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The Health and Human Services Agency has several programs and functions which provide operational support to various self-sufficiency programs and to the public. Some of the programs supported are: CalWORKs, CalFresh, Medi-Cal, Adoption/Foster Care, General Relief, County Medical Services, Cash Assistance Payments to Immigrants, and In-Home Supportive Services. These services include:

Scroll down for more information on each of these other services.



The Appeals Section is responsible for representing the County in Administrative Hearings before State Administrative Law Judges when customers have appealed county actions. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Application being denied
  • Case closing
  • Person being discontinued from a case
  • For Medi-Cal, an increase in Share of Cost
  • Other negative changes

How do you ask for an Appeals hearing?


 Fraud Prevention and Program Integrity/Administrative Disqualification

The County of San Diego has a zero tolerance policy for fraud in public assistance programs. In order to preserve program integrity, the County strives to ensure that applicants and recipients receive the benefits to which they are eligible. The County requires that all applicants and recipients sign paperwork under penalty of perjury. In addition, the County matches applicant and recipient information on a variety of computer databases such as:

  • Franchise Tax Board
  • Employment Development Department
  • Social Security Administration
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Immigration and Naturalization Service
  • Statewide Public Assistance Databases
  • Federal, State and County Correctional Facilities
  • Statewide Fingerprint Imaging System (click for more info)

This section performs specialized functions involving fraud prevention and program integrity activities including:

  • Review of Federal and State income tax and asset matches
  • Work closely with the District Attorney's Public Assistance Fraud Division and the California Department of Health Care Services Investigations to assist in researching and preparing cases for prosecution of fraudulent overpayments
  • Statistical and overpayment disqualification and Intentional Program Violation penalties resulting from administrative hearings and criminal convictions.


If you or someone you know would like to report public assistance fraud, he/she may call the Fraud Hot Line at (800) 421-2252.



The ACCESS section provides general public assistance information to the public and customers seeking information on TANF/CalWORKs, Medi-Cal, General Relief, Food Stamps, or refugee services. This section handles complaints regarding the administration of public assistance or social services.

How do I contact ACCESS?

  • The regular phone number is toll free at (866) 262-9881.
  • The TDD number for the hearing impaired is (858) 514-6889.
  • The fax number is (858) 467-9008.
  • E-mail ACCESS


 Quality Control/Quality Assurance - Corrective Action 

The Quality Control/Quality Assurance sections conduct two types of reviews, both of which seek to assess the accuracy of eligibility determination and payment amount in individual cases. In addition, full field reviews also check the accuracy of customer reporting.

Full field reviews are mandated by the federal and state governments and consist of a random sample review of CalWORKs and CalFresh cases. These reviews check for accuracy by:

  • Interviewing the customer regarding their household circumstances
  • Collecting third party verifications for each eligibility factor of the program or programs reviewed
  • Ensuring that the correct program rules have been applied

Desk Audit reviews are a preventive function conducted by the County of San Diego as a tool to assess accuracy, enhance early error detection, and focus on corrective action and fraud prevention activities.

HHSA uses the information from both kinds of reviews to identify error trends and develop Corrective Action plans to reduce both administrative errors and customer errors.


In-Home Supportive Services Program Integrity 

The In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Program Integrity Unit conducts case reviews and random unannounced home visits to ensure that:

  • IHSS customers are receiving the services to which they are entitled
  • The provider being paid for the services is providing those services at the level assessed and authorized by the County
  • IHSS customers are safe in their home

This section also performs other program integrity activities, including:

  • Review of Federal and State data matches
  • Work closely with Adult Protective Services, the District Attorney's Public Assistance Fraud Division and the California Department of Health Care Services Investigations to assist in researching and preparing case for prosecution of fraudulent overpayments
  • Statistical and overpayment data collection for required reporting to the State


Income Tax Assistance  

Free tax preparation services are available for low- to moderate-income individuals and families (generally, $49,000 and below) at Thrive San Diego – IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.  Qualified individuals and families can get up to $5,600 (with children) or $457 (no children) in Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).  Getting EITC dollars will not affect CalWORKs, CalFresh (formerly known as Food Stamps) or Medi-Cal benefits.  Call 2-1-1 to find a free tax preparation site near you and to get more information.  You can also log on to


For more information send us an email.