An interview with retiring PRC CEO Brett Andrews 

After two decades of visionary leadership, PRC’s Chief Executive Officer Brett Andrews has decided to retire. Since stepping into the role in 2003, Brett has grown PRC from a staff of 18 and an annual operating budget of $1.25 million to a staff of more than 300 and an annual budget of more than $30 million. 
Brett’s dedication and passion for improving the lives and the health and economic outcomes of thousands of San Francisco’s most vulnerable adults have been truly inspirational to those of us who have had the honor to work alongside him. He has given us the confidence to continue his legacy, For that, we are eternally grateful and ready to carry on. As Brett hands over the reins to a new era of leadership, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate him and thank him for his service. Brett will receive PRC’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award during this year’s Mighty Real Gala on Friday, November 4. We look forward to sharing this heartfelt moment with our community.   

Before his official departure, we took the opportunity to sit with Brett to get a glimpse of what the past 20 years have been like. We invite you to read what Brett had to share about the lessons he’s learned along the way. We hope you find his reflections to be as insightful as we do.  

As you reflect on your 20 years with PRC, what stands out to you the most? 

“In the beginning, one thing really stood out to me. San Francisco was the first city — particularly at PRC — where I saw folks go out of their way to volunteer. There was a devoted core at PRC and so many other nonprofits who, every time you looked up, were donating their time. Volunteering is one of the hardest things to get people to do, yet there was this massive bank of volunteers, whether it was for Folsom Street, Dore Alley, the Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation’s, Help is on the Way fundraising gala, or the Academy of Friends, these wonderful folks were always there. I just marveled at how many people — beyond what they needed to do in order to keep their life moving forward — were willing to volunteer in the nonprofit sector. That remains something that is extraordinary to me.” 

What accomplishments of PRC are you most proud of? 

“There was an early decision we made as a board and staff that the work we were doing in HIV was relevant to a broader population. In 2004, we formally expanded our mission beyond HIV. The work of what was then the Benefits Counseling Program and Employment Services is now Legal Advocacy and Workforce Development. If it was beneficial and helpful to one population that was disabled, we knew it was relevant for another population, and that was behavioral health. Through making that pivotal move, we were able to serve a larger population. But it also availed us of many great opportunities. I think we were successful in taking advantage of those opportunities, and they allowed us to create the organization that we have today. It’s because we took that big bold move that more people have been able to benefit from our services.” 

Who have been the community leaders who have inspired you the most along the way? 

“Senator Mark Leno stood out to me early on. He’s gracious, and he’s generous. I remember receiving two lovely handwritten notes in 2003 when I first came to PRC; One from Gavin Newsom, the mayor at the time, and another from Mark Leno, when he was an assembly member that said, “Good luck to you! We really love and believe in PRC, and its important services.” Mark later invited me to the state building to talk about his interests, my vision, and what my vision was for PRC. Mark has always been a valued thought partner, which one needs because the Chief Executive Director’s role is unique in that sometimes you only have yourself. You have a board of directors that you’re seeking to show a great deal of confidence and leadership. You have staff and other stakeholders who believe in you and the vision, and then where do you go when there’s indecision? Where do you go when you’ve reached a crossroads where you really could benefit from some counsel and have it not impact who you are as a person or a leader? And I found Mark Leno to be that for me over the years. I very much appreciate him for his thought leadership, thought partnership, and just the way in which he moves in the world with an open heart, kindness, and humanity.” 

You are known for your ability to give inspiring speeches. What advice do you have for somebody that would like to be as skilled a speaker as you are? 

“For me, it was both a personal and a professional journey toward authenticity. I look back at times when I gave speeches or remarks at galas or commencements, and the best speeches I gave were the ones where I was most authentic. In my earlier years, I couldn’t be as authentic as I wanted or needed to be because I was still processing both my professional and personal life and what that meant. I was a black queer boy, and I was trying to show leadership in a world that was new to brown leadership. I was also dealing with my own health challenges, how to look strong and confident, and not show any weakness. Yet in the weaknesses was often where the answers came from, and not just in a performative way. My recommendation for everyone is that you must have the courage to step into that authenticity. It’s not easy work. It’s hard. But over the years, I’ve been more pleased with myself and the consistency of the speeches I’ve given because I know they are a direct result of the work that I have done to be more authentic.”  

