New Screening Tool Helps Californians Learn Quickly if They Might Qualify for Medi-Cal and Food Stamps
OAKLAND, Calif., May 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to help the millions of Californians in need of health insurance and food assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Alluma has created a free screening tool that tells them in under three minutes if they may qualify for public benefits.
Called Quick Screener, the tool asks a few basic questions that let people know if they may be eligible for Medi-Cal or CalFresh (food stamps in California), and connects them immediately to the appropriate application based solely on ZIP code. The tool does not require a sign-in or email address, nor does it collect private data.
"People are in crisis right now, losing their jobs and their health insurance along with it," said Tommaso Esmanech, executive director of solutions management with Alluma, a nonprofit social enterprise that develops technology solutions for government agencies and nonprofits that support people seeking public benefits. "The last thing they need is to spend time tracking down where and how to apply for help, and filling out an application, before they even know if they're eligible. This screening tool lets them find out quickly if they might qualify, and takes them directly to the right place to apply – all while remaining anonymous."
Helping first-time applicants navigate the process
"At a time when more and more families are finding themselves vulnerable and in need of immediate support, it's important that they find that help as easily as possible," said Mayra E. Alvarez, president of The Children's Partnership and board chair of Alluma. "The Quick Screener will save families valuable time as they try to juggle the many daunting challenges before them."
Although the Quick Screener can be accessed by anyone with internet access and a computer, tablet or smartphone, the tool also can be valuable for eligibility workers or nonprofits that are helping people apply for benefits. "Now that many government and nonprofit staff are working from home, they may not have ready access to the same information they did from their office," Esmanech said. "They can use the tool themselves, or refer applicants to it so that they can turn their attention to more complex matters."
The Quick Screener is currently available in English and Spanish, for Medi-Cal and CalFresh in California. To try the Quick Screener, go to www.alluma.org/alluma-quick-screener.
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