In light of the coronavirus – officially “COVID-19” – pandemic, the Social Services Division of the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services is now accepting food and nutrition applications and renewals electronically.
The move is being made in order to minimize the contact between department employees and clients and therefore help prevent the spread of the virus.
There are three ways clients can submit paperwork to receive or renew Food Nutrition Services (FNS) benefits without setting foot in either of the county’s two DSS offices:
- Those applying can send their forms electronically – by scanning the document or by taking a photo of it and attaching it to an email sent to DSSDocuments@guilfordcountync.gov .
- They can mail the documents to “Guilford County Department of Social Services, PO Box 3388, Greensboro NC, 27405.”
- DSS clients can also use the EPASS Online system to complete electronic applications. That system is accessible at www.epass.nc.gov .
According to the new guidelines from the county’s social services division, those who wish to submit their applications and renewals in person can continue to do so – though the statement from DSS adds that that is true “until further notice.”
Also, based on new instructions from the US Department of Agriculture – the federal department behind the food stamp program – social services “will extend all Food Nutrition Services recertifications that are due within the months of April and May 2020 for an additional six months.”
The division is extending the benefits for some even longer.
“For all simplified (disabled and elderly) households,” the statement reads, “if your recertification is due within the months of April and May 2020, we will extend these certification periods for an additional twelve months. Your monthly benefits will remain available on your normal allotted dates between the 3rd and 21st of each month.”