Would you say that it’s important to embrace vulnerability? 

“It’s about being courageous enough to be vulnerable around people, particularly those who you may not know well while understanding that one must still be careful. But I was willing to take a chance because, at some point, all I was going to be left with was myself. You’re interacting with people who in many ways trust you to be authentic and to provide a framework where they can thrive and succeed in life. We live in a culture where we’re expected to put on a brave face, which is why I think PRC’s services are more relevant now than ever. When considering the mental health challenges that come with working so hard to put on that brave face, compared to what you ultimately end up with when you’re home all by yourself, you can create fissures and fracture yourself. We’re not tempered glass. We can’t go from hot to cold like that. We must be integrated. And these compartmentalized ways in which we live life ultimately can do lasting and arguably irreparable damage if you don’t address it. You must learn how to be an integrated person so that the “you” that one person sees, is the same person everyone sees, and that there’s a continuity of you. It’s important that there’s a throughline, a connection that says, I’ve met Brett and I know him. One of the greatest compliments that can come from that is having people who’ve known me over a period say, yep, that’s who Brett is. Those are his values. That’s what he stands for. And that process takes work.” 

Your compassion, drive, and determination to improve the lives, health and financial outcomes of our clients have been truly commendable. What would you like to say to the staff at PRC who will carry on in your legacy?  

“At times it can be very isolating in this job. A lesson I learned that I would offer others is that you’re not in it alone. It can be hard to recognize there are people here to support you, at all levels of the organization, from management down. So one: you’re not alone. Challenge yourself to reach out when you’re feeling alone. Find a colleague or two who you really enjoy having conversations with and know that you can bounce ideas back and forth in order to get through these periods of indecision and isolation. It’s important to be courageous and reach out for support along the way.” 

“Also, be unapologetic and proud of the work you do. Talk up the organization you’re working with. Talk about the work you’re doing and be immodest about the role you play in it. Many of the jobs we do aren’t celebrated so you can’t sit around and wait for somebody to come and pat you on the back or give some great sense of hope or wisdom or words of support. Sometimes you have to be that for yourself. Remind yourself: I’m doing an extraordinary thing here. I play a key and important role. I like the role that I play and I’m going to play it tomorrow and the day after. I believe in self-encouragement, and I was an old man before I learned that I was waiting for that pat on the back. I was waiting for the cheering on to success. As it turns out, it was always in there. It was already there for me. I just needed to do it for myself. So those are my words of encouragement.”  

“And to everyone who’s committed to staying in this work, In my eyes, you’re already knighted and canonized because you’re committed to doing the work but be modest about your contribution to the world. I think it was Marianne Williamson who said: “Your playing small does not serve the world.” 

If you could gather all the fundraisers and volunteers who over the years helped to build PRC into the organization that we know it to be today, what would you like to say to them? 

“I would say the work is hard and often thankless. That’s why it’s important to find the motivation inside of yourself. Because in the end, all of us in our own unique ways are seeking love: to love and be loved. I believe the root of it all — the volunteer efforts and the contributions — are based on the fact that we love and care about humanity. Let that be your true north. Let it be as campy as it may. Let nothing stand in the way of that. Let it be expressed in your words and your thoughts. And certainly, for everyone who has lifted a pen and written a check and volunteered, let it be expressed in your deeds. That’s our quest.” 

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We would like to thank Brett for his decades of guidance, compassion, and work ethic, and for his genuine heart of gold. Working in partnership with him has been truly motivational and rewarding on many levels. We believe that Brett has prepared us to remain successful for our clients for as long as our services are needed. Brett’s successor, Chuan Teng, has worked closely with Brett for more than a decade and shares his commitment to PRC’s clients. For those who have yet to meet her, we invite you to join us as we symbolically pass the leadership torch at our Mighty Real Gala on Friday, November 4th.

If you would like to honor Brett and his dedication to PRC’s clients, please consider making a donation in support of continuing his legacy.  

“Those little moments when you realize that you were a part of this client’s meaningful change, there’s no better feeling than that.”  

