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Managing Benefits

How do I use my EBT Card?

  • You can find a whole list of locations that accept EBT here
  • ebtEDGE is a free app for checking your EBT balance, spending history, and the overall management of your card.
  • You can reset your EBT card pin by calling the number on the back of your EBT card, visiting a county office in-person, or by visiting the ebtEDGE app. 

What can I buy with CalFresh?

Using CalFresh, you can purchase food items, such as bread, cereals, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products. You can also purchase seeds and plants to grow your own food! In fact, you can purchase anything with a nutrition label!

What can I not buy with CalFresh?

With CalFresh, you can NOT purchase non-food items, such as pet foods, soaps, paper products, or household supplies. In addition, you can NOT purchase vitamins, medicines, hot foods, beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco. 

How do I transfer my benefits from another county?

If you have benefits in another county and simply want to transfer them to Merced, apply to CalFresh and indicate on the application that you are requesting an Inter-County Transfer (ICT). Merced County will request that your benefits are transferred from your home county and waive the interview. Please note Inter-County Transfers are not possible if you are not the primary person of existing benefits. For example, if you are under a parents' CalFresh benefits. In a case like this, you will need to re-apply and interview. 

How do I resolve case issues?

  • Connect with your Case Worker
  • Message your case worker directly through the BenefitsCal Dashboard! Or contact them by phone by calling your county office number and dialing their extension listed on any county Notice of Action forms. 
  • Connect with our team
  • Need help escalating an issue with your CalFresh case? Email us at
    For any escalations, you can expect to receive a call directly from the county office.
  • Meet with a Merced County Representative On Campus: 
  • A representative from Merced County Human Services Agency will be on campus, in-person, at Terrace Center 101 (behind the Basic Needs Center) for one-on-one CalFresh assistant appointments. Please visit our Calendly page to select a date and time that works best for you. During a one-on-one meeting, students can discuss CalFresh case questions or challenges related, but not limited to, initial application, verification forms, Semi-Annual Report (SAR7), Recertification, and/or denials.
  • CalFresh Fair Hearings
  • A Fair Hearing is when a household provides written or verbal appeal if they disagree with the county’s decision on their CalFresh case. If a household is receiving, received, or applied for CalFresh Food benefits and received a Notice of Action (NOA) from the county regarding a denial, change in benefits, or no action taken on your application, the household has the right to request a Fair Hearing. You may visit the Appeals Case Management System and submit an appeal via phone, mail, fax, or online form.

What steps do I take if my benefits have been stolen?

  • Cancel your card
    • Contact the county by calling the EBT Customer Service Hotline: (877) 328 - 9677.
    • Immediately suspend your card at or through the ebtEDGE app.
  • Report the theft
    • Stolen benefit cases can be classified as retroactive or contemporary. Retroactive cases consist of thefts from October 1, 2022 to November 30, 2023. Contemporary cases consist of thefts that happened on or after December 1, 2023.
    • Retroactive cases can no longer be reported as the February 29, 2024 deadline has passed. If a retroactive case was reported prior to February 29, 2024, the county will take up to 30 days to issue replacement funds.
    • Contemporary cases must submit an EBT 2259 Form within 90 days from the date the electronic theft occurred. It is best to submit the form in-person in order to correctly fill it out. The county will take up to 10 days to issue replacement funds.
    • Note: You will need to identify the transactions that were illegal. The EBT Hotline has a 60-day transaction history, BenefitsCal has 3 months, and EBT Edge has 365 days. You can also ask the county to help you identify the illegal transaction(s).
  • Ask for a new card
    • Tell the county if you need to pick up a card to prevent mail delays or mail theft. The EBT Customer Service Hotline cannot issue you a new card.