CalFresh recipients who give birth to or adopt a newborn child will need to add the newborn to their CalFresh case. If you report the change and provide the necessary proof, you may be eligible to receive additional CalFresh benefits. You can easily add a newborn to your CalFresh household from the comforts of your home. All you need to do is fill out an online form on the BenefitsCal web portal.
In this article, we will walk you through the process of reporting a newborn through BenefitsCal. We will also address some of your common queries in this regard.
About the BenefitsCal Portal
In California, the BenefitsCal web portal is a new website that provides eligible residents with a highly comprehensive and optimized experience at every level of the application and management process for public assistance programs. It was introduced to replace previously used portals such as C4Yourself, YourBenefitsNow, and MyBenefitsCalWIN and to offer a unified platform for all Californians receiving public assistance benefits such as food, cash, and medical care.
The website is simple to use, accessible from any computer, tablet, or mobile device with an internet connection, and offers 21 different language options.
The BenefitsCal portal assists in the administration of five public assistance programs in the State:
- CalFresh (Food and Nutrition Assistance)
- CalWORKs (Cash Assistance)
- MediCal (Medical Assistance)
- General Aid/General Relief (GA/GR)
- Disaster CalFresh
- Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI)
The BenefitsCal portal was introduced in California in three phases. The first two phases have already been completed since April 2022. In the two phases, the BenefitsCal portal has replaced the C4Yourself and YourBenefitsNow portals in 40 California counties.
The third phase, which began in October 2022 and will end in October 2023, is yet to be completed. In this phase, BenefitsCal will replace the MyBenefitsCalWIN portal in the remaining 18 counties in the State.
Adding a Newborn to CalFresh Case
If a member of a household receiving CalFresh benefits gives birth or adopts a baby, the newborn must be added to the CalFresh case. Most California counties enable CalFresh recipients to readily submit changes to their CalFresh case, for instance, adding a newborn, through the BenefitsCal web portal.
To report changes on your CalFresh case via the BenefitsCal portal, you must fulfill two requirements:
- Have a BenefitsCal account
- Link your CalFresh case to your BenefitsCal account
You can read our post, How To Create A BenefitsCal Account, for a step-by-step guide for setting up your BenefitsCal account
Follow the instructions below to report a newborn to your CalFresh case via the BenefitsCal web portal:
Step 1: Log into your BenefitsCal account
Go to the BenefitsCal website and click the Log In button in the top right corner of the homepage. Next, you must enter the sign-in email address and password for your BenefitsCal account and click the Log In button below. Once you have successfully logged in, your customer dashboard will be displayed in a new window.
Step 2: Select the Report a Change option on the dashboard
Click on the Report a Change hyperlink on the Customer Dashboard.
It will then display the Report a Change summary screen. By extending the help components, you can read more about what has to be reported and when.
Step 3: Select the CalFresh case for which you want to report the change
Enter your linked CalFresh case number in the box at the bottom of the Report a Change summary screen, or select one from the drop-down list. The list may contain only one or multiple case numbers depending on the number of cases you have linked to your BenefitsCal account. Click on the Report Change button to continue.
Step 4: Select the type of change you want to report
Select a type of change to report by checking the box next to it. The categories are listed: People, Job/Income, Your Information, Household Details, Expenses, Assets, and Something Else. Select all the applicable changes; you can even choose multiple at a time.
Choose the People category from the above list to report a newborn baby. Then, click the Next button.
Step 5: Select the change details
Next, you must specify the details of the type of change you have chosen. You will find the following options under the People category:
- People Moved Into the Home
- People Moved Out of the Home
- Someone Had a Baby
- Someone Passed Away
- Something Else
Select the checkbox next to ‘Someone Had a Baby’ option and click Next.
Step 6: Enter more details about the change
You will need to answer some additional questions about the change. When you add a baby to your household, the system will prompt you to provide the details about the newborn:
- First Name
- Middle Name
- Last Name
- Other Names
- Date of Birth
Click the Next button after filling out all the above fields.
Step 7: Edit the change details
The system will display a summary of details of the reported change. You can make revisions by clicking the Edit button or delete the information by clicking Remove. Additionally, you can click the Add Another button to report a second change of the same kind, i.e., a change in household member. When all changes have been reported, click the NEXT button.
Step 8: Review and submit the change
You can click on the Review my report hyperlink to view a summary of the reported changes before submitting the form. Next, you must read the Rights and Responsibilities and Program Rules and Penalties on the displayed document before signing it. You, as the head of the household or the authorized representative, can sign the change report by entering your First Name, Last Name, and current date, then clicking the checkbox to electronically sign it. Finally, click the Submit button below.
Step 9: Confirmation
After submission of the report, you will receive a confirmation receipt with the following information:
- Case Number
Select the option to text, email, or print a copy of the receipt. You can also download or print a summary of your changes for your records.
Click the Back to Dashboard button to go back.
Reporting issues with BenefitsCal
You should contact your county office if you experience any issues with the BenefitsCal website or have any queries. Click here for a list of county offices with their phone numbers and addresses, listed in alphabetical order by county name.
Additionally, you can directly report your issues with BenefitsCal on the CalSAWS website. To do so, visit CalSAWS.org, click the green “Ask CalSAWS” button in the top right corner of the homepage, and then complete the query form with details about your concerns.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
When can I report a change?
You can report a change at any time and to any active, linked cases on your BenefitsCal account. It is crucial that you choose an active case, as you cannot report changes to an inactive case, such as a case with a pending application.
Can I report more than one change at a time?
Yes, you can report multiple changes at a time. To do that, simply select the checkboxes next to the changes you want to report. For instance, if you want to add a new household member as well as update your address, you can select the People and Your Information options from the list of changes to report.
When will the reported change take effect?
After you report a change, the county office could request some verification to ensure the authenticity of the reported change. If the change is verified, the county office will make the appropriate adjustments from the month following the month of reporting.
In the case of adding a new member, like a newborn, to the household, the county office will first request the necessary documentation to confirm the eligibility of the new member. Suppose all the necessary documents are obtained, and the eligibility of the new member is verified.
In that case, the new member will be added to the household on the first of the month following the month in which the new member was initially reported.
Can I check the changes I have already reported?
You can view the previously reported changes through BenefitsCal over the past 12 months by clicking the hyperlink in the Report History section.
After selecting the Report a Change hyperlink from the Customer Dashboard, click the View Report History link at the top of the page. A new window will appear with a list of the changes you have already reported. You can also click the View receipt option for more details. Then, click on the Back to Report a Change option to return to the previous window.