Oregon Department of Human Services
Emergency Messages as of 1:40 pm, Thu. Oct. 29
No information currently posted.
News Releases
Online benefits application system unavailable this weekend while upgrades are made - 10/28/20

Salem, Or. – The state’s online application systems for medical, food, cash and childcare benefits will be unavailable from 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30 until Monday, Nov. 2, at 7 a.m. This downtime is to support an upgrade to the state’s new ONE eligibility determination system to add more benefit options and expand the system to more Oregonians.

 

Beginning Monday, Nov. 2, residents in central and southern Oregon counties will be able to use the upgraded ONE system to apply online for medical, food, cash and childcare benefits, renew their coverage, and update their case information.

 

Oregonians in Josephine, Jackson, and parts of Douglas counties began using the combined online application in ONE in August and September.

 

This project is a joint effort between the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to provide all Oregonians the ability to apply for cash, childcare, food and medical benefits through a single online application.

 

“With the pandemic and recent wildfires, it’s critically important that we provide people with convenient and safe options to apply for and receive these services and benefits,” said ODHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht. “We are excited to roll out the improved ONE system statewide over the next several months.”

 

The ONE system upgrade, which began in July 2020, is being done in phases. The final phase will expand the combined cash, childcare, food and medical benefits application to the Portland metro area and surrounding counties in early 2021.

 

Once the system is fully upgraded, all Oregonians will have the option to apply for medical, food, cash and childcare benefits over the phone, online or in person at any local Aging and People with Disabilities, Area Agency on Aging or Self-Sufficiency Programs office that provides those benefits.

 

Please visit the DHS Benefits and Assistance page to learn more about the programs available to qualifying Oregonians. For more information about the ONE upgrade, go to benefits.oregon.gov.

Attached Media Files: ODHS Media Advisory
UPDATE -- Missing infant Dennis Johnson found - 10/28/20

(Salem, Ore.) – Dennis Johnson, an infant born Nov. 14, 2019, who went missing with his parents on Oct. 20, 2020 has been found. Dennis Johnson was found Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. The Oregon Department of Human Services is thankful for the community support to find him.

A small number of children in foster care may be in significant danger when they run away or have gone missing. As DHS works to do everything it can to find these missing children and ensure their safety, media alerts will be issued in some circumstances when it is determined necessary. Sometimes, in these situations, a child may go missing repeatedly, resulting in more than one media alert for the same child.

Report child abuse to the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline by calling 1-855-503-SAFE (7233).  This toll-free number allows you to report abuse of any child or adult to the Oregon Department of Human Services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.

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Limited indoor visits allowed at qualifying long-term care facilities as of Nov. 2 - 10/28/20

SALEM, OR – Licensed nursing, assisted living and residential care facilities that qualify may begin allowing limited indoor visitation for residents starting Nov. 2, 2020.

“As we have throughout this pandemic, when it comes to long-term care facility visitation, we will proceed carefully, to protect the residents who are most vulnerable to COVID-19,” said Governor Kate Brown. “With case counts rising, I have instructed the Department of Human Services to proceed with caution. However, it is my hope that families can now safely begin visiting the loved ones they have not been able to see for so many months.”

Residents may have up to two visitors at a time to meet with in an approved area.

To qualify, a facility must:

  • Have no suspected or current COVID-19 cases;
  • Follow visitation requirements detailed in the policy and related guidance;
  • Be in a community with a low or medium rate of COVID-19 exposure; facilities in communities with high incidents of COVID-19 may only have visitors indoors who qualify under the compassionate care policy.

“We are grateful to everyone who collaborated to develop the safeguards to make this policy possible. Indoor visitation restrictions have been extremely painful for everyone to endure; I hope this change will provide relief to those who are suffering from being separated from family and friends,” said Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) Director Fariborz Pakseresht.