For decades, AIDS Emergency Fund (AEF), the predecessor to PRC’s Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA), was guided by the expertise of Lee Harrington (will link to Lee’s blog post), who retired in December 2021 after more than 24 years in the role. Before he left, however, Lee single-handedly chose his successors to ensure that the program’s clients would continue receiving the same level of support and compassion they had become accustomed to. Last spring, we sat down with Martin Muneton, EFA’s Director of Client Services, and Evelyn Castro, EFA’s Client Services Manager, to learn more about the next generation serving EFA’s clients.   

It’s easy to see why Lee chose Martin and Evelyn to take over the reins of EFA, as both came to PRC with a deep history of supporting people living with HIV/AIDS. Although the pair were only three months into their new roles at the time of the interview, the connection between the two of them exuded a great rapport and confidence, traits that will certainly help them excel in continuing EFA’s legacy. While it will understandably take time for the duo to master the inner workings of EFA as they transition it into a new era, both agreed they have a good understanding of areas that could benefit from enhancements, and they have the drive to elevate the program so that clients remain the top priority.   

Getting to know the new EFA team is nothing short of a treat. The duo shares passions for staying active, competitive, and sociable as a means of stress relief. Martin has a history of participating in triathlons and keeps fit by going to the gym after work. On weekends he enjoys eating well, hanging out with his mates, and spending time with his boyfriend. Evelyn enjoys team sports, being outdoors, hiking, and riding dirt bikes and four-wheelers with her family on the weekends. Evelyn is a first-generation San Francisco native with El Salvadorian and Mexican heritage, and Martin grew up in London. Both feel a powerful sense of pride in giving back to the community.  

How did you both end up working at PRC?  

Martin: “I’ve known and worked with Lee Harrington and PRC for many years. We’re part of the same service provider community. I’ve been working with populations with HIV and with Lee since 1997 when he essentially conceived Emergency Financial Assistance, previously known as AIDS Emergency Fund. It was quite flattering that he saw me as a suitable choice to continue his legacy. Quite frankly, I’ve got some big shoes to fill.”  

Evelyn: “I came from a case management position with Catholic Charities after eight years as their accountant. When I saw the posting for EFA, it felt like the perfect marriage of my skill sets. I really like talking to people too, so I decided to take a chance. I feel lucky to have ended up here. Honestly, it feels too good to be true!”  

How did you two meet?   

Martin: “I met Evelyn while working at Catholic Charities. She was volunteering at the incredibly young age of 14. Eventually, she started working there as well, and then she ended up in my department and we became colleagues. When I think of how we transitioned into PRC together, it’s just bonkers!”  

How has the transition been?  

Martin: “It’s a familiar feeling here. I have a long history of assisting clients with HIV with subsidies. Because of my past collaborations with PRC and working with the staff here for many years, it’s been a smooth and easy transition. There’s still a learning process, however, and some aspects have been challenging. The hardest thing is that for some clients, it can be shocking for them to realize that they’re dealing with a new person. They don’t know what to expect. Fortunately, we know many of our clients from our past jobs and have already built a rapport with them. That makes things easier. They already trust us. But we don’t know them all.   

“Lee sustained this program for many years, and quite effectively. But there are processes that can be improved. We hope to implement an online system where clients can submit documents, check balances, and access renewal dates. Not all clients will be able to transition to such a sophisticated system, nor do all of them have access to the technology to do so, but this would be an incredibly helpful tool for those who can. We have a lot of ideas, but they will take time to design and implement.”  

Evelyn: “Anytime you start a new role there’s a period of transition. It takes time to settle in. But this is work that we are familiar with, and things are going well. The challenge is when we are unable to assist a client, either because they’ve exhausted their maximum for the year, or they are unable to provide the required documents we need for our funding. Most clients understand that these requirements are in place to protect the longevity of the program. But we want to help everyone, so in these cases, we explain that if we break the rules, then the system breaks down, and when they really need us, the funds won’t be there for them. We also refer clients outward when we know of other sources of funding available to them. We never simply turn a client away. If a client is unable to provide the necessary documents or has reached their benefit limit for the year, we tell them that unfortunately, we can’t help them, but we encourage them and offer whatever tools we can for them to help themselves. This way they leave knowing that we are doing everything we can to assist them. Sometimes the only thing you can do is be attentive to their needs and listen to their story.” 

