.m. weekdays; Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada and Yuba counties, (510) 374-4000, 8 a.m. Ð 5 p.m. weekdays.

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