Mike McCormick, Interim Director of the ODHS Office of Aging and People with Disabilities added, “The indoor visitation policy has many layers to it that strike a balance between safety and the essential need for families and friends to connect. We will continue to monitor outbreaks closely and will modify the policy if that is warranted. The impact of the pandemic is evolving, and we must be ready to continually adapt.”

ODHS collaborated with a variety of stakeholders in developing the policy. Among the considerations:

  • Availability of COVID-19 testing, turnaround times for test results and implementation of required ongoing staff testing at facilities;
  • Long-term care facilities’ overall track record in preventing and controlling outbreaks when they occur; and,
  • Oregon’s low national ranking for COVID-19 infections.

To protect the health and well-being of residents and staff, facilities permitting indoor visitation must take precautions, including:

  • Scheduling staggered visits and limiting the number of visitors per resident to two at any given time.
  • Setting time limits, if needed, to ensure all residents can receive visitors; and, allow special considerations for those traveling for visitation.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and designated visitation areas after each visit.
  • Ensuring visitors receive a health screening before entering, use required personal protective equipment (PPE) and proper hand hygiene during the visit and limit where they go within the facility.
  • Providing a dedicated visiting area.
  • Keeping a log of visitors (indoors and outdoors) that includes the visitor’s name, address and phone number to be used if contact tracing is needed.

Resources:

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Last Day to Apply for Disaster SNAP (DSNAP) is Wednesday, Oct. 28 - 10/27/20

Wednesday, Oct. 28 is the last day for residents in one of the 8 designated counties - Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, and Marion – to apply for Disaster SNAP benefits.

“Any resident who has not yet submitted an online application is encouraged to do so before it is too late,” urged Dan Haun, Self-Sufficiency Programs Director.

Due to the pandemic, the application will be completely online. If you need assistance, please call 2-1-1 or reach out to the Aging and Disability Resource Connection at 1-855-ORE-ADRC.

After submitting your application, you will be contacted over the phone to complete your required interview. You will need to provide information on your household members, income, resources, and disaster-related expenses. Please note, an Oregon Department of Human Services worker will never ask for your debit or credit card number.

For more information, or to apply, visit https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/ASSISTANCE/FOOD-BENEFITS/Pages/DSNAP.aspx.

Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) provides temporary food assistance for households affected by a natural disaster. DSNAP provides one month of benefits on an Oregon EBT card to eligible disaster survivors and can facilitate the issuance of supplemental SNAP benefits for ongoing households. To be eligible for DSNAP, a household must live or work in the disaster area, have been affected by the disaster, and meet certain DSNAP eligibility criteria.

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UPDATE -- Mya Miranda found - 10/22/20

(Salem, Ore.) – Mya Miranda, age 16, a foster child who went missing from Boardman, Ore. on Oct. 17, 2020, was found on Oct. 22, 2020. The Oregon Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Division is thankful for the community support to find her.

A small number of children in foster care may be in significant danger when they run away or have gone missing. As DHS works to do everything it can to find these missing children and ensure their safety, media alerts will be issued in some circumstances when it is determined necessary. Sometimes, in these situations, a child may go missing repeatedly, resulting in more than one media alert for the same child.

Report child abuse to the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline by calling 1-855-503-SAFE (7233).  This toll-free number allows you to report abuse of any child or adult to the Oregon Department of Human Services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.

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Waiver expands options for food benefits in 23 counties - 10/22/20

A waiver approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) allows Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Disaster SNAP recipients in the following 23 counties to purchase hot or prepared foods from authorized SNAP retailers until Nov. 20.

Approved counties: Benton, Clackamas, Columbia Coos, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Hood River, Jackson, Josephine, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Wasco, Washington, and Yamhill.

Normally, SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase "hot food products prepared for immediate consumption." This restriction is being waived following the severe winds and wildfires that led to the displacement of many residents and left them without access to a kitchen to prepare meals. Examples of allowable prepared foods include hot deli foods, fountain drinks, including but not limited to coffee and tea, a slice of hot/prepared pizza, hot soup, salad bars, and sandwiches.

