Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Sequoyah Memorial Office Building, 2400 N. Lincoln Blvd. • Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 521-3646 • Fax (405) 521-6684 • Internet: www.okdhs.org
 
Ask OKDHS - Adult and Family Services

 

Adult Protective Services

 

Child Care Benefits

 

Health Related and Medical Services

 

LIHEAP (Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program)

 

SNAP (Food Stamps)

 

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)

 

Benefit Overpayments

 

 

Adult Protective Services (APS)

Q:  I have an elderly neighbor who seems to be having problems. She goes outside and gets lost until someone from the neighborhood brings her back to her porch. Her relatives live out of state and don’t visit. Is there someone who can check on her? 

A:  Yes! Call your local OKDHS office and ask to make an Adult Protective Services referral. You can also call the Statewide Hotline at 1-800-522-3522 and someone will take your referral 24 hours a day. 

 

Q:  My friend is 80 years old. He lives alone and is active in senior activities. His son recently moved in with him and now he has bruises, is withdrawn and doesn’t leave his home. His son will not let me or anyone else visit unless he is also present in the room. Who can I call to get my friend some help? I am worried that if his son finds out I made a referral, he could harm my friend more or even me. 

A:  You can make an anonymous referral. Call your local OKDHS office and ask to make an Adult Protective Services referral or call the Statewide Hotline at 1-800-522-3522 and someone will take your referral 24 hours a day. You will not be identified as the person making the referral. 

 

Q:  I have made several calls to Adult Protective Services about my neighbor who has lots of cats and lives in filth. Can’t APS force her to get rid of her cats and move to a better environment?

A:  State law requires OKDHS Adult Protective Services workers to provide services to vulnerable adults in order to protect them from abuse, neglect and/or exploitation. However, the same law also protects the right of adults (persons over 18 years of age) to make their own decisions, including decisions about their living environment. The adult may be neglecting himself and making decisions that others may disagree with; however, he may still have the capacity to make his own decisions. In these instances, APS specialists will continue trying to provide voluntary services. In order to force someone to accept involuntary services, a court action declaring the person incompetent is required. If your neighbor’s situation continues to get worse, please continue to make referrals to either your local OKDHS office or the Statewide Hotline at 1-800-522-3522.


Child Care Benefits

Q: I need help paying for child care while I work. How do I apply for child care benefits?

A: To apply for child care benefits, you will need to complete a Request for Benefits form (PS-1 or 08MP001E). You can obtain this form from your local OKDHS office or from the OKDHS website: http://www.okdhs.org/. Take this form to your local OKDHS office, mail it or fax it. If you take the form to the office, an interview will be conducted that day to get you started. If the form is mailed or faxed, you will receive a letter with an interview date. This interview can be in person or by telephone, whichever is most convenient for you. You must provide verification of household income, your work, school or training schedule, and the name of the child care provider you wish to use. Also, if the child(ren) who need child care have an absent parent, you will need to agree to pursue child support through Oklahoma Child Support Services (OCSS), a division of OKDHS. The local worker will assist you in completing the OCSS referral. Once the interview is completed and you have provided all of the required verifications, your request will be approved or denied within two working days. OKDHS will not pay for any child care services until your application for child care benefits is approved.

If you need help in finding a child care provider, you can use the Child Care Locator at http://www.okdhs.org/ or call the OK Child Care Resource and Referral service at 1-888-962-2772.

 

Q:  How much money can I earn and still qualify for help with my child care?

A: A household may be eligible for child care benefits with:

  • One child in care if the gross monthly income is $2425 or less.
  • Two children in care if the gross monthly income is $2925 or less.
  • Three or more children in care if the gross monthly income is $3625 or less.


Depending on the income considered, a household may be required to pay for a portion of their child care costs. This is called a “co-payment.” Detailed income guidelines and family co-payment amounts may be found in Appendix C-4, Child Care Eligibility/Co-payment Chart at http://www.okdhs.org/. To find out about other eligibility requirements, go to http://www.okdhs.org/ and click on “Apply for child care assistance” or call 1-866-411-1877.

 

Q:  I am a child care provider.  How can I get paid from OKDHS for caring for children?

A:  In order to receive payment for providing child care services to children whose families are eligible for child care benefits, your facility must have a contract with OKDHS. OKDHS contracts only with child care providers who have an OKDHS permit or license and a STAR rating of one star or greater. To get a permit or license or to receive a STAR rating, contact the licensing specialist in your local OKDHS office.


Health Related and Medical Services

Q:  How do I apply for nursing home care or other programs for the elderly or disabled?

A:  An application for nursing home care or in-home care can be made at any local OKDHS office. If you have Internet access, you can download a Request for Benefits form (PS-1 or 08MP001E) from the OKDHS website at http://www.okdhs.org/.  This form can be completed and sent or taken to your local OKDHS office for processing.

 

Q: Is OKDHS still taking applications for SoonerCare (Medicaid)?

A: Yes, you can still apply for SoonerCare at your local OKDHS office. However, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) now determines eligibility for SoonerCare programs for pregnant women, children and adults with children through their online enrollment process at http://www.mysoonercare.org/ (Link opens in new window) or at other OHCA partner agencies .


