Oregon Department of Human Services
Emergency Messages as of 12:39 am, Mon. Sep. 20
No information currently posted.
News Releases
60% of LGBTQ+ older adults experienced discrimination in the past year, study says - 09/15/21

Salem, OR  ̶  Nearly 60% of older adults  ̶  who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, Two Spirit and non-binary as well as sexual or gender diverse (LGBTQ+)   ̶  report experiencing discrimination within the past year and 24% experienced abuse. Of those who experienced abuse, 76% did not report it, according to a study commissioned by the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS).

Risk of discrimination was high among:
• Asian and Pacific Islanders at 94%; 
• Black/African Americans at 91%; and
• Native American/Alaska Natives at 86%.

Over half of participants reported having unmet needs for at least one service, including aging, social, medical and health services, and/or social support services in the past year.

These findings are based on responses from 1,402 demographically diverse participants in research led by Karen Fredriksen Goldsen, Ph.D., of the University of Washington, who is a national expert on aging in communities that are underserved.  The study, which was the first of its kind in Oregon, sought detailed input from adults 55 and older on the needs and supports of Oregon’s LGBTQ+ older adults.  Survey participants were also asked to highlight strengths within the state’s various LGBTQ+ communities.

“This survey has set a standard for how state agencies can work with the community to identify challenges and strengths. With community input, agencies can develop impactful strategies, programs, services, and resources to meet those needs,” Goldsen said.

The ODHS Office of Aging and People with Disabilities supported this research to help strengthen and direct its future program development, community education and advocacy efforts.

Among the other findings: 
• 21% of participants do not disclose their sexual or gender identity to healthcare, aging or other service providers. 
• 21% experienced suicidal ideation in the past year, which is significantly higher than the general population.
• One-third have difficulty paying bills or buying nutritious meals due to financial instability., with elevated risks observed among those who are younger, people of color, those living with HIV, and those living in communities at heightened risk.

But, resilience reported among LGBTQ+ older adults was also high. Some findings include:
• More than 70% of LGBTQ+ older adult participants have three or more people they can count on for social and emotional support.
• The majority are actively engaged in LGBTQ+ communities through helping others, 79%; receiving help, 62%; and being involved in advocacy activities, 60%.
• Participants who are 75 and older reported the highest resilience.

“Older adults in Oregon are increasingly diverse, but we lacked data to guide us on what they are experiencing and how to best overcome disparities,” said Jane-ellen Weidanz, Administrator of the Long Term Services and Supports Unit within the ODHS Office of Aging and People with Disabilities. “This research will be instrumental in helping us understand the greatest needs and how to build upon the strengths that already exist in our communities.” 
The Oregon LGBTQ+ Older Adult Survey had widespread support from many community organizations and LGBTQ+ advocates. The Governor’s Commission on Senior Services, the Oregon LGBTQ+ Aging Coalition and SAGE Metro Portland were instrumental in advocating for the project. Other community partners supporting the research include:
• Aging Well of Cascade AIDS Project
• Alzheimer’s Association
• AARP Oregon
• EngAGE NW
• HIV Alliance 
• Metropolitan Community Church of Portland
• Oregon Home Care Commission
• Pride Foundation
• Quest Center for Integrative Health.

Read the full report: Oregon LGBTQ+ Older Adult Report or Executive Summary

Learn more about The Goldsen Institute.  

Oregon LGBTQ+ Older Adult Survey results announced Sept. 14 - 09/10/21

Salem, OR  ̶  The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) on Sept. 14 will share results from a survey of adults age 55 and older who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, Two Spirit and non-binary as well as sexual or gender diverse (LGBTQ+) to provide detailed feedback on the needs and supports of Oregon’s LGBTQ+ older adults. Survey participants were also asked to highlight