This waiver will last through Nov. 20 and allows SNAP and DSNAP recipients to use their benefits to buy prepared food at any participating retailer that accepts SNAP EBT cards. Restaurant purchases are still prohibited.

For more information about the hot food waiver, visit https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/ASSISTANCE/FOOD-BENEFITS/Pages/DSNAP-Hot-Foods-Waiver.aspx.

Emergency Allotment Update
Oregon also received approval from FNS to provide maximum emergency allotment benefits for SNAP recipients in November. The emergency allotments, see schedule below, will bring families not receiving the maximum SNAP allotment for their household size to the maximum for the seventh consecutive month.

Issuance date (SNAP recipients will see the benefit the following day)

  • Nov. 10: Current SNAP households not receiving the SNAP maximum allotment
  • Nov. 27: New SNAP recipients between Nov. 10 and Nov. 27

For more information about Emergency Allotments, and to view the maximum allotment amounts, visit https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/ASSISTANCE/FOOD-BENEFITS/Pages/About-SNAP.aspx.

Oregonians who receive SNAP can contact their local SSP, APD or AAA office for more information. Find a local office at oregon.gov/DHS/Offices/Pages/index.aspx

To determine the maximum allotment for your household and view the FAQ, visit https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/assistance/food-benefits/pages/about-snap.aspx.

Administered by ODHS, SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to approximately 1 million eligible, low-income families and individuals in Oregon, including many older adults and people with disabilities. Oregonians in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP, child care, cash assistance and Medicaid. Learn more at https://govstatus.egov.com/or-dhs-benefits. For local resources in your area, such as food or shelter, please call 2-1-1 or reach out to the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) at 1-855-ORE-ADRC or 1-855-673-2372.

ODHS Announces Disaster Food Benefits (DSNAP) for 8 Counties - 10/17/20

The Oregon Department of Human Services has received federal approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service to offer the Disaster Supplemental Assistance Program (DSNAP) in eight Oregon counties impacted as a result of the historic wildfires this summer and fall. The eight approved counties are Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, and Marion.

Any person that resided or was employed within one of the designated counties at the time of the September 7 wildfires and suffered disaster losses may be eligible to receive one month of temporary DSNAP assistance. DSNAP benefits are provided via an electronic benefits transfer card (EBT card), similar to a debit card, and can be used to purchase food items at grocery stores and other authorized SNAP retailers.

Oregonians may be eligible for DSNAP if they lived or were employed in any of the designated counties when the wildfires began on Sept. 7, 2020, and experienced at least one of the following conditions because of the wildfires:

  • Damage to or destruction of the home or self-employment business.
  • Loss or inaccessibility of income including a reduction or termination of income or a significant delay in receiving income due to disaster-related problems.
  • Disaster-related expenses (home or business repairs, temporary shelter, evacuation, food loss, etc.) that are not expected to be reimbursed during the disaster benefit period.

Please note that people seeking assistance may pre-register for DSNAP beginning Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, through Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. Due to COVID-19, all applications will be completed online. Visit https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/ASSISTANCE/FOOD-BENEFITS/Pages/DSNAP.aspx to apply. If you need assistance, call 2-1-1 or reach out to the Aging and Disability Resource Connection at 1-855-ORE-ADRC.

Pre-Registration and Application Timeline

Oct. 16 to Oct. 22

  • Pre-registration statewide
  • Fill out the pre-registration application

A Self-Sufficiency Programs worker will contact you to complete the application process.

Anyone who misses the pre-registration period will still be to apply until Oct. 28. Please complete and submit your DSNAP application online on the date below that coincides with the first letter of your last name.

Application Date*

Last name begins with

Oct. 23

A, B, C, D, E

Oct. 24

F, G, H, I

Oct. 25

J, K, L, M

Oct. 26

N, O, P Q, R

Oct. 27

S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

Oct. 28

Open to all applicants

For local resources in your area, such as food or shelter, please call 2-1-1 or reach out to the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) at 1-855-ORE-ADRC or 1-855-673-2372.

