People in need of food need fast customer service from CalFresh (SNAP), the nation’s number one defense against hunger, so they can get the food and economic stability they need. Counties can serve clients faster – and many already are – than the federal maximum of 30 days for most applicants. It’s time for California to accelerate this trend and provide same day service in all counties to people in need of food and eligible for CalFresh.

What is Same Day Service? The term same day service represents a bold vision for customer service that results in measurably faster processing times for consumers — from initial application through interview, verifications, and issuance of electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card to purchase food. At the outset, same day service must be translated into a specific performance goal, in order to measurably drive faster customer service: for example, “X percentage of applicants have their eligibility determined in Y number of days via Z application door.” Read more…

Link to same-day-service-graphic

Delivering Same Day Service to All Clients. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and the 58 counties can deliver same day service statewide to all Californians who need food by aligning the decentralized management structure in support of this goal. The State and county leadership, with the support of consumer-advocates, USDA, and other stakeholders, can come together on a three part agenda for California consumers:

  1. Make same day service a top statewide priority, by measuring, decoding, standardizing and replicating excellent service.
  2. Modernize the outdated verification system, which presents one of the biggest road blocks to speedy customer service in California.
  3. Capitalize on the upcoming Expedited Service updates to deliver faster service to all applicants.

Modernize Operations to Improve Service and Participation. California could combine clear participation goals, business process changes, technology, data analysis, and culture change to deliver “same day service” to the majority of CalFresh consumers.

Same Day Service Resources 

State and County Examples

National Effort

State Legislative Initiatives

Administrative/Programmatic Analysis