Court Ruling Prevents Time Limits on CalFresh Benefits from Taking Effect

Time limits on CalFresh benefits for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD) will NOT take effect April 1. This is the result of a March 13th nationwide ruling by the federal court.

The time limit rule has been in effect since 1996.  Adults in this category who have qualified for CalFresh food benefits had the benefits capped at three months within a 36-month time frame. Many states did not have to implement this law because of high unemployment rates. 

The court ruling means that CalFresh recipients who meet the ABAWD definition will not have time limits on their benefits.  

The proposed time limits for ABAWDs  may still take effect at a later time and could impact approximately 20,000 CalFresh customers in Riverside County. There is no expected date for a final decision.

The judge’s March 13 decision mentioned a need for flexibility as state and federal officials work to address nutritional needs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

While Riverside County DPSS public office locations remain closed to stop the spread of COVID-19, the department continues to offer benefits and services online and over the phone. Click on our Self-Sufficiency page at for both information on available benefits services, including our Restaurant Meals Program. The program allows CalFresh customers who homeless, disabled or age 60 and over use their EBT cards at participating restaurants. Learn more here: