Getting assistance from Sacramento County to cover your expenses for food, healthcare, or housing is a common need for many residents. In fact, almost half of all residents in the county receive some form of public assistance. If you’ve ever found yourself in this situation, you’ve probably visited MyBenefits CalWIN to apply for, renew, or manage your food stamps benefits. But here’s some exciting news: there’s a new and improved access point starting this week!
Starting from November, the MyBenefits CalWIN website, mybenefitscalwin.org, will start redirecting thousands of users to a brand new online portal called BenefitsCAL.com. This new portal is designed to provide a more seamless and user-friendly experience. When you visit BenefitsCAL.com, you’ll be guided through the process of creating new accounts and linking them to your existing personal information, making the transition as smooth as possible. There, you can follow all the steps for CalFresh (SNAP) benefits, from the application, to the approval and the monthly account balance.
CalFresh Got a New Website to Apply for the Money
Roselee Ramirez, the manager of the human services division in the Sacramento’s Department of Human Assistance, highlighted the significance of this change. She mentioned that a large percentage of their customers already use online services with the current system. To ensure a successful transition, they’ve been collaborating with community-based organizations and advocates to encourage users to create new accounts and adapt to the new online system.
BenefitsCAL isn’t just a simple upgrade; it’s a leap into the 21st century. With features like using your cell phone to scan and upload documents, it leverages modern technology to make the process more convenient. While there may still be some room for improvement, consumer advocate David Kane from the Western Center on Law & Poverty emphasized that BenefitsCAL brings significant advances that will benefit residents of Sacramento and all Californians who rely on these essential programs.
Before the introduction of BenefitsCAL, California counties were using three different systems to manage taxpayer-funded financial assistance. However, a federal mandate required the state to have a single, unified eligibility and benefits management system in place by the end of this year. This means that residents will now use BenefitsCAL to access crucial support services such as food aid from CalFresh, cash assistance from California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKS), healthcare coverage through Medi-Cal, and other programs designed to meet basic needs. While many will refer to this system as BenefitsCal, it’s officially known as the California Statewide Automated Welfare System (CalSAWS). This change represents a significant step forward in streamlining the process and ensuring that those in need can access the help they deserve more efficiently.
How to Apply for CalFresh in the New Website
Applying is a straightforward process: gather your documentation, create an account on BenefitsCAL.com, complete the application, and submit it. Within 30 days, you’ll receive a response, and if approved, you’ll receive an EBT card for purchasing nutritious food at authorized retailers. For assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to local county social services or explore online resources.
Before you start the application, gather essential information, such as:
- Personal identification (e.g., Social Security Number or immigration status)
- Proof of income, including pay stubs, tax documents, and other income sources
- Housing expenses (rent or mortgage payments)
- Utility bills
- Bank statements
- Medical bills (if required by the officials)
Visit the official BenefitsCAL.com website. You can access the site using a computer, tablet, or smartphone with an internet connection. If you’re a first-time user, you’ll need to create an account. This involves providing your personal information and setting up a secure username and password.
Log in to your account and start the application. You will be asked a series of questions about your household, income, and expenses. Make sure to provide accurate and up-to-date information.