UPDATE -- Clarissa (Chloe) Woodruff Quesinberry found - 10/15/20

(Salem, Ore.) – Clarissa (Chloe) Woodruff Quesinberry, age 14, a foster child who went missing on Oct. 5, 2020 was found on Oct. 14, 2020. The Oregon Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Division is thankful for the community support to find her.

A small number of children in foster care may be in significant danger when they run away or have gone missing. As DHS works to do everything it can to find these missing children and ensure their safety, media alerts will be issued in some circumstances when it is determined necessary. Sometimes, in these situations, a child may go missing repeatedly, resulting in more than one media alert for the same child.

Report child abuse to the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline by calling 1-855-503-SAFE (7233).  This toll-free number allows you to report abuse of any child or adult to the Oregon Department of Human Services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.

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Update: Increased food benefits approved for October - 10/12/20

Updated dates below.

The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) has received approval from Food and Nutrition Services to disburse increased food benefits in October.

This additional $30 million for eligible Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients will bring the total increased benefits to $180 million.

SNAP households will automatically receive the additional allotment in the same way they receive their current benefits. For most customers, this is an Oregon EBT card. The additional benefit amount will be disbursed on the schedule below to all eligible SNAP households. Some recipients may not see it until the following day.

Oregonians already enrolled in SNAP do not need to take any additional action.
 

Month

Day

Description of household receiving the emergency allotment

October

13

Current SNAP households not receiving the SNAP maximum allotment

30

New SNAP customers who did not receive the October 13 allotment and are not receiving the maximum benefit

The increase brings all households to the maximum SNAP benefit. Households that already receive the maximum benefit will not receive any additional benefits.

This allotment will not permanently change a household’s monthly benefit amount. It is a temporary supplement to help during the current health crisis. ODHS will not be sending individual notices to households about the emergency allotments.

Questions?

To determine the maximum allotment for your household and view the FAQ, visit https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/assistance/food-benefits/pages/about-snap.aspx.

SNAP customers can contact their local SSP, APD, or AAA office for more information. Find a local office at oregon.gov/DHS/Offices/Pages/index.aspx

Administered by ODHS, SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to approximately 1 million eligible, low-income families and individuals in Oregon, including many older adults and people with disabilities. Oregonians in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP, child care, cash assistance, and Medicaid. Learn more at https://govstatus.egov.com/or-dhs-benefits. For local resources in your area, such as food or shelter, please call 2-1-1.

Third photo of missing child Mataya Gearhart
Third photo of missing child Mataya Gearhart
UPDATE Missing child alert - Missing foster child Mataya Gearhart is still missing and in danger (Photo) - 10/09/20

(Salem, Ore.) – Mataya Gearhart, age 16, a foster child who went missing from Portland, Ore. on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, is still missing and believed to be in danger.

Mataya Gearhart is believed to be in the Portland Metro area. A missing child alert for Mataya Gearhart was last issued on Sept. 16, 2020, she is still missing and believed to be in danger.

The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) asks the public to help in the effort to find her and to contact 911 or local law enforcement if they believe they see her or have information about her.

Name: Mataya Gearhart
Date of birth: Nov. 7, 2003
Height: 5’06
Weight: 180 pounds
Portland Police Bureau Case #20-276660
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children #1400569

A small number of children in foster care may be in significant danger when they run away or have gone missing. As ODHS works to do everything it can to find these missing children and ensure their safety, media alerts will be issued in some circumstances when it is determined necessary. Sometimes, in these situations, a child may go missing repeatedly, resulting in more than one media alert for the same child.

Report child abuse to the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline by calling 1-855-503-SAFE (7233). This toll-free number allows you to report abuse of any child or adult to the Oregon Department of Human Services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.