It must be hard to tell a client you are unable to provide assistance.  

Martin: “Until we find an infinite source of funds, we sometimes have no choice. We do our best to provide referrals and information for additional services in these cases, and we work with them to make sure we’ve covered every available avenue. The best thing we can do when this happens is to be attentive to their needs and take the time to listen to their story. If we kindly and in a caring way tell someone we are not able to provide services but also provide options, resources, and guidance, they will at least feel heard and comfortable returning when they do meet the program’s requirements.”   

What aspects of your job do you find rewarding?  

Martin: “The fact that we can continue assisting so many clients per year is what I find rewarding. Evelyn and I have both seen the conditions in which many of our clients live because in our last job we checked in on them to see how they were doing. These clients really need our help. San Francisco is incredibly expensive, especially for someone who is already struggling financially. Any help is essential for them. They’re just trying to survive, like most of us.”  

PRC has several wrap-around services to support clients: Workforce Development, Legal Advocacy, and Residential Facilities. Have you found that you are able to refer clients to other PRC programs and move them along the continuum of care?   

Evelyn: “There are a few cases that have stuck with me. For one client, we were able to secure a two-week hotel voucher, which allowed them to stabilize. That was what they needed to complete the required paperwork, and then we were able to get them into rental housing. We were even able to assist with moving costs.   

“Another client, a San Francisco native, moved back after living overseas for a few years. They thought they had enough savings to get situated but quickly learned that was not the case. After ending up in shelters, they came to us for help, and we were able to get them a voucher for a week in a hotel. At the same time, we connected them with our Legal Advocacy team, who were able to help secure Social Security Insurance benefits. This person has since moved into one of our transitional residential facilities, and we are currently working to help cover program fees.   

“A frequent situation we encounter is clients who have no income and have been told that they don’t qualify for assistance. When asked if they have spoken with anyone that can help them navigate the legal portions of why they were denied, oftentimes they haven’t, and then we connect them with a member of our Legal Advocacy team. It’s a great feeling when we see them again after they’ve utilized the resources we’ve recommended. So yes, we frequently refer clients to internal and external programs, and do our best to help them achieve positive outcomes.”   

Martin: “We frequently interact with clients who are somewhat content with what they’ve got and don’t necessarily have the need or desire to move on to something else. They perceive that if they move on to something else or go back to work, they will lose their subsidies or benefits. They’re afraid, they are also getting older, and their health isn’t improving. So, these individuals would prefer to remain where they are. It may not be much, but they feel stable. Imagine trying to rejoin the workforce after a 20- or 30-year hiatus when you’re in your 50s, and the world has changed dramatically. It’s incredibly difficult and terrifying. For those who are long-time survivors, it’s hard for them to transition into something new, and many don’t succeed when they try. Others may want to venture into something different, and we encourage that.   

“Having worked with HIV clients since the 1990s, I’ve witnessed many clients cycle in and out of homelessness. They typically have multiple diagnoses, and it’s rarely HIV that keeps them on the streets. Most times it’s substance use compounded with mental health issues, and these people need far more than a single yearly grant to stabilize. Substance addiction really does take over their entire lives, their volition, and their willingness to change. That’s why it’s so important for our approach to be multifaceted, comprehensive, and fair as we assess our clients’ needs and challenges in order to refer them to the most appropriate services.”    

Do you have any insights as to how we as a society change this?  

Martin: “It’s foundational, and there aren’t enough support services to match the growing need. Incarcerating a person for substance abuse is not the solution. They need support and treatment, and there aren’t enough support services for mental health issues. We try to mitigate the pain and the lack of services, but it will never be enough.”   

Having personally witnessed these situations, and for many decades, what motivates you to continue and believe you can make change?  

Martin: “It’s the individual people that you can help. If it’s at least one person, that’s enough. Of course, we want to help more people, but the satisfaction comes from knowing that we’re helping as many people as we can. We may not be able to change the whole world or even the whole City of San Francisco, but we act in good faith. We do what we can within our means and resources and stay humble about it knowing that each of us is only one person.”   

