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ACCESS Assistance Programs

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What assistance programs are administered by HHSA?

The Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) administers several programs that help families and individuals. Each of these programs has its own eligibility rules. Please refer to the program website for more information.

How do I apply?

CalWORKs: Visit your local Family Resource Center (FRC). The date of application is the date the application is taken at the FRC. Bring in Proper Verifications for everyone applying for assistance. For a list of needed verifications, refer to the Applying for Assistance / Como Solicitar Ayuda brochure.

CalFresh/SNAP: Choose how you would like to apply:

  1. On-line with Benefits CalWIN.  Our new website where you can find out if you might be eligible to CalFresh and/or Medi-Cal benefits. You can also begin the application process by completing an easy online application and submitting electronic copies of your verifications. Simply select the www.benefitscalwin.org link to begin the process.
  2. Download an application. Print out the three documents needed: 1) Application for CalFresh/SNAP Benefits, 2) Statement of Facts, 3) CalFresh/SNAP Benefits Your Rights and Responsibilities. Send the completed application documents to your local FRC via U.S. Mail, via fax, or drop them off at your local FRC. The date of application is the date the application is received by the FRC.
  3. Call ACCESS to request an application. ACCESS can mail an application to you. Send the completed application to your local FRC via U.S. Mail or drop if off at your local FRC. The date of application is the date the application is received by the FRC.
  4. Visit your local FRC. The date of application is the date the application is taken at the FRC. Bring in Proper Verifications for everyone applying for assistance. For a list of needed verifications, refer to the Applying for Assistance / Como Solicitar Ayuda brochure.

Medi-Cal: Choose how you would like to apply:

  1. On-line with Benefits CalWIN.  Our new website where you can find out if you might be eligible to CalFresh and/or Medi-Cal benefits. You can also begin the application process by completing an easy online application and submitting electronic copies of your verifications. Simply select the www.benefitscalwin.org link to begin the process.
  2. Download an application. Print out a Medi-Cal Mail-In Application. Send the completed application to your local FRC via U.S. Mail or fax. The date of application is the date the application is received by the FRC.
  3. Call ACCESS. ACCESS agents can accept Medi-Cal applications over the phone. The date of application is the date the application is taken over the phone. ACCESS can also mail an application to you. Send the completed application to your local FRC via U.S. Mail. The date of application is the date the application is received by the FRC.
  4. Visit your local FRC. The date of application is the date the application is taken at the FRC. Bring in Proper Verifications for everyone applying for assistance. For a list of needed verifications, refer to the Applying for Assistance / Como Solicitar Ayuda brochure.

For information on how to apply for the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI), General Relief, or County Medical Services (CMS), please visit the program website.

How do I decide which Family Resource Center (FRC) to visit?

FRC Service Areas lists which FRCs provide service for each aid program by zip code. Not all programs are served at all FRCs. Find your zip code and identify the appropriate FRC for the program you are interested in.        

FRC Street Address and Contact Information provides information on each FRC, including street address, phone number, and cross streets. There is also a map link to help you locate your office.

What happens next?

Once your application is received, we will see if any additional information is needed. You may be asked to submit additional verifications by dropping them off at the FRC or faxing them to the FRC. There are restrictions regarding which documents can be submitted via fax. For CalWORKs the following forms will NOT be accepted via fax:  Application for Cash SAWS1; Sponsored Noncitizens Applying for or Receiving Cash QR22; Payee Agreement for Minor Parent QR25A; Mid-Quarter Status report for Cash Aid;  Eligibility Status Report Quarterly QR3; Eligibility Status Report Quarterly QR7; Sponsor’s Quarterly and Resource QR72; and Senior Parent QR73. Only original applications and reports are accepted. The CalFresh/SNAP Program accepts applications, verifications and status reports via fax. Medi-Cal accepts applications, verifications and status reports via fax EXCEPT verification of U.S. citizenship and identity. For General Relief and CAPI, all verifications may be submitted via fax.  While some faxed documents are accepted for all programs, originals may be requested if the faxed verision is deemed questionable. 

Most applications require an interview. We will review your application and see how we can help you. We will send you a letter when a decision is made that will tell you which programs you are eligible for, how much your payments will be, and when they will begin. If you are not eligible for a program, we will send you a letter telling you the reason you are not eligible. CalWORKs and CalFresh applications should be processed within 30 days and most Medi-Cal applications are processed within 45 days.

Can I check the status of my application?

Yes, if you haven't received a decision on your case and it is past the timelines listed above, contact ACCESS at 866-262-9881 to check on the status of your application. 

What if I am denied?

You may be eligible for assistance from another source. Visit our Additional Resources page for information. If you believe that you were wrongly denied, you can file an appeal by following the instructions on the back of your Notice of Action (NOA). Visit the Appeals FAQs website for more information.