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Replacement SNAP benefits deadline extended for 20 counties - 10/08/20

New deadline: October 19, 2020
The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) has received federal approval for an additional extension for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients in 20 counties to request the replacement of benefits as a result of food loss due to power outages and wildfires that began on Sept. 7.

SNAP recipients in Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Coos, Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Tillamook, Wasco, Washington, and Yamhill counties now have until Oct. 19 to apply to replace food purchased with their SNAP benefits.

There is no need to visit an office to request replacement SNAP benefits. SNAP recipients can request replacement food benefits by calling their local office and submitting the required information by email, fax, or regular mail. Recipients can use either Form DHS 0349D (Affidavit for Nonreceipt or Destroyed Food Stamp Benefits) or submit a signed and dated written request that includes how the food was destroyed, the date it happened, destroyed food items, and the amount paid for each item.

More information is available online at https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/assistance/food-benefits/pages/replacement%20-benefits.aspx.

Administered by ODHS, SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to approximately 1 million eligible, low-income families and individuals in Oregon, including many older adults and people with disabilities. Oregonians in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP, child care, cash assistance, and Medicaid. Learn more at https://govstatus.egov.com/or-dhs-benefits. For local resources in your area, such as food or shelter, please call 2-1-1 or reach out to the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) at 1-855-ORE-ADRC or 1-855-673-2372.

COVID-19 testing completed at 683 large long-term care facilities statewide - 10/06/20

SALEM, OR - The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) have completed initial baseline COVID-19 testing of staff and consenting residents in 683 long-term care facilities statewide, achieving the first of two objectives set by Governor Kate Brown’s testing plan.

Baseline testing found that the overall rate of COVID-19 infections in nursing, assisted living and residential care facilities is 2.2 percent based on preliminary results. Facilities were required to complete administration of tests by September 30 and follow up by submitting results. With baseline testing complete, the plan calls for facilities to test all staff at least once a month on an on-going basis.

“We took quick action in the first days of this pandemic to protect the residents and staff of long-term care facilities by enacting some of the strictest visitation policies in the country, but with that protection has come great sacrifice. One of the most heart-wrenching aspects of this crisis is the reality that, to keep our vulnerable long-term care residents safe, so many Oregonians have not been able to visit their loved ones, to sit with them, to hold their hands,” said Governor Brown. “With this first phase of long-term care testing complete, we are one step closer to finding a way to strike the balance between keeping our long-term care facilities free of COVID-19, and making sure residents are able to have the family time that is so critical to their wellbeing and health.”

In addition to providing information about COVID-19 cases, the baseline testing requirement provided facilities with the opportunity to develop the capacity to quickly and regularly test residents and staff.

Facilities are required to report any positive test result immediately to their local public health authority and ODHS. ODHS conducts at least weekly onsite visits to facilities with COVID-19 cases and collaborates with OHA and the facility’s local public health authority to monitor how the outbreak is being managed.

To ensure individuals’ privacy, the only publicly released information from the testing will be aggregate data. Positive test results are included in OHA’s Weekly COVID-19 Report, if the facility has three or more cases or one or more deaths. In addition, facilities with cases are included in ODHS lists published twice weekly.            

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UPDATE -- Kysa Sanders and Stella Hines found - 10/02/20

(Salem, Ore.) – Kysa Sanders, age 12, and Stella Hines age 14, two foster children who went missing together on Sept. 26, 202 were found on Oct. 1, 2020. The Oregon Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Division is thankful for the community support to find them.

A small number of children in foster care may be in significant danger when they run away or have gone missing. As DHS works to do everything it can to find these missing children and ensure their safety, media alerts will be issued in some circumstances when it is determined necessary. Sometimes, in these situations, a child may go missing repeatedly, resulting in more than one media alert for the same child.

Report child abuse to the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline by calling 1-855-503-SAFE (7233).  This toll-free number allows you to report abuse of any child or adult to the Oregon Department of Human Services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.

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