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DHSS Press Release



Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@delaware.gov

Date: April 5, 2020
DHSS-4-2020





BECAUSE OF WIDESPREAD COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION OF COVID-19, DHSS ENDING ALL WALK-IN ACCESS TO PUBLIC OFFICES; CUSTOMER SERVICE NEEDS TO BE MET BY APPOINTMENT, PHONE, EMAIL OR ONLINE; CRISIS SERVICES CONTINUE


NEW CASTLE (April 5, 2020)- The Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) is announcing that all walk-in access to its public offices will end beginning on Monday, April 6, 2020, because of the potential risk for clients and DHSS employees in having in-person interactions. Client needs will now be met in person by appointment only, or through phone, email or online interactions, except for crisis services, emergency cases, or for people without phone or computer access.

"To keep both our clients and our employees safe, this is the right move for our department and for the clients we are committed to serving every day," said DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker, a practicing family physician. "With widespread community transmission in Delaware, it is a public health risk to have our usual in-person interaction. Our offices will have signs on the doors to explain how staff can be reached if clients have an emergency, or for those who don't have immediate access to a phone or computer."

Outreach efforts across DHSS, such as the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health's Mobile Crisis Services, the Division of Social Services' Community Partner Support Unit and the Office of Animal Welfare's animal control services are continuing. Appointments through DSAMH already scheduled are still expected to occur through telehealth or in person as needed. Admissions and discharges to DHSS' 24/7 facilities also will continue as needed.

To screen or apply for many DHSS services, Delawareans are encouraged to use DHSS' online portal, ASSIST. Seniors and individuals with disabilities can also visit the Delaware Aging and Disability Resource's website or call 1-800-223-9074. For other services (by division), here is how clients and potential clients can make inquiries:

Division of Social Services (Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, General Assistance, Purchase of Care subsidized child care)
Screen for and apply for benefits: ASSIST website, call 1-866-843-7212 or your local office State Service Center
Customer service (issues with existing benefits): 1-866-843-7212
To make an appointment: Call you local State Service Center

Division of Child Support Services Customer service or to make an appointment: 302-577-7171
More Information: https://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dcss/

Division of State Service Centers Screen for and apply for benefits: ASSIST website or call your local State Service Center
To make an appointment: Call your local State Service Center

Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance

Screen for and apply for benefits: ASSIST https://dhss.delaware.gov; or 1-800-372-2022 to make an appointment Health Benefit Manager: 1-800-996-9969
Managed Care Member Service
Highmark Health Options: 1-844-325-6251
AmeriHealth Caritas Delaware: 1-844-211-0966
Long-Term Care Medicaid: apply using ASSIST https://dhss.delaware.gov or 1-866-940-8963

Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (crisis, emotional support, services)
Appointments: HelpIsHereDE.com or 1-800-652-2929
Customer service (issues with existing services): 1-855-649-7944;
admissions and payments: 302-255-9458

Division of Developmental Disabilities Services
Apply for services or to make an appointment: 302-744-9700 or 1-866-552-5758, Option 2
Eligibility appeals: 302-744-9628
Customer service (issues with existing benefits): Call your case manager

Division for Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities For all questions, referrals, and access to your existing case manager: Delaware Aging and Disability Resource Center http://delawareadrc.com/ or call 1-800-223-9074

Division of Public Health (Women, Infants, and Children - WIC, immunizations, HIV/AIDS, TB, Health Care Connection, Office of Animal Welfare, etc.)
Apply for or seek services: Call your local Division of Public Health office
To make an appointment: Call your local Division of Public Health office
Office of Animal Welfare's Delaware Animal Services (animal-related concerns): 302-255-4646

Division for the Visually Impaired
Apply for services, make an appointment or customer service: 302-255-9800 or your case manager

Division of Health Care Quality
Office of Health Facilities Licensing: Hotline:1-800-942-7373; office: 302-292-393
Office of Long-Term Care Resident's Protection: Hotline:1-877-453-0012;
Background Check Center: 302-421-7405;
CNA Registry: 302-421-7403
Division of Health Care Quality Customer Service: 302-421-7400

DHSS Constituent Relations
If you have trouble reaching any division or have an issue with your benefits or services being delayed or denied, please reach out to our Constituent Services: dhssinfo@delaware.gov

Also starting Monday, the Department of Health and Social Services and the Division of Public Health will begin a new collaboration with the United Way of Delaware to better triage incoming calls related to COVID-19. Anyone with a question about COVID-19 should call Delaware 2-1-1, 1-800-560-3372, 7-1-1 for individuals with a hearing impairment, or text your ZIP code to 898-211. Delaware 2-1-1 has increased its hours, added operators, and now is available seven days a week to serve Delawareans. For the latest coronavirus updates in Delaware, go to: de.gov/coronavirus



Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.





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