With the vision to reach more Californians than ever before, BenefitsCal is an online portal developed by the California Statewide Automated Welfare System (CalSAWS). It strives to provide essential services and assistance to vulnerable individuals and families more quickly and efficiently than usual.
The BenefitsCal portal can be utilized by the applicant or recipient of public assistance programs such as CalFresh, MediCAL, or CALWorks. You can easily set up a BenefitsCal account to manage the application process and your benefits depending on your county of residence in California.
Further, read more about the BenefitsCal web portal as well as a step-by-step guide to creating your BenefitsCal account.
About the BenefitsCal Portal
BenefitsCal.com is a new website that offers Californians an all-inclusive experience for applying for and managing their public assistance benefits, such as food, medical care, and cash. It is a user-friendly website that can be easily accessed from any computer, tablet, or mobile device and is available in 21 diverse languages.
Several state organizations, including the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), the advocacy community, and over 300 partners, collaborated with CalSAWS Consortium to develop the specifications and design the efficient platform of BenefitsCal.
BenefitsCal is a one-stop shop for public assistance recipients, assisting them at every level of the benefits application and management process. The following procedures will be made simpler through the online portal:
- Applying for public assistance online
- Submitting required documents of proof and others
- Checking your application status
- Reporting changes
- Renewing your benefits
- Contacting your caseworker
The BenefitsCal portal will replace C4Yourself, YourBenefitsNow, and MyBenefitsCalWIN to take over the management of the following public assistance programs:
- CalFresh (formerly known as food stamps)
- Medi-Cal or County Medical Services Program (CMSP)
- General Aid/General Relief (GA/GR)
- Disaster CalFresh
- Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI)
Which Counties in California Use the BenefitsCal Portal?
In California, the introduction of the BenefitsCal web portal was initiated in phases, i.e., in a few counties at a time. There are three phases, as explained below:
Phase 1: BenefitsCal replaced C4Yourself
The BenefitsCal web portal was made available in all California counties that used the C4Yourself website to administer public assistance programs such as CalFresh and CalWorks on September 27, 2021. As a result, if you presently manage your public assistance benefits using the C4Yourself website, please follow the guide below to create a new BenefitsCal account to ensure that you can continue to manage your benefits more efficiently. The first phase was carried out in 39 California counties, as follows:
Counties that use the C4Yourself Online Portal
Phase 2: BenefitsCal replaced YourBenefitsNow
On April 25, 2022, the BenefitsCal web portal was launched in Los Angeles County as part of the second phase. It took the place of the YourBenefitsNow website, which was used to distribute food, cash, and medical assistance benefits to county residents.
Phase 3: BenefitsCal will replace MyBenefits CalWIN
The third phase, which will be executed between October 2022 and October 2023, has not yet been completed. In this phase, BenefitsCal will also replace the MyBenefits CalWIN website in the remaining 18 counties.
Counties that use the MyBenefits CalWIN Online Portal
|San Luis Obispo
How To Create A BenefitsCal Account?
Follow these simple instructions to set up a new account on the BenefitsCal website:
Step 1: Go to BenefitsCal
If you are a new user, go to BenefitsCal.com. To begin, select the Create Account button under the Create New Account section.
Step 2: Enter the account information
You will be sent to a new page where you can enter your personal information to set up a new account. You will need to fill out the following information:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Phone number (optional)
At least the password should be eight characters long or more. Also, it must contain a number, a letter, and a Special character (!#$%&). You must enter the password twice for confirmation. The system will display an error message if the entered passwords do not match.
Step 3: Give consent to the Terms and Conditions
If a mobile number is given, check the box to give consent for receiving text messages and updates from BenefitsCal. Then, check the second box to agree to the Terms and Conditions and click on Next. If the checkbox is not enabled, a notice stating “Please select this checkbox” will appear on the screen. Consent is necessary.
Step 4: Set security questions
You must select and answer three security questions for times you might forget the password. Choose the questions whose answers you are most likely to remember. Next, click on the Create Account option.
Each security question requires a unique response. Therefore, you should avoid repetition in your answers. In addition, answers to security questions must only contain letters and numbers, no special characters (%$#).
Step 5: Email verification
As the final step in the account setup process, the BenefitsCal portal will send an email with a verification code to your email address. To confirm your email, enter the code sent by email and click Submit.
If the verification code is incorrect, an error message “Please enter a valid code” will appear on the screen.
Step 6: Phone verification (optional)
If you provide a phone number in Step 2, you will also receive a message with a verification code on that number. To confirm your mobile number, enter the sent code in the provided space and click Submit.
Step 7: Log in to your new account
Once you enter the correct verification code(s), the BenefitsCal account setup process will be successful.
After that, you can use the new credentials to access your new BenefitsCal account by clicking on the login button.
How To Apply for CalFresh on the BenefitsCal website?
You do not need to create a BenefitsCal account to apply for public assistance programs such as CalFresh. However, an account is useful for tracking the status of your application and keeping track of your benefits.
Adhere to the following steps to apply for CalFresh via BenefitsCal:
- Visit the BenefitsCal website and log in to your account, if any. Click the See If You Qualify button to check your eligibility. Instead, you can click on Apply Now to start the application process.
- An overview of the application process will appear. It will provide you with information regarding what to anticipate during the application process. Click on the Begin button to get started.
- You will be directed to the screen with the application summary. It displays the stages of the application procedure as well as their current status. You can return to this screen at any time during the application process. To proceed, click the Start button next to the Your Information section.
- Choose your preferred language and click next. Then, answer the questions regarding your personal details that appear on the screen. After that, click the Next button.
- Select the benefits you want to apply. Choose Food (CalFresh) for this application and click Next.
- Continue answering the questions under the Your Information, People, and Household Details sections. Click Next.
- In the Income section, answer the required questions and check the boxes corresponding to your household’s employment status. Choose a member of the family who has a job. Also, answer questions regarding the person’s position. Click Next to continue.
- The income section will conclude with a summary of your household’s income. Click next and continue the same process for the Expenses and Assets sections.
- Upload the required documents of proof before submitting your application.
- Then, do a quick review of your application and answer a few standard questions. Subsequently, set up an appointment for your CalFresh interview per your preference. Click Next.
- Read the Rights and Responsibilities and Program Rules and Penalties before e-signing your application. Then, enter your First Name, Last Name, and current Date in their respective fields. Check the box for electronically signing the application. Finally, click on the Submit Signature button.
- After a final review, click the Submit Application button to complete the application process.
Resolving issues with BenefitsCal
In case of any problems with the BenefitsCal website, you should contact your county office. You can find a list of county offices organized alphabetically by county name along with their contact information and addresses here.
You can also directly report issues to BenefitsCal by making an online inquiry to CalSAWS. To do so, go to CalSAWS.org, click the green “Ask CalSAWS” icon at the top right corner of the homepage, and fill out the form explaining your issue.