Unfortunately, criminals have been stealing people's CalFresh benefits electronically, often by "skimming" cards at certain places' EBT machines.
But in California you can get electronically stolen benefits replaced.
What to do to replace stolen CalFresh benefits #
- Call the EBT customer service line at (877) 328-9677. After choosing a language, press 2 for "unauthorized use" and report that your benefits were stolen electronically.
They will also cancel your current card and you will get a new one, so if you have remaining balance, you may want to buy food with it before reporting (otherwise you will have to wait for the new card to use it.)
- Contact your county to fill out the forms to get your benefits replaced
Some counties (like San Diego) can fill out the forms with you over the phone (so you don't have to fill them out yourself), while others will require you to fill out the forms and send them in.
The two forms the county will have you fill out are:
To send them to your county, you can:
Mail or fax the documents
Drop them off at an office
This all depends on your county, which is why you should contact your county first.
- Get benefits replaced within 10 business days (~2 weeks). The county will replace your benefits within 10 business days, which is about 2 weeks. Some counties may be able to do this faster.
The county may investigate your claim, and if this happens, it might take up to 25 days for them to contact you or replace benefits.
Sources and more information #
- What can I do if my CalFresh benefits are stolen electronically? (Legal Services of Northern California)
- Getting Reimbursed for Electronically Stolen Cash Aid and CalFresh Benefits (Western Center on Law and Poverty)
Contact us if you have questions or see a problem or suggestion for the info above.