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Department of Human Services Introduces Option for Pennsylvanians to Apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by Phone

03/09/2021

Harrisburg, PA - Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller today announced Pennsylvanians can now apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) over the phone by calling 1-866-550-4355. This accessibility enhancement will benefit the growing number of Pennsylvanians participating in the program during times of economic challenges, like the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This new service is designed to provide all applicants, but especially those without access to a computer or Internet service, with a quick and easy way to submit applications for SNAP,” Secretary Miller said. “We hope this change will make SNAP more accessible to individuals and households most affected by the digital divide.”

Callers will be asked to provide the same information for a SNAP application by phone as one submitted online at www.compass.state.pa.us. Pennsylvanians applying for SNAP and other public assistance programs do not need to know their own eligibility before applying.

Those who prefer to submit a paper application can print one from the DHS website, pick one up at a County Assistance Office (CAO), or request an application by phone at 1-800-692-7462 and mail it to their local CAO or place it in a CAO’s secure drop box, if available. While CAOs remain closed due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the department’s work to process applications, determine eligibility, and issue benefits continues. On average, SNAP applications are processed within six days. 

Clients can also use COMPASS or the MyCOMPASS PA mobile app to submit necessary updates to their case files while CAOs are closed to the public. Applications for SNAP, Medicaid, and other public assistance programs that provide help with utilities, home energy, and cash assistance can be submitted online at www.compass.state.pa.us.

Enrollment for SNAP statewide has increased by 82,270 people since February 2020, for a total enrollment of about 1,819,729 in January 2021 – a 4.7 percent increase.

For more information about food assistance resources for people around Pennsylvania affected by COVID-19 and the accompanying economic insecurity, visit the Department of Agriculture’s food security guide.

For more information on public assistance programs, visit www.dhs.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT: Erin James - ra-pwdhspressoffice@pa.gov

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