DHS News Release: DHS RECEIVED FEDERAL APPROVAL TO TEMPORARILY WAIVE INTERVIEWS FOR SNAP AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE APPLICATIONS AND RENEWALS

Posted on Dec 30, 2021 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

HONOLULU – The State of Hawai`i Department of Human Services (DHS), Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division (BESSD) announced today that beginning January 1, 2022 through March 31, 2022, the interview requirement for new applications and renewals will be waived for:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/Food Stamps
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • General Assistance (GA)

DHS applied for, and received this temporary waiver from the federal government (USDA Food and Nutrition Service). The waiver will help BESSD to process cases in a timely manner during these challenging times that have resulted in an unprecedented number of applications and subsequent renewals.

Please note that clients may be contacted for an interview if additional information is needed to process the application or renewal.

Households scheduled to renew their benefits beginning January 2022 will receive a notice and DHS 1240 form in the mail when it is time to renew their benefits.

Households are required to complete, sign and submit the DHS 1240 form and provide information necessary to determine eligibility.

The interview requirement stated on the “Notice of Expiration” the household received or will receive through the mail is temporarily waived.  A second notice, ‘Notice Regarding Renewal’ will be sent via mail as a further reminder of the temporary interview waiver.

Households that are due for their periodic reporting requirement will receive the Six-Month Report form (SMRF) beginning January 2022 to update their circumstances.

Again, interviews will be waived during this time period, however, in some cases if more information is needed clients will be contacted.

Please note that during this time, paperwork still needs to be submitted online at this link https://pais.dhs.hawaii.gov/PAIS/#!/ or dropped off in the dropbox at any Processing Center.

The department is working diligently to improve the telephone system and call center process and thanks the community for their continued patience and understanding.

These unprecedented times have resulted in record numbers of applications and renewals and the department has provided much needed food and financial assistance amid the pandemic.

New SNAP Applications/Renewals

So far, in December 2021, DHS received more than 8,000 SNAP applications and mailed more than 19,000 renewals this month.  Prior to COVID-19, DHS would receive 5,000 new SNAP applications, on average.

SNAP Supplement in Hawaii

Since March 2020, through the October 2021 issuance, the SNAP Emergency Supplements have helped more than 78,000 households a month with more than $317 million in benefit support for individuals and families in need.

For more information on case-specific reporting requirements contact any Processing Center or the Public Assistance Toll Free Information Line at 1-855-643-1643.

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For media inquiries only:

Amanda Stevens

DHS Public Information Officer

Email: [email protected]

Website: humanservices.hawaii.gov