As news about the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) continues to develop, I want share with you the steps we are taking at the RI Department of Human Services to prepare and keep you connected to the services and benefits you need.
The Governor announced in an afternoon press conference on Monday, March 16, that state agencies will be closing customer facing lobby operations, effective March 17, until further notice. DHS will be implementing remote service for its customers. It's important to emphasize that DHS customers still have access to benefits through the following channels:
• Customer Portal: login to your portal to access your benefits, instructions can be found on the DHS website (visit: http://www.dhs.ri.gov/)
• DHS Phone: 1-855-MY-RIDHS (1-855-697-4347)
• Drop off materials at our offices and DHS staff will follow up via telephone
• The DHS Call Center capacity has been increased by 63% to allow for the expected increase in phone calls
DHS' main commitment at this time is to make sure our customers can access their benefits safely and that we ensure the safety of our DHS staff. We appreciate your patience and partnership during this time.
Please be sure that you are aware of the following sources of information and are checking back with these sources frequently:
• The State of Rhode Island Department of Health (see link below)
• Center for Disease Control and Prevention (see link below)
The Rhode Island Department of Health has launched a 24-hour hotline for anyone with questions about the Coronavirus (401-222-8022). Residents can also call 211 for assistance. I also encourage everyone take preventative actions as recommended by the CDC (visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html).
Rhode Islanders are also encouraged to contact the BH Link (see link below) if you or anyone you know or care about is experiencing a behavioral health care crisis.