OLEAN — The Cattaraugus Department of Social Services wants to assure clientele that they are working diligently to maintain services to the public within state guidelines that have been designed to keep people healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Social Services Commissioner Anthony Turano said the Department will continue to both provide benefits and accept new applications from those who find themselves in need of assistance.

Initial TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) eligibility interviews can be conducted by telephone until April 12, 2020, Turano said. TANF recertification interviews can also be conducted by telephone until May 16, 2020.

As a reminder, interviews for those both applying for or recertifying for SNAP can be conducted by phone, unless an in-person interview is requested. SNAP benefits can also be used at on-line vendors; providers in our area include Amazon and Walmart.

According to new state guidelines issued March 19, work activities will be reduced to limit face to face contact until May 15, Turano said.

Those in need of applications for child support services are asked to call the child support helpline at (888) 208-4485. Requested applications will be sent via mail. Applications can also be obtained by visiting www.childsupport.ny.gov, where they can be printed, completed and submitted via mail to:

Cattaraugus County Department of Social Services

Attn: Child Support Enforcement Unit

1 Leo Moss Drive

Olean, New York 14760

“Implementing these practices will allow residents access to benefits which will be critical in allowing families to make ends meet, more now than during any time in recent memory; while maintaining health and safety for both county employees and the public they serve,” said Turano.

If you have any further questions or need additional information,call the Department of Social Services at (716) 373-8065.