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San Luis Obispo CalWIN Experiences

Article By: Michele Chambers

After converting from CDS to CalWIN 12 months ago, a group of longtime supervisors in San Luis Obispo County have conveyed the following observations:

Immediate need in CalWORKS and Expedited Services in Food Assistance are now completed timely along with the correct Notice of Action through CalWIN on the same day as the interactive interview. Electronic Benefits Transfer issuance became more convenient for the worker as CalWIN initiates the processing of EBT cards as well as loads the Food Assistance or cash benefits onto the card right away.

Intake applications could be approved so quickly, that a supervisor needed to remind her staff to process applicant IEVS (Income & Employment Verification System) prior to approval. ERS’s are excited to be able to issue benefits right away as they strive to provide superior customer service.

Online issuance is so much easier under CalWIN without having to resolve participant transportation issues or constricted time frames for pick up of checks. Prior to CalWIN, outer offices had to send participants to the City of San Luis Obispo to pick up Immediate Need or Expedited Benefits during the fleeting 90-minute window of opportunity between 3:30pm and 5:00pm. ERS’s were always rushing to issue these types of benefits through CDS. Now we issue all day long at the regional office level, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm during the regular work week.

Regulations are applied in a more effective, more consistent manner. CalWIN is regulation driven and wrap-up windows make us look to see what is right or wrong before we authorize benefits.

Interactive interviews are working very well for Medi-Cal, Food Assistant, CalWORKs and GA. The volume of pending applications has gone way down. We now can easily complete simple applications the same day the participant applies, if needed.

CalWIN is person based which has drastically reduced instances of duplicate aid for children moving in and out of the homes of caretaker relatives. CalWIN “alerts” the worker that a child is active on another case.

CalWIN processes timely 10 day and 5 day NOA’s by itself without requiring staff to remember to suspend cases when required periodic reports, such as QR 7, are not received.

According to regulations, CalWIN determines benefits under all programs including almost 100 programs under the Medi-Cal umbrella starting with the required hierarchy of programs when information is entered correctly. CalWIN keeps track of all the aid types and applies the correct ones to our programs. This information is needed for accurate reporting to the State.

Long Term Care cases in Medi-Cal with a Community Spouse at home can be very complicated. CalWIN deems all income and property correctly. We have entered very complicated case scenarios and CalWIN has worked according to the regulations. We look forward to continuing improvements as new releases update CalWIN to meet current and changing federal regulations and State requirements for outcomes.

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