Notification the household either is eligibile or is being denied

In the normal course, for cases involving non-expedited CalFresh benefits, the county should make sure the applicant gets aid within 30 days. [7 C.F.R. § 273.2(g)(1); MPP § 63-301.1.] If the applicant qualifies, then she should get CalFresh benefits back to the date of application. [7 C.F.R. § 273.2(g)(2); MPP § 63-300.1.]

Whether or not the applicant qualifies for CalFresh benefits, the county must send the applicant a notice within 30 calendar days after the date of application. The notice should tell the applicant what the CalFresh office has decided to do with the application. [7 C.F.R. § 273.10(g)(1); MPP § 63-504.211.] The CalFresh office must follow applicable regulations in making this decision. Rules matter. The county welfare department cannot act arbitrarily. If the CalFresh office decides that the applicant qualifies for CalFresh benefits, it must send her a notice detailing the amount of benefits she will be receiving and the period for which the household’s has been determined eligible, i.e., its certification period. [7 C.F.R. § 273.10(g)(1)(i)(A); MPP § 63-504.221.]

If the CalFresh office turns the applicant down, the notice must explain why. The CalFresh office must respond to every reasonable argument the household makes that it should receive benefits. [7 C.F.R. § 273.10(g)(1)(ii); MPP § 63-504.23.] (See the section about what happens after the household loses the hearing, which explains notices in more detail.)

The CalFresh eligibility notice must give the telephone number of the CalFresh office and, if possible, the name of someone there to talk to if the household has any questions. [7 C.F.R. § 273.10(g)(1)(i)(A), (ii); MPP § 63-504.21(b).] The notice must also tell the applicant that she has the right to a fair hearing, and explain how she can get free legal aid. [7 C.F.R. § 273.10(g)(1)(i)(A), (ii); MPP § 63-504.21(c).]