LIHEAP (Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program)

Q: How can I get help with my heating and/or cooling bills?

A:  OKDHS operates the Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which pays utilities for heating and cooling for eligible individuals. The Winter Heating Program usually begins around Dec. 1 each year. If funding is available, OKDHS will also operate an Energy Crisis Assistance Program and a Summer Cooling Program. Application periods are announced through local media outlets. Contact your local OKDHS office for more information on LIHEAP and eligibility requirements.

 

Q: Last year, I went to the OKDHS office on the first day of the LIHEAP program and was told applications were closed. What more must I do to get help paying my heating bill?

A: Funding for the LIHEAP program is extremely limited and can run out quickly, so it’s a good idea to arrive early on the first day. 


SNAP (Food Stamps)

Q: What is the new name of the Food Stamp Program?

A: The national name was changed to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, on Oct. 1, 2008. OKDHS elected to change our state’s food assistance program name to match the national name.

 

Q: How do I apply for SNAP (food stamps)?

A: You may apply for SNAP by going to any local OKDHS county office. You may also visit our website http://www.okdhs.org/ and click on the link “How do I apply for Food Stamps?” You can print a copy of the Request for Benefits form (PS-1 or 08MP001E), fill it out and take it, mail it or fax it to your local OKDHS office. County staff will interview you and complete the application process. For questions regarding SNAP, contact the OKDHS SNAP section at 405-522-3444 or e-mail SNAP@okdhs.org.

 

Q: How can I use SNAP benefits?

A: If you are approved for SNAP, your food benefits will be issued on an electronic benefit card. You may use this card at any site that accepts the card, and you may purchase any allowable food product. You may not use the food benefits to purchase pet food, tobacco, alcohol or household goods and paper products. You also may not obtain cash with your SNAP card.


Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) 

Q: What is TANF?

A: TANF stands for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. It is a federal program that began in 1997. Before 1997, the program was quite a bit different and was called AFDC, which stands for Aid to Families with Dependent Children. TANF provides temporary cash assistance to meet basic needs, training leading to employment, employment services and child care assistance for qualified families. In order to receive TANF benefits, you will need to work or participate in a qualifying training program and be responsible for the care of a minor child living with you. There is a 60-month lifetime limit for TANF benefits.

 

Q: I am a single mom and I am going to start school full-time next semester. I would like to focus on school and not work. Can I receive TANF cash assistance while I am in school?

A: The TANF program requires participation in an approved TANF work activity for 20-35 hours per week. Your school attendance may or may not qualify as the approved work activity. If your classes do quality, but are less than your required number of participation hours, you must work or do some other activity to complete the requirement. Other eligibility factors will include cooperation with child support and any earned or unearned income. You should go to any local OKDHS office to make an application for TANF benefits.

 

Q: I am a disabled Veteran looking for employment. I have approximately $400 a month income, and I’m trying to get custody of my child. Can I receive TANF?

A: To receive TANF, you must have a minor child living in the home with you. Your income and resources, such as bank accounts, will be considered in determining your eligibility for TANF assistance. You will need to go to your local OKDHS office to make an application for TANF benefits. 

 

Q: I have been receiving TANF for two years. How long can I continue to receive these cash benefits?

A: Oklahoma has a 60-month (5-year) lifetime limit on TANF benefits, but exceptions can be made for certain cases. Check with your local OKDHS office for more information.


Benefit Overpayments

Q: I got a notice from OKDHS telling me I got paid more in benefits than I was entitled to. What are my options for repaying this claim and where do I send the money?

A: You can mail a personal check, cashier’s check or money order to: OKDHS, P.O. Box 53306, Oklahoma City, OK 73152-9916. Please do not send cash through the mail, and be sure to include your account number with the payment. If you are currently receiving benefits from OKDHS, a percentage of your benefits may be retained in order to repay the overpayment. If you cannot repay the claim in one lump sum, you can set up a repayment agreement. Each month, you will receive a monthly billing statement with a stamped return envelope for your convenience. To set up a repayment agreement or if you have other concerns, please call the OKDHS Benefit Integrity and Recovery Section at 1-800-427-8541 or 405-522-0933.   

 

Q: I got a notice from OKDHS telling me I got paid more in benefits than I was entitled to. If I don’t agree, how do I appeal the decision? 

A:  If you receive a “Notification of Overpayment,” the letter will tell you which program the overpayment was for, such as SNAP, SoonerCare or TANF, as well as the amount, timeframe and reason for the overpayment. The letter will also advise you that you have a right to appeal the decision by requesting a Fair Hearing. There are time limits on how long you have to request the Fair Hearing and the letter will explain these time limits. For example, all requests for Fair Hearings on a SNAP claim must be made within 90 days from the date of the Notification of Overpayment letter. Other programs are generally 30 days from the date of the notification letter. To request a Fair Hearing, visit your local OKDHS office. Once you have requested the hearing, you will be notified by mail of the time, date and location for the hearing. 

Last Updated:  12/19/2012