Evelyn: “We take things case by case. The first time I meet with a client, perhaps they were crying and upset toward me because they needed a hotel voucher. Then they get the voucher and when they come in the next time, they’re happy, and this time they need assistance with securing a lease for housing. Those little moments that we share are the client’s low and the client’s high, and we got to experience them together. These little moments when you realize that you were a part of this client’s meaningful change, there’s no better feeling than that.”   

Martin: “When you act in good faith and show that you care, clients know it. If you are dismissive, they are going to see that too. It’s important that we listen to their story, and if we have to say no to them, we do it in a kind, compassionate, and attentive way. They appreciate that. It makes a difference. It doesn’t take much to be kind.”   

If you could tell all of society something about the work being done that they might not know, what would that be?  

Martin: “Don’t make assumptions. We all have a story to tell. Learn how to communicate and understand each other and be kind to each other. And this really starts at home.”   

Evelyn: “Living in San Francisco, your comfort is circumstantial. The comfort we can provide for these clients with just $500 really opens your eyes to everything we put value in. Our comfort comes from our everyday work on ourselves, and how we can work within society. When we’re cut off from those things due to mental health issues or limited resources, we lose our comfort. Appreciate what you have and do everything you can to make sure your comfort stays at your desired level, and help others when you can. All it takes is one lost job for you to lose your home or prevent you from being able to afford food. It’s those little things that we forget to enjoy every day, so don’t take them for granted.”   

Lee Harrington must be proud to know that his chosen successors are carrying on with the same level of passion and care that he showed his clients. PRC is certainly happy to have them as stewards ushering in a new era of services.  


PRC has changed the delivery of EFA services from a drop-in model to an appointment-based system. This adjustment allows for efficiencies that the drop-in model did not provide, both shortening the time clients spend waiting at the PRC offices to meet with an EFA service provider and reducing the need for multiple visits as clients are informed of the documentation needed for their specific circumstances prior to their appointment. Reducing the time needed to intake each client has allowed for quicker access to emergency funds and an increase in the number of clients that can be served.  

Additional information and the EFA Client Checklist are available below. 

EFA Client Checklist (English and Spanish) 

EFA Brochure (English) 

EFA Brochure (Spanish)

If you or someone you know would like to schedule an appointment with EFA, please call or e-mail:  

Martin Muneton
(415) 972-0857

Evelyn Castro
(415) 972-0858

If you’ve enjoyed learning about Evelyn and Martin and the impactful services they’re providing to EFA’s clients, please consider making a donation to support their work. You can learn more about all of PRC’s services on our website.  

Big Changes in Medi-Cal Programs for 2022!

By Jason Cinq-Mars, Esq.

The State of California has made some significant changes to the Medi-Cal program in 2022. As of May 1, 2022, eligibility for full-scope Medi-Cal has expanded to include adults who meet Medi-Cal eligibility requirements and are aged 50 or older, regardless of immigration status. This expansion will immediately impact individuals who are on restricted scope benefits, also known as emergency Medi-Cal. These individuals will not need to take any action to receive full-scope Medi-Cal, but will automatically be transitioned to it. If you are not on restricted scope Medi-Cal, then you will need to complete and submit an application to apply. However, while a social security number and/or immigration status may be requested, it is not required to complete the Medi-Cal application.

Additionally, as of July 1, 2022, the State of California has increased the asset limit for non-MAGI Medi-Cal programs. Non-MAGI Medi-Cal programs include the Aged, Blind and Disabled, Medi-Cal with a share of cost, 250% Working Disabled Program, long-term care, and Medicare Savings Programs. Eligibility for these programs require participants to meet an asset or resource limit in order to qualify for benefits. Effective July 1, 2022, the asset limit will be increased from $2,000 for a single person and $3,000 for couples to $130,000 for a single person plus $65,000 for each additional family member. This substantial increase in the asset limit will allow beneficiaries on these programs to save and build their resources without jeopardizing their Medi-Cal enrollment.

