Ask Finney: Cal Fresh Benefits, Credit Reporting after a Loved One Dies, Cleaning Cutting Boards

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- 7 On Your Side's Consumer expert Michael Finney answers your consumer questions.

Question 1:
Evangalin asked: Can the state take money out of a person's Social Security benefits if they owe money to the CalFresh program?

Answer 1:
Yes. CalFresh, the official name for what we used to call food stamps, is a federally funded program administered by the state.
If a current or former CalFresh recipient received more benefits than he or she is eligible or sold those benefits for cash, the California Franchise Tax Board can take money from the person's Social Security checks. As much as 15% of the check each month.

Question 2:
Phyllis asked: My husband recently passed away. Should I contact the credit reporting agencies or is it enough to let just the credit cards and banks know?

Answer 2:
Sorry about your loss Phyllis.You ask a very important question. The risk of someone stealing your late husband's identity is still there.
The Identity Theft Resource Center recommends you contact the three major credit reporting bureaus.
You should also request a copy of your husband's credit report from each to help you find any active credit accounts you may need to close.

Question 3:
Jon asked: I use an acrylic cutting board to chop food and put it in the dishwasher to clean it. Can food particles or bacteria stay on the board after that?

Answer 3: The dishwasher is a great place to get acrylic cutting boards clean, especially after raw meat preparation.
The heat of the dishwasher water can kill most micro-organisms.
Acrylic isn't porous ... but cut marks can make grooves where bacteria can hide.
I've done reports on this and experts tell me you should occasionally disinfect your cutting boards by soaking them in hydrogen peroxide or 10-percent bleach solution for about 10 minutes.

Make sure to rinse them well before using again.
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