CalFresh Student Exemptions Changes

Author: Ryan Farquhar
June 28, 2023
Two individuals being produce at the farmers' market

During the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), a change in federal law made more students temporarily eligible for CalFresh benefits. These rules expanded eligibility to students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 and students eligible to participate in a state or federally financed work-study program.

Now that the PHE has ended, the temporary expanded eligibility expired on June 9th of 2023. If you are already participating in CALFRESH under one of the temporary student exemptions, you do not have to do anything to keep your benefits until your next recertification. Starting July 1, you can recertify only under regular CALFRESH rules.

The regular CALFRESH student exemptions are as follows:

  • Do you work at least 20 hours per week OR a total of 80 hours a month?
  • Were you awarded or are eligible for federal work-study in your 22-23 financial aid
  • award?
  • Were you awarded Cal Grant A OR B in your 22-23 financial aid award?
  • Are you currently employed through the work-study program?
  • Are you working on campus as a student employee?
  • Are you part of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)?
  • Are you participating in a Local Education Program that Increases Employability (LPIE).
    • In other words, are you part of a major or program that requires you to complete an internship, fieldwork experience, student teaching, clinical hours to graduate?
  • Are you exerting parental control over a dependent household member under the age of 6 OR between the age of 6 and 12 with no adequate childcare (as determined by the county on a case-by-case basis)?
  • Are you a single parent of a dependent household member under the age of 12 AND enrolled full-time (12+ units)
  • Are you participating in the CalFresh Employment and Training Program (CFET) or be a recipient of CalWorks , AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children), or GROW (General Relief Opportunities for Work)

If you have any questions and concerns or would like assistance with recertification, please email us at