CAPI text messages

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued instructions regarding text messages and enotices for the CAPI program.  This guidance implements AB 1957 for the CAPI program.

Counties are not required to communicate with clients using text messages but are encouraged to do so if they have the capacity to do so.  Counties or CAPI consortia that want to communicate with clients by text messages must get permission from the client in advance.  Questions have been added to the CAPI Statement of Facts and redetermination forms to facilitate getting permission for text messaging.  The client can withdraw permission for text messaging at any time.

Text messages sent to clients can only use the client’s first or last name and cannot include identifying information such as Social Security Number or case number.

If the county cannot accept return texts, the county’s text message must include do not reply language.

Notices of Action cannot be sent via text message.  The county can send a link to a secure online portal via text message for the client to obtain a Notice of Action.

Any automated text messages from county with a substantial number of non-English speakers must be sent in the client’s primary language.  When a translation is not feasible or when the language character set is not available on the client’s phone, the county must use an alternative form of communication.  (ACL 19-54, June 3, 2019.)