During virus crisis, food stamp phone interviews suspended

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During virus crisis, food stamp phone interviews suspended

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 02:16
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JEFFERSON CITY – Starting March 28, the Family Support Division, or FSD, Call Center will temporarily operate seven days a week and expand hours to handle the growing influx of calls from low-income Missourians for services.

The temporary hours of operation are 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

The United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service has approved the Department of Social Services, Family Support Division’s waiver request to temporarily suspend Food Stamp telephone interviews.

“As a state, we must ensure the fastest response to the essential needs of vulnerable Missouri citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gov. Mike Parson said. “The temporary expansion of days and hours of operation for the Family Support Division Call Center and the temporary suspension of food stamp phone interviews will help low-income Missourians more quickly connect to the supports they will need to stay safe and healthy.”

“Many Missourians are turning to the Family Support Division for the very first time in their life and need information and guidance on how DSS helps low-income families,” Social Services Department Acting Director Jennifer Tidball said. “The fastest way to find basic information about Food Stamps, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and Child Care Subsidy benefits and who may qualify is to visit the DSS website. The waiver approval to temporarily suspend Food Stamp interviews is a tremendous boost to the Family Support Division’s ability to focus the efforts of all FSD call center staff on assisting Missourians who now need services.”

Applicants can apply for services any time of day. They can fill out an application form online or download and send a completed application and the necessary documents by email or fax.

First-time applicants who may be unfamiliar with the eligibility criteria for Food Stamp, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or Child Care Subsidy benefit programs need to keep in mind that these programs are for low-income Missourians and some household incomes may still be too high to qualify.

Missourians can apply for services 24/7 online by visiting MyDSS.mo.gov, or sending completed applications and verification documents by email to FSD. Documents@dss.mo.gov, or by fax to 573-526-9400. Missourians who need help can call 855-FSD-INFO or 855-373-4636 from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

The Department of Social Services is committed to serving the needs of Missouri citizens during COVID-19 pandemic. Information regarding the department’s response to the pandemic is available online https://dss.mo.gov/covid-19.