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Maryland Shuts Down Local DSS Offices

March 20th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

To further support Governor Larry Hogan’s unprecedented actions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland Department of Human Services Secretary, Lourdes R. Padilla, announced that all buildings at each of the 24 local Departments of Social Services (DSS) would be closed to the public, which was effective at noon, March 18, 2020.

“Across Maryland, our Department’s leadership team and staff are prepared for, and have put into place, measures to ensure the continuity of services during this period of buildings being closed to the public,” said Secretary Padilla. “We are also committed to protecting the public and our staff as we do our part to help slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).”

The Department of Human Services (DHS), through its 24 local Departments of Social Services, assists people in economic need, provides preventive services, and protects vulnerable children and adults in each of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City.

Marylanders can get information, apply for DHS programs and services, and check the status of applications online at mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us/dashboardClient/#/home. Services include emergency food assistance, cash assistance, SNAP food benefits, child support services, and home energy assistance, among others.

Residents may also call the DHS Call Center at 1-800-332-6347 (TTY 1-800-735-2258), available from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. Medical Assistance and health insurance applications may be submitted at www.marylandhealthconnection.gov.

Additionally, Baltimore City Department of Social Services (BCDSS) buildings closed to the public on March 16, in accordance with Mayor Young’s closure of all city government buildings. Montgomery County Department of Social Services buildings, governed by County Executive Marc Elrich, are currently open to the public, but residents are encouraged to use online services to support social distancing.

The list of ongoing state actions is available at governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus. For health resources regarding COVID-19, including case counts and clinician guidance, Marylanders should visit health.maryland.gov/coronavirus.

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