Helping CalFresh clients understand program rules so they can keep their benefits

The city of San Francisco has a food stamps program called CalFresh. Staff from SF BenefitsNet, the City agency that administers CalFresh, worked over three days to improve their processes.

Their initiatives included:

  • making forms easier for clients to understand
  • creating lobby posters so clients know what documents they need
  • removing unneeded, confusing materials from interview packet
  • establishing using a standard checklist to set clients’ expectations

The project team also tested improvements through quick prototypes, soliciting rapid feedback from other eligibility workers and from SF BenefitsNet and agency leadership by:

  • Designing visual examples of documents
  • Revising county forms to make them easier
  • Drafting appointment reminders and text messages to notify clients when their forms have been received
  • Developing standard language for eligibility workers to use on income verification requests to clients
  • Creating a method to track how often workers give clients the option to sign applications electronically

Read the entire article at