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Health Department Closes Some Offices, Moves To Online Service

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

The Montana state health department is closing some public services offices Friday to limit face to-face interaction amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Applications for safety-net services like SNAP food assistance, TANF cash assistance and health care coverage can be done online, phone, fax or mail.

"It’s just a different way of providing those essential services that we provide," says Sheila Hogan, director of the state health department.

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Hogan says this won’t change the agency's ability to provide a social safety net.

The closures impact the Offices of Public Assistance, Child and Family Services; Vocational Rehabilitation; Vital Statistics, Women, Infants and Children; Child Support Enforcement; and the Developmental Disabilities Program.

Hogan says the office closures aim to protect vulnerable people that come into public offices.

There is no timeline for when public assistance offices will reopen.

The Public Assistance Helpline is 1-888-706-1535. People can also visit for assistance while offices are closed. Applications can also be sent via the Office of Public Assistance fax number at 1-877-418-4533 or by mail at:

Field Offices of Public Assistance

P.O. Box 202925

Helena MT 59620

Copyright 2020 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Corin Cates-Carney is the Flathead Valley reporter for MTPR.