I am homeless and I receive food stamps (CalFresh/EBT) in California, where I live, and receive mail at friends'. I was recently offered a short-term, part time job (a handful of hours per week for up to 2 or 3 months, but it's uncertain how long) in another state, and was given a W-9 form to fill out for it. I would like to write in a local address for that form, so that the employer doesn't have to wonder why I have an address in another state, but I wonder if that might lead me to risk losing my food stamps in CA.

Can receiving food stamps in one state and having an address on a W-9 form in another state--or even simply working in that other state--be an issue? Do Social Services and the IRS even communicate at all? (Also, how long am I allowed to leave the state and still receive food stamps there?)

I have spent hours (literally) on the phone with different Social Services and IRS numbers, and haven't found an answer to my questions there.

(By the way, I am aware that I am required to report when my income rises above a certain level, and I intend to do so if it does.)

Thank you!

  • See comment to your more recent question. In an example in the linked document, CDSS tracked someone's movements via the EBT use.
    – mkennedy
    Oct 25, 2016 at 0:06

1 Answer 1


Any change in income or employment status can have an effect on both your eligibility for food stamps and the amount you receive, so be very careful about doing the right thing here.

There's nothing wrong with being truthful with your new employer about the situation, although I don't know why or even if they'd care your W-9 address is in another state.

Regardless, be honest and above-board with the food stamp people so that you don't find yourself potentially in the midst of a food stamp fraud claim, which can have devastating consequences, now and into the future.

I hope this helps.

Good luck!

  • Thank you! You're probably right that the employer wouldn't care if the address on my W-9 were in another state... However (and maybe I should have mentioned this in my original question), I already gave the employer a W-9 form with my non-CA address, before realizing my possible mistake--and while I could ask to change the address on that form, I only want to do that if it seems necessary.
    – Jerome
    Oct 24, 2016 at 21:54
  • 1
    I'd suggest the old saying - "let sleeping dogs lie." Don't make an issue of something that might not be one, but at the same time don't be deliberately deceptive, and be prepared to tell the truth when asked. That's all. Oct 25, 2016 at 0:19

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