The California Department of Social Services has issued instructions implementing Welfare and Institutions Code section 18900.4. This section requires counties to give CalFresh households the option to complete an application and recertification by telephone and capture their signature by an electronic method, such as a telephone signature. The electronic signature method must require the client to take an affirmative action to indicate concurrence, such as a PIN number or giving verbal affirmation; the record of the signature must be maintained electronically and linked to the documents; and the process must constitute a legal signature.
In addition, federal law requires the county to make an audio recording of the household’s verbal assent and a summary of the information to which the household assents; the audio file must be linked to the application; and the county must provide the household with a printed copy of the application with instructions for how to correct any errors or omissions. (ACL 22-20, March 4, 2022.)