The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) now requires counties to provide additional outreach to help bridge the gap between Medi-Cal and CalFresh enrollment. Effective on January 1, 2022, county staff must verbally screen new and renewing Medi-Cal applicants for CalFresh and provide the opportunity to apply for CalFresh if eligible. All CalFresh applicants must also be screened for entitlement to expedited service.
Medi-Cal beneficiaries eligible for CalFresh include (but are not limited to) beneficiaries with Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) income less than or equal to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), non-MAGI income less than or equal to 200% of the FPL, and non-MAGI Aged, Blind, and Disabled (ABD) FPL less than or equal to 138%. If the beneficiary is not interested in CalFresh, then the county must inform them of an online and paper application for the program.
Online Medi-Cal applications (SAWS and CalHEERS) already offer eligible beneficiaries applications to additional benefits programs at the same time. County staff are encouraged, but not required to verbally ask online applicants if they are interested in CalFresh.
Counties must cross-train staff who process Medi-Cal applications to perform CalFresh eligibility determinations.
Counties must designate a CalFresh liaison to establish CalFresh application referral procedures and establish outreach procedures to increase CalFresh enrollment among Medi-Cal applicants and beneficiaries. Counties must provide CDSS with contact information of these liaisons by January 1, 2022. (ACL 21-52, April 30, 2021.)