What’s new for: CountyLink

Federal Government Shutdown Q&A

We greatly appreciate all the hard work you are doing to ensure Minnesotans receive their SNAP and MFIP food benefits for February. We have received dozens of questions about what to expect as the shutdown proceeds and created a Q&A document titled, Federal Shutdown 2019 Questions and Answers Regarding SNAP and MFIP Food Portion.

We will continue to update this document as we receive updates about the shutdown from the USDA so please check this document often. Feel free to submit additional questions to DHS.SNAP-PAC.QA@state.mn.us and we will respond as soon as we can.

If you have case specific questions, please submit a PolicyQuest. For system-related questions please contact the TSS Help Desk.

Conduct interviews for MFIP recertifications by phone or internet telepresence

In an effort to expedite processing MFIP and MFIP SNAP recertification applications we are encouraging income maintenance workers to conduct interviews for MFIP recertifications by phone or internet telepresence.*

Recertification interviews may be conducted by telephone, by internet telepresence, or in person in a county office or other mutually agreed upon location. A participant must be given the option of a telephone interview or internet telepresence to recertify eligibility.

*Allowed by MN Statute 256P.04

SNAP benefits continue through February 2019

The federal government remains partially shut down. Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) benefits will continue through February 2019. If the shutdown continues, it may impact SNAP benefits after Feb. 28, 2019. The Minnesota Department of Human Services is working with partners and exploring options for SNAP recipients beyond that date if the shutdown continues.

Information to county and tribal staff on the early issuance of February SNAP benefits.

Text from DHS hosted teleconference on Jan. 11, 2019,

PowerPoint slides from DHS hosted teleconference on Jan. 11, 2019

New applications for SNAP benefits are still being accepted at local county and tribal government offices. Current SNAP recipients should still continue to follow all program requirements and reporting.

If clients need help with food, contact the Minnesota Food HelpLine, 1-888-711-1151 or www.mnfoodhelpline.org.

Enterprise Appeals Solution rollout postponed

The Phase 2 expansion of the Enterprise Appeals Solution (EAS) rollout is being postponed. No additional state or county respondents will be added to the rollout on Dec. 1. The delay will allow more time to gather needed information from rollout participants.

Agencies that are not participating in Phase 1 of the rollout will continue to send and receive correspondence with the DHS Appeals Division in the same way they currently do. As a result of the updated schedule, the use of the email boxes requested in the Oct. 24, 2018, correspondence from Patrick Kontz will not be implemented during this postponement.

The delay will also allow more of the appeals processed during Phase 1 of the EAS rollout to complete a full lifecycle. Information from these completed Phase 1 appeals will be used to further develop the process before use of the EAS is expanded to more users. The postponement will also prevent overburdening state and county staff during the very busy health care renewal and open enrollment season.

During the delay, the Phase 1 participants and types of appeals will gradually be expanded. Information on training will be distributed closer to the time when use of the EAS will be expanded. A new rollout schedule is being developed and will be communicated when finalized.

If you have additional questions about the effort, contact dhs.appealsupport@state.mn.us

Training available for MMIS users who work with aging, disability waivers

DHS has posted training modules for lead agency staff who use the Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) to view or enter data in the Long-Term Care (LTC) Screening Document (DHS-3427) and the Service Agreement (DHS-3070). The training will benefit staff who support people 65 and older who receive services through aging and disability waivers. Find training on TrainLink under the Older Adult Programs Learning Center. See the MMIS online training on the Aging: training and conferences webpage for a list of the sessions and how to navigate in the learning center.

Legislative summary available online

Elder abuse prevention, the opioid crisis and affordable health care were key human services issues before the Legislature during the 2018 session. The session ended with vetoes of the omnibus spending and tax bills, leaving only the pension bill and a number of policy nonbudget bills signed into law. DHS did not advance a policy bill and had a comparatively small budget request. A summary of 2018 changes affecting human services (PDF) is now available on the DHS website. More legislative information is available on the website.

Training on mental health challenges of adopted children available

Minnesota county, tribal and private mental health practitioners are invited to participate in a new web-based training initiative on the unique mental health challenges of children adopted from foster care. Pilot testing of the National Adoption Mental Health Training Initiative begins in March. The course is intended to equip mental health practitioners with tools to better assess and help adoptive families. Minnesota is one of nine pilot sites for the training. Those interested can sign up for more information about the training on the Center for Adoption Support and Education website.

County Human Service Cost Report is available online

The annual Minnesota County Human Service Cost Report for Calendar Year 2016 (PDF) is available on DHS’ public website. The report, compiled by the Financial Operations Division, contains statewide and county-specific costs and revenue shares for economic support, health and social service programs.

New video details options for mothers, fathers for establishing parentage

Many parents don’t know their options or understand the benefits of determining parentage when their child is born. The Minnesota Department of Human Services created a new video, “Establishing Parentage — What Every Mother and Father Should Know,” to help new, unmarried parents decide how they want to establish parentage and understand the benefits. The video focuses on two ways to establish parents, signing the Recognition of Parentage form or genetic testing. The video also covers related subjects, such as child support, custody and parenting time. DHS translated the eight-minute video into four languages. More information is available on the recognition of parentage page.

DHS interpreter poster now features 15 languages

Minnesotans are speaking more languages, which is why DHS’ interpreter poster (PDF) (DHS-4739-ENG) has recently been updated. The new poster features six new languages: Amharic, Burmese, Cantonese/Traditional Chinese, French, Karen and Korean. These languages are in addition to the previous languages, which are: Arabic, Hmong, Cambodian/Khmer, Lao, Oromo, Russian, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese. More information is in a story about the interpreter poster.

'Follow' DHS page on Facebook

The Minnesota Department of Human Services has a departmentwide Facebook page that will feature a variety of content helping to share the DHS mission. DHS invites Facebook users to share constructive ideas, information, opinions and stories. Social media guidelines and links to all official DHS social media accounts can be found in the social media statement.

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