SB 970: Making it Easier to Apply for Public Health and Human Services Programs

In an effort to increase enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program known in California as CalFresh, Senator Kevin De Leon has introduced Senate Bill 970. Th e purpose of this bill is to enroll more than two million low-income Californians the U.S. Department of Agriculture has identified as eligible for CalFresh to prevent hunger and stimulate the California Economy.

According to the USDA, California has the lowest participation levels in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program of any state. Increased enrollment would improve the health and well being of low-income families.

Existing law requires the California Health and Human Services Agency to establish single application forms for each public health program.

Th is bill would require a county human services department to allow an applicant initially applying for, or renewing health care coverage by filling out a single state application, with the applicant’s consent, his or her health care application information would be used simultaneously to initiate applications for CalWORKs (a welfare program that gives cash aid and services to eligible needy California families) and CalFresh. Th e bill would require the California Health and Human Services Agency to develop a group of human services and health care advocates, legislative staff , and other representatives, to identify other human services and work support programs that might be integrated into this cross application process.

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