SNAP/FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROCESSING CENTERS AND FIRST-TO-WORK OFFICES AT A NUMBER OF STATEWIDE LOCATIONS RESTART IN-PERSON SERVICES
News Release from DHS, Feb 28, 2022 (With clairifying information in parenthesis.)
HONOLULU – Over the past two years, the Department of Human Services (DHS) took proactive and aggressive actions to provide vital services to support the needs of the community amid the pandemic.
(We paid HGEA members to pretend to work at home for two years.)
These unprecedented times have resulted in record numbers of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Financial Assistance applications (many from Nigerian Princes) and renewals. The average monthly number of SNAP recipients pre-COVID-19 was 155,000. At the height of the application surge there were 50,000 more SNAP beneficiaries. This spike took place in July 2021 when the number rose to more than 206,000 recipients.
(It's easy when you don't check for fraud.)
This week, the Benefit Employment and Support Services Division (BESSD) of DHS restarted in-person services at a number of locations to meet the needs of the community. This in-person option will greatly benefit those who may have difficulty navigating online options and call centers.
(After two years HGEA members are finally agreeing to show up for work.)
The in-person services are available Monday through Friday (except holidays), 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
(Part time work--full time pay.)
For a list of the participating Processing Centers (SNAP/Financial Assistance) and First-To-Work Units (Work Participation for TANF recipients) that will be providing in-person services click here.
Note that 37 of the 43 statewide locations have resumed providing in-person services.
To meet the needs of the community, BESSD increased assistance by creating an online application platform, and also expanded telephonic capabilities with the Statewide Branch Support Desk call center. BESSD continues to encourage the use of online applications for individuals and families who have internet access.
The health, safety and well-being of DHS employees and those we serve are of the utmost importance. Part of the in-person procedures include necessary COVID-19 health screenings to comply with the CDC and DOH safety protocols and guidelines.
About the Department of Human Services
The Department of Human Services took proactive and aggressive actions to provide vital services to support the needs of the community amid the pandemic. These services and benefits include food/financial assistance, child care support, health insurance access through Medicaid, social services for children and adults, vocational rehabilitation, public housing, services for those experiencing houselessness, youth services, as well as administrative services and commissions.
New SNAP Applications/Renewals
In January 2022, DHS received more than 8,400 SNAP applications and mailed more than 10,000 renewals and periodic forms. Prior to COVID-19, on average, DHS would receive approximately 5,000 new SNAP applications per month.
SNAP Emergency Allotments in Hawaii
Starting in March 2020, the federal government approved Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Emergency Allotments to provide recipients additional food support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the month of January 2022, SNAP Emergency Allotments have helped 92,035 households (171,632 individuals). The total benefits issued in January 2022 were $18,124,154.
From March 2020 through January 2022, more than $374,000,000 SNAP Emergency Allotment benefits were issued to individuals and families.