(White Plains, NY) – The Westchester County Department of Social Services (DSS) is developing and implementing safety measures, and changing the way the Department provides services to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in Westchester. As a precaution, in-person contact has been eliminated whenever possible, with DSS transitioning to offer assistance by way of telework options and phone to reduce the potential exposure of Westchester County’s residents. Those in need of benefits should apply online through www.MyBenefits.com, additionally applications can be either mailed or faxed to DSS.
DSS District Offices will remain open for emergency walk-in assistance as needed, using appropriate social distancing.
To date, Westchester County DSS has executed the following safety methods:
- Using technology (laptops, mobile phones, remote login and online application processes) to provide assistance to residents.
- Developed in-office emergency assistance options across multiple public assistance programs to help residents by phone, maintaining appropriate social distancing.
- Using specially-developed protocols for child welfare and adult protective services to handle non-safety related contacts by phone. Proper precautions will be taken if an in-person child/adult safety assessment is needed.
- Utilizing waivers when possible to defer nonessential regulatory requirements.
- Reduced Department staffing to minimal levels required to provide essential Social Services functions using rotating schedules.
- Supporting food requests and deliveries by phone or online.
- Supporting staffing of a child care site for healthcare providers and first responders, monitoring child care provider closures.
- Westchester County’s shelters are fully operational, and emergency housing units have been set aside. All housing is maintained following CDC guidelines; clients are screened upon entry and if required moved to hospitalization or isolation.
- For Case Management information, residents can call 914-995-3333 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Westchester County DSS has been closely monitoring federal, state and local guidance regarding social services, and will adjust as new guidelines are enforced.