OKLAHOMA CITY — As the COVID-19 crisis abates in Oklahoma and around the nation, and public health emergency orders begin to expire, some emergency responses and protocols put in place to help Oklahomans during the pandemic emergency will also expire. For Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS), this includes the eventual end of emergency allotments to households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), along with emergency protocols instated for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
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“We are thankful for the support of our federal partners, as well as the efforts of our Governor, legislature and state and community partners to support Oklahomans through the COVID-19 crisis,” said Secretary of Human Services and OKDHS Director Justin Brown. “As our lives begin to return to normal and the economy rebuilds, OKDHS is committed to continuing our work to build HOPE and provide help for those who need us most. Our brightest days are ahead!”
“COVID-19 is no longer a state of emergency in Oklahoma,” said Governor Kevin Stitt. “I am grateful for Secretary Brown’s tireless work to assist Oklahoma families, and share his commitment to a smooth transition back to pre-COVID protocols. Thanks to the decision to reopen our economy last June, businesses are thriving and employers across the state are ready to expand, so I encourage Oklahomans to not live in fear, to return to work, and to return to normal.”
SNAP emergency allotments, taking families to the maximum monthly benefit based on household size, will continue through June 2021, while the 15 percent increase in SNAP benefits through the American Rescue Plan, about $26 per month per person, will continue through Sept. 2021. OKDHS continues to offer the SNAP Employment and Training program to support Oklahomans who receive SNAP benefits, and do not already receive TANF, with free job training as they are looking for employment.
The TANF program will return to face-to-face interviews and other pre-COVID protocols at the expiration of public health emergency. TANF provides families with federally-funded, time-limited cash assistance. OKDHS collaborates with Oklahoma Works and a network of business and industry leaders and other state agencies who created new and innovative approaches throughout the COVID-19 crisis to continue to connect people with employment, education and training opportunities and promote self-sufficiency.
To learn more about SNAP and TANF, along with other programs administered by OKDHS Adult and Family Services, visit https://www.ourokdhs.org/s/annualreport2020/afs. Both SNAP and TANF applications are accepted online at OKDHSLive.org.