San Francisco Human Services Agency

Which Services are Offered?

San Francisco Human Services Agency is the central location for clients to receive help with food, health insurance, supportive care, financial assistance, child care, and more. They offer a variety of benefits, including Medi-Cal, CAAP and CalFresh. View the full list of services.

What are the Entry Points?

Clients can apply in-person, online, by phone, and by mail, email, or fax.

There are 10 in-person service locations around San Francisco, each offering a different set of services. Consider which benefits make sense for your client's needs, when deciding on the location. For Medi-Cal enrollments:

1440 Harrison Service Center
1440 Harrison Street

Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m
Benefits: Medi-Cal, CalFresh

1235 Mission Service Center
1235 Mission Street

Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m
Benefits: Medi-Cal, CalFresh, CAAP

You don't need an appointment to access services at these locations. They accept walk-ins. If you have limited time, consider making an appointment by calling these numbers:

Remember that HSA is pretty strict about appointment times. In order to keep your spot in the line, you should not be more than 30 minutes late for your appointment. Otherwise you won't be able to check-in at the kiosks, and will be treated as a walk-in client.


Actually, clients don't need to go to a physical HSA location for enrolling into Medi-Cal. However face-to-face interviews offer the quickest way to get authorizations for clients, compared to other enrollment options.


Because of their past focus areas, 1440 Harrison St. is known as the Medi-Cal office, whereas 1235 Mission St. is known as the Food Stamp office.

By Mail, Email, Fax
Fill out the SAWS 2 Plus form with your client's information, and send it to:

Human Services Agency
PO BOX 7988
San Francisco, CA 94120
Fax: (415) 355-2432

The processing time may take up to 45 days.
In case there are missing documents, make sure to give a reliable mailing address, and a functioning phone number to be able to receive follow up communications from HSA.


If your client is using General Delivery for mail delivery, make sure you include "General Delivery" along with the street address. A sample General Delivery address for the post office in the Tenderloin would be:
John Smith General Delivery
391 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

By Phone
You can also apply via phone, by calling (415) 558-4700. Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

You can apply online by using MyBenefits CalWIN.

Duration / Time
Even though the face-to-face interview takes about 30-40 minutes, expect to spend 2-3 hours at HSA for the full enrollment process. Homeless clients are typically prioritized in the intake process.


  • There is a space for homeless clients to park their carts, and belongings.
  • Restrooms are available at the waiting area.
  • Nearest bus stop for 1440 Harrison Service - Center is 11th St & Harrison St for line 47. Nearest MUNI stop for 1235 Mission Service Center is Metro Civic Center Station/Downtn for lines J, KT, L, M.

Before Your Visit


Current Status.
Try to find out if your client has already been enrolled in Medi-Cal, CalFresh or CAAP.

MAGI Eligibility.
The Affordable Care Act established a new methodology for determining income eligibility for Medi-Cal, which is based on Modified Gross Adjusted Income (MAGI). MAGI is the basis for determining Medi-Cal income eligibility for most children, pregnant women, parents and adults; this program exempts resources (like money in savings accounts or personal property) as an eligibility factor. Most homeless clients meet the income eligibility requirement, as the monthly income limit for a single individual is $1387.

Non-Citizen Eligibility.
Even if your client is not a citizen, they may still be eligible for Medi-Cal. Non-citizens who have PRUCOL status are eligible for Medi-Cal, if they meet the income eligibility. Non-citizens who do not have PRUCOL status are eligible for Restricted Medi-Cal if they meet the income requirement. Restricted Medi-Cal will give them access to emergency and pregnancy related services.Additional resources on on the DHCS

Required Information and Documents

Name, Surname, SSN, and a form of identification to verify the information. For issues regarding identity (eg. no SSN, multiple SSNs, no ID) see Common Roadblocks.

If your client has an income, bring any documents with you to help verify the amount of income. These can be copies of bank accounts, pay stubs, checks, etc. For situations where the client does not have an income, or has no way of proving their income with documents, a general affidavit is used as a verbal verification.


Once a client has enrolled in a benefit, it becomes a carrying case for the rest of the benefits. If this is the case for your client, you may find out that your client's name and SSN may be enough to enroll in Medi-Cal.


When going without an appointment, you can save some time by filling out SAWS 1 before heading there. This intake form captures basic information about your client, and asks about which of the three benefits your client would like to enroll in.


  • HSA is pretty strict about appointment times. In order to keep your spot in the line, you should not be more than 15 minutes late for your scheduled appointment. Otherwise you won't be able to check-in at the kiosk, and will be treated as a walk-in client.