In History: Medicare and Medicaid Celebrates the 55th Anniversary

On July 30, 1965, Medicare and Medicaid programs were establish when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the legislation them into law. This year marks the 55th anniversary of these important healthcare programs and they have continued to protect the health and well-being of millions of families, saving lives, and improving the economic security in the United States.

To learn more about Medicare and Medicaid in San Francisco follow this link:


COVID-19 ADAP Update from the California Department of Public Health Office of AIDS

  • For all participants whose enrollment expired or was set to expire before August 30, 2020
    • ADAP & PrEP-AP has extended eligibility to August 31, 2020
  • OA-HIPP, EB-HIPP & MDPP enrollments have been extended through September 30, 2020
  • New ADAP applicants can reach out by phone or email to an enrollment worker
  • If you are having difficulty finding an enrollment worker, call 844-421-7050 for assistance
  • Until July 15, 2020, applicants can provide their 2018 tax returns as proof of income for program eligibility

HIV Prevention Starts with Each of Us:Women and Girls Awareness Day and Let’s End the HIV Epidemic Together

Every year on March 10th,  the U.S. observes National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. HIV prevention and treatment are critical to reducing new HIV cases among women and girls.  Women and girls – as well as their partners, friends, and family members who care about them – are encouraged to learn more about how they can take control of their own health to prevent and treat HIV. HIV/AIDS is an equality opportunity virus. Any woman or girl who is sexually active can contract HIV/AIDS regardless of race, ethnicity, age, or sexual orientation. However, statistics show that African American and Latinx women and girls have a higher chance of acquiring HIV than their counterparts. [Facts] There is great news! With today’s advancements in HIV/AIDS research and treatment it is possible to prevent HIV infection or passing the virus on to a partner or baby.  Some unique challenges women and girls face are related to STDs, which may increase the risk of HIV infection. Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) is addressing the specific needs of women and girls who could be exposed to the virus or living with HIV. Please take a minute to view this important message from Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. Follow these links to: Learn more about National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Find a local HIV testing or a healthcare provider, visit Find out more about PrEP at and see if you qualify for the Ready, Set, PrEP at Together, we can stop HIV.

Moving People Forward: 2019 Impact Report

Dear Friend,

It’s been a tremendous year at PRC, and I’m pleased to share PRC’s 2019 Impact Report with you today.

As you’ll learn, PRC’s staff, volunteers, and clients have been hard at work transforming lives and the systems San Francisco has in place to support vulnerable adults. We opened PRC’s new Integrated Service Center in April 2019 to improve the way people affected by mental health issues, substance use, and HIV/AIDS access crisis intervention, stabilizing services, and longer term supports when they’re needed. In 2018, we helped 5,419 adults.

At PRC we’re addressing the nexus of poverty, stigma, discrimination, and isolation head-on to prevent hopelessness and connect people—like John on page 5 or Liliana on page 7—with new and better paths out of poverty and addiction, illness and stigma, homelessness and decline.

Honesty and innovation are key to moving past the status quo. In San Francisco, as across the nation, we are all challenged to reflect on a rising population of homeless adults and redress inequities in health and resource distribution. You and I may have a support network, a safety net, a couch, or access to money for treatment services or prescription medication when it’s needed. For those among us who do not, whether it’s a brief moment of free fall or a life-long health issue to manage and best, PRC is here: a bridge to hope, to health, and to wellness.

I invite you to read on, be inspired, bring your questions, and share with a friend.

In community,

Brett Andrews

Chief Executive Officer

SSI Recipients Can Now Receive CalFresh Benefits

Beginning in June 2019, California residents receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) who also receive a State Supplementary Payment (SSP) can get CalFresh benefits. The SSP program was intended to replace the Food Stamp program (now known as CalFresh in California) for SSI beneficiaries when it was implemented in 1974. Over the years, the SSP benefit has remained relatively stable, while CalFresh benefits have increased to reflect inflation. Given the relative loss of value of SSP benefits, the California legislature passed Assembly Bill 1811 to allow SSI/SSP recipients also to receive CalFresh benefits.

