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DCF COVID-19 Information

Economic Self-Sufficiency (ACCESS)

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. 1. How will this affect my Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits? Will there be an early release of SNAP benefits NEW?
    Governor DeSantis has directed the Department of Children and Families to make several changes to ensure the benefits provided to Florida families are not interrupted during this public health emergency. Under his leadership, we are participating in the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) online purchasing program, allowing Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Programs (SNAP) recipients to purchase groceries online through Walmart and Amazon. We also waived work requirements for SNAP and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) through May, and we are extending SNAP, TANF, and Medicaid benefits for those families who are scheduled to recertify in April and May, ensuring benefits are provided without the need for human interaction. We are also working diligently with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to allow families whose children are eligible for free and reduced-price school lunch to receive P-EBT benefits. We will continue exploring all options to support our customers throughout this time of uncertainty and stress. For more information and updates, please visit our COVID-19 information site at: www.myflfamilies.com/covid19/access.shtml.

  2. Will more money be released during this time?
    As directed by Governor Ron DeSantis on March 27, 2020, the Department of Children and Families worked with our federal partners to temporarily increase all Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients’ benefit amounts to the maximum monthly allotment based on household size for the months of March, April, and May.

    All clients can expect additional benefits to be included as a part of their regularly scheduled benefit allotment. Additionally, any new households approved for food assistance will receive additional benefits within a week of being approved for benefits. Please note, customers who are already receiving the maximum allotment will not receive an increase.

  3. What other resources are available for my family?
    Several resources are available for families seeking food and nutrition services during this time.

    Free meals for children under 18 years of age are available through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Summer BreakSpot program. To find the closest participating program, please text FOODFL to 877-877 or use the Summer BreakSpot children’s meal locator website at: SummerBreakSpot.FreshFromFlorida.com.

    Additionally, Feeding Florida’s united network of 12 food banks are working rapidly to deploy food and other services into areas of need throughout the state. To locate a food bank in your area and where to access food/supplies, visit: https://www.feedingflorida.org/feeding-florida/florida-food-banks.

  4. How can I apply for benefits now that you closed off storefronts and lobbies?
    The Department of Children and Families has worked diligently to ensure our clients have easy access to apply for benefits during this public health emergency. Please note, DCF’s Statewide Customer Call Center is available for customer questions and application assistance at 850-300-4323 or 1-866-762-2237 (TTY 1-800-955-8771). Agents are available for extended hours, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    • The fastest way to apply for benefits is online at: https://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida
      • Customers can report changes, upload documents, and check the status of their application and benefits through their MyACCESS Self-Service Portal.
    • Customers can pick up paper applications outside of your local storefront or lobby. Drop box and instructions for customers are available at all storefronts and lobbies to submit information and applications without human interaction.
    • Customers can call DCF at 850-300-4323 or 1-866-762-2237 (TTY 1-800-955-8771) to request an application by mail. Completed applications can be submitted by FAX to 1-866-886-4342 or mail it to:
      ACCESS Central Mail Center
      P.O. Box 1770
      Ocala, FL 34478-1770
    • A call center agent is available to take applications by phone at 850-300-4323 or 1-866-762-2237 (TTY 1-800-955-8771). Please note, this process is time consuming and may take up to an hour – customers are encouraged to utilize this option as a last resort.
  5. Will there be a lift on the Retroactive coverage rule?
    The Department of Children and Families is working with the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), Florida’s Medicaid agency, to explore all options to ensure access to public health care. The state will not be ending Medicaid eligibility for any individual who was receiving Medicaid on or after March 18, 2020 through 30 days after the end of this public health emergency. Individuals who believe they may be eligible for Medicaid should apply as soon as possible. Medicaid benefits begin from the first day of the month in the month of application. For updates, please visit: www.myflfamilies.com/covid19/access.shtml.

  6. I’ve lost my job, but don’t have a way to show that I’ve lost my income. What documentation does DCF need to process my benefits?
    The Department of Children and Families (DCF) will check to see if we can verify customers’ information using an electronic verification technology on their behalf. If we are unable to verify, common documents that can be provided includes paystubs, W2 forms, tax returns, collateral contacts, or a statement from an individual aware of the situation, etc. Additional questions about verification can be directed to DCF at 850-300-4323 or 1-866-762-2237 (TTY 1-800-955-8771).

  7. Where do I apply for unemployment?
    To apply for unemployment, please visit the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s website at: http://www.floridajobs.org/Reemployment-Assistance-Service-center/reemployment-assistance/claimants/apply-for-benefits

  8. Are you releasing more money during this time?
    As it relates to temporary changes for our benefit programs, Governor DeSantis has directed DCF to make several changes to ensure the benefits provided to Florida families. Under the leadership and direction of Governor DeSantis, DCF submitted a federal waiver to temporarily increase all Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients’ benefit amounts to the maximum monthly benefit based on household size for the months of March and April. Clients can expect to receive their additional March funds as early as April 3, 2020. For April, if you are a client that receives your regular benefit between April 1-7, you can expect to receive your benefit on April 8. If you are a client that receives your regular benefit after April 7, you can expect your additional benefit to be included as a part of your regularly scheduled benefit.

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