During Your Visit


  1. Get a ticket from the kiosk. Consider helping your client with using the kiosk should they need extra help. Based on what your client needs they will be routed to different areas for express service, renewals, enrollment, servicing. There is also a dropbox for dropping any required documents.

    • A Ticket: New Applications
    • S Ticket: Service Counter Needs
    • R Ticket: Renewal Questions and Forms
    • L Ticket: Express Needs
  2. If you haven't already, fill out SAWS 1.
    This is the initial application form for Medi-Cal, CalFresh and CAAP Benefits. The form itself is only 2 pages, but it feels much longer due to the informational pages stating rights, responsibilities, rules, and requirements. You can help your client fill this out to expedite the intake process.

  3. Scan your ticket at the kiosk.
    Once you're done filling out SAWS 1, scan your "A Ticket" at the kiosk right away to be called up to the counter as quickly as possible.

  4. Wait to be called to the service counter.
    The clerical staff will verify the information you provided on SAWS 1, and open a case for your client on CalWIN.

  5. Wait to be called for the interview.
    Following the interaction at the service counter, you will be called for an interview. Don't throw away your kiosk ticket. Depending on how busy things are, you may need to wait for a while. If the wait time is long, Costco is right across the street from 1440 Harrison St. location. You can get a hotdog and a drink for $1.50. Restrooms are available at the waiting area. Homeless clients are generally prioritized.

  6. Have the face-to-face interview.
    The interview is conducted by a 2905 Eligibility Worker (2905 EW), and usually takes about 30 minutes. You will be called to a cubicle to meet the EW with your client. If you have all the needed information and documents ready, the EW would be able to authorize your client's case at the end of the interview, giving your client immediate access to Medi-Cal.

    [info] NAVIGATOR TIP

    A reliable mailing address, and a functioning phone number needed for follow-ups. If your client is using General Delivery for mail deliveries, consider using the HSA address for any follow-up communications. When giving the General Delivery as the mailing address, use this as a sample:
    John Smith General Delivery
    391 Ellis Street
    San Francisco, CA 94102


    If your client needs to start receiving care immediately, ask for a Temporary BIC from the EW. Unless the client asks for it, it is not the standard practice to print temporary BICs for clients. The temporary BIC is valid for 45 days, until the permanent BIC arrives in the mail.


    Have your client select the maximum time period, 5 years, for auto-renewal. If your client is homeless you might want to inform the EW who sees the client. The EW can make special notes on the client’s file that will help avoid verification issues that arise due to having a lack of permanent address, and not filing taxes at time for renewal.


    At the end of the interview, the EW will give a business card, including your client's case number, key contact numbers, and the renewal date. As your client may lose this information, make sure to record these for yourself.

  7. Make the Managed Care Plan Selection.
    If your client's case is approved, before you leave HSA, stop by the Healthcare Options station to decide on the managed care plan. Should they not want to select a plan today, or if there is a long line, inform them they will be receiving mail where they will be asked to select a managed care plan.

    [info] NAVIGATOR TIP

    Without waiting for the mail, you or your client can also call Healthcare Options to make the plan decision: 1-800-430-4263. Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.


    You may refer to this site to compare plan options. Your client is able to change their managed care plan provider at the healthcare options website.

After Your Visit


  1. Was your client authorized for Medi-CAL coverage?
    If not, find out why. If there are any missing documents, then you can mail, or fax these, or use the dropbox on-site. Make sure to include the name, and the case number of your client in your correspondences.

  2. Expect two pieces of mail from HSA.
    If your client has been authorized, they will be sent: a. Welcome Packet to make the managed care plan decisions via mail. If you've already made the decisions, you don't need to respond. If you haven't made a decision yet, then your client will be automatically assigned to one of the managed care plan options.

    [info] NAVIGATOR TIP

    Most Medi-Cal eligible clients have a requirement to enroll in one of the two managed care plans. Please see below who is excluded from having to enroll into managed care.

    b. Permanent BIC with their Medi-Cal enrollee number. If you had asked for a temporary BIC at the interview, then you'll notice that the number on the Permanent BIC is different than the Temporary BIC.

    [info] NAVIGATOR TIP

    Please stress the importance of picking up their Medi-Cal card. If this card is returned to HSA, it creates a “red flag,” which might require additional follow up by a supervisor, and potentially cause delays in your client's access to Medi-Cal.

  3. Receive the Insurance Card in the Mail.
    Once the managed care plan decision has been made, the insurance provider will also send a separate insurance card for client's use.

  4. Your client can start accessing care.
    Once the managed care plan decision has been made, the insurance provider will also send a separate insurance card for client's use.

    [info] NAVIGATOR TIP

    Until your client receives their permanent BIC, call and make sure that the doctor/medical center they plan on going accepts Medi-Cal Fee for Service (FFS).

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