This means more opportunities for SSI/SSP beneficiaries to purchase nutritious food

CalFresh is a free nutrition assistance program that enhances the food budgets of low-income individuals. Monthly CalFresh benefits range between $15 to $192 based on household size, income, and monthly expenses. SSI/SSP recipients can apply for CalFresh benefits to purchase food at vendors who accept EBT such as grocery stores, farmers markets participating in the Market Match, and restaurants participating in the Restaurant Meals Program (View Map). SSI/SSP beneficiaries who receive CalFresh will have no reduction to their SSI/SSP payment. Assembly Bill 1811 also resulted in a monthly grant increase of $10 for recipients of the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) so that SSI/SSP benefits and CAPI benefits are equal. CAPI beneficiaries will remain eligible for CalFresh benefits. Households already receiving CalFresh who had an excluded SSI beneficiary may receive an increase to their CalFresh benefits. However, this change will increase the overall income for some households as SSI/SSP income will no longer be excluded, which may cause a reduction in the monthly CalFresh grant. For those households who would experience a reduction in CalFresh Benefits, the Supplemental Nutrition Benefit (SNB) and Transitional Nutrition Benefit (TNB) programs will provide additional benefits to avoid any reduction to overall nutrition benefits.

There are three ways to apply

Each applicant may need to provide proof of income, residency, and identity. HSA may be able to help with obtaining these required documents. Learn more about benefits and eligibility. NOTE: Due to the high volume of new applicants, applicants may experience extended wait times at HSA service centers and by phone in June and July 2019. Consider applying online or call (415) 558-4700 to schedule an in-person appointment.   

Covered California: Tax Filing Requirement for Consumers Receiving Premium Assistance

Some Californians, individuals, and families enrolled in Covered California (Covered CA) plans are eligible for financial assistance to lower the cost of their health insurance.  Anyone who receives financial assistance with Covered CA is required to file a federal tax return as a condition of eligibility.

Covered CA offers two main ways to get assistance with health care coverage costs:

  • Premium Assistance (formally called the Advanced Premium Tax Credit or APTC) is a tax credit to reduce an individual’s monthly premium.
  • Cost-Sharing Reductions is a subsidy to reduce an individual’s out-of-pocket costs (their copay’s, coinsurance, deductible and out-of-pocket maximum).

Important Information Regarding Premium Assistance and Tax Filing

All Covered CA consumers who receive Premium Assistance/APTC, must file federal taxes for each calendar year they receive the assistance. If they fail to file their taxes, they will lose their eligibility for Premium Assistance/APTC. The consumer will then be responsible for paying the full premium amount and will have a higher cost-sharing for health care services.

Warning Notices

Covered CA has mailed warning notices to those who are at risk of losing their Premium Assistance/APTC. These notices were sent to consumers who in 2017:

  • Received Premium Assistance/APTC in the calendar year but did not file a federal tax return for that year;
  • Filed a federal tax return but did not include IRS Form 8962; or
  • Requested an extension to file a federal tax return but did not end up filing the return.

Covered CA consumers who fall within any of these categories will have until May 15, 2019, to preserve their Premium Assistance/APTC by reconciling their premium assistance and contacting Covered California to attest to having done so.

If consumers fail to take these steps, they will receive another notice, in a pink envelope, that tells them when their financial assistance will end if no action is taken. Covered CA consumers who fail to take corrective action will lose their current financial help starting July 1, 2019.

Latinx LGBTQ+ Mental Health

Each Mind Matters1(EMM) recently collaborated with a group of LGBTQ+ community leaders and stakeholders to come together and create informational materials on mental health issues faced by Latinx LGBTQ+. The materials focus on three key segments: young adults, older adults, and providers working with Latinx youth.

Latinx LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health Provider Fact Sheet2

This fact sheet helps providers working with Latinx LGBTQ+ youth address the complex connections that can have an impact on a young person’s life, such as sexual orientation, gender identity, race/ethnicity, and immigration status. The fact sheet provides relevant resources and best practices within a culturally responsive framework.

EMM also created a fully bilingual in Spanish and English resource online, which covers key terms for providers working with Latinx LGBTQ+ youth, things to consider as mental health professionals serving Latinx LGBTQ+ immigrant youth, and seeking benefits. At this time there are no printed copies available; however, the pamphlet is available free to download3.

EMM website is a resource for mental health and LGBTQ+ topics: