Food for People

The Food Bank for Humboldt County
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Application Assistance and Training

SAWS1 and PIE forms in English and Spanish: Download CalFresh application forms and print for use with clients in Humboldt County. A complete application consists of both the SAWS1 and the PIE (Pre-Interview Evaluation) forms. Click any of the titles below to download and/or print. Also, please view the document that points out what's new about these forms, what to look out for and who to contact or send completed forms to.

 

 

SAR 7 (Semi-Annual Report) form: Help CalFresh recipients fill out the SAR 7 form in order to submit a 6-month report form, which is required in order to keep receiving CalFresh benfits. Download this SAR 7 training document, with detailed instructional notes on how to fill out the SAR 7. Beginning on July 1, 2016, there was a change to CalFresh regulations, eliminating "change reporting". This means all cases will have to complete a SAR 7.

  • Households that have a one year certification period will need to submit a SAR 7 in the 6th month.
  • Households that reside on a Native American reservation or where all members are elderly/disabled will still receive a two year certification period, but if they have earned income, the household will need to submit 3 SAR7’s: one at 6, 12 and 18 months. If there is no earned income they will only need to submit one SAR7 at 12 months.

Recertification Form: Download and fill out the Recertification Form, which is required in order to renew benefits at the end of a certification period (1 year for most households; 2 years for some seniors and people with disabilities).

 

Verification Documents Checklist: When assisting clients with a CalFresh application, it is helpful to provide additional information that ensures a successful eligibility determination process once it leaves your hands. This includes reviewing the types of documentation the County will require in order to complete the eligibility process and grant the maximum amount of benefits it possibly can.  Please use this handy checklist available for download by clicking here. Check off items that apply to each unique household you work with, and encourage them to start gathering the documentation and making copies to provide to the County when requested. Better yet--as an Application Assistor, encourage clients to bring copies directly to you (or make the copies for them), and send those copies along to the county with the application. This pays off later so the eligibility determination process can go as fast and smooth as possible. (Updated June 2015)

 

Release of Information (ROI): When assisting with CalFresh applications, it is a good practice to work with clients to fill out the Release of Information (ROI) form  so that, as an application assistor, you can advocate on their behalf in communications with the County. This might include checking in with the County on something a client is confused about, advocating on a client's behelf regarding a potential error in the eligibility process, or helping to faciliate better understanding between client and County, as needed. Please click here to downlad the ROI form in English. Click here to download the ROI in Spanish.

 

Fact Sheets: DHHS has created a series of dowloadable fact sheets for partners, explaining the application and eligibility processes for many different Social Services programs, including CalFresh, MediCal, and information on special circumstances for specific populations. Click here to view and download fact sheets. Topics include:

  • What happens and what to expect after submitting a CalFresh and/or Medi-Cal application in Humboldt County
  • CalFresh and MediCal for specific populations such as students, Native Americans, seniors age 60+, persons with disabilities
  • Adding health care coverage to a CalFresh case
  • Inter-County transfers (moving from county to county and transfering a CalFresh case to the new county)
  • E-tools available for program participants (e-notifications, texting, and using c4yourself.com
  • ...and much much more!

 

Watch CalFresh Outreach webinars anytime: Click here to view an assortment of past CalFresh Outreach webinars hosted by the California Association of Food Banks (CAFB). They include recorded webinars on the ABAWD rule (Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents), students, recertification, sponsorship/non-citizen situations, prior drug convictions, client rights and fair hearings, seniors, and much more.

 

Training on Semi-Annual Reports (SAR): Instead of sending quarterly reports to the county, CalFresh recipients now only need to send in their reports six months after beginning to recieve CalFresh (and/or six months after annual recertification). At this link, the California Department of Social Services provides recorded webinars, PowerPoint presentations and handouts that help to explain and define the SAR process and provide examples of the actual SAR form.

 

Reframing CalFresh: How to talk about the program with clients. Food for People created a tool for helping partners to reframe CalFresh when working directly with clients. These tools help with overcoming some of the stigma, myths, fears and misinformation about the program, and provide ideas for talking about CalFresh comfortably and knowledgeably with clients. Click here to view and/or download this CalFresh reframing handout. (Updated May 2015)

 
The CalFresh Guide: Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC) regularly updates its Guide to CalFresh Benefits, with detailed information on CalFresh, eligibility, applying, explanations of what is considered income or resources, how to keep benefits, overpayment or underpayment of benefits, notices, and fair hearings. Click here to visit LSNC's Guide to CalFresh Benefits.
 

CalFresh Outreach Toolkit for Outreach workers:  The State of California put together this online toolkit for CalFresh Outreach workers, which includes information on doing CalFresh Outreach and provides a bounty of downloadable flyers for clients. Flyer topics include: Using CalFresh Benefits, People with Disabilities, People without a home, Immigration & Public Charge, Students, People with Refugee and Asylee status, and Older Adults. The site also provides samples of Outreach tracking forms Outreach workers can use to track their work and follow-up with clients.

 

Reducing "Churn": Churn is the term for when households lose their CalFresh benefits while still eligible and then quickly reapply. Often this occurs when recertfication or reporting of some kind is due, though there are other reasons too.

 

Change in the Collection of Benefit Over-Issuances: As of July 1, 2014, If a CalFresh participant owes CalFresh benefits back to the county, for whatever the reason, there is a new regulation in place that the county will not collect over-issuances below a certain amount. For instance, active (current) CalFresh pariticpants do not need to pay back overissuances under $35. Inactive (former) CalFresh participants do not have to pay back over-issuances below $125. Overissuances between $35 and $125 for active (current) CalFresh households determined to be ineligible for CalFresh prior to establishement of the over-issuance will not have to pay back the over-issuance. More details here.

California Food Policy Advocates' 2014 CalFresh Forum in Sacramento: The event was, once again, an incredibly informative and inspiring day. Click here to view the list of presentations and view slideshows and resources to learn more about topics such as horizontal integration of programs into one-stop services for clients, fresh ideas for healthy food and beverage policies in retail and school environments, concepts of human-centered design which views clients as experts on how they best receive and process information, interactions and experiences, a presentation on the National Perspective on CalFresh which touches on the recently passed Farm Bill and healthy food access, and a presentation on Measuring Poverty in California and measuring CalFresh utilization by county with the Program Access Index.

Inter-County Transfer of CalFresh Benefits: For households that have recently moved to Humboldt County from another California County (out of state must re-apply for CalFresh) in which the household is already receiving CalFresh benefits, the household will need to contact their former county agency to initiate an Inter-County Transfer of Benefits. Application assistors can provide the contact information for the household’s previous county agency here. Application assistors can assist with the Inter-County Transfer with Release of Information from the California Department of Social Services that is signed by the client. 

Around the State of California:

This video about CalFresh Outreach, (can also be viewed below) featuring CalFresh application assistors from around the state of California, is a fabulous introduction to CalFresh application assistance. It demonstrates what our colleagues from other counties are doing to help their communities by working one-on-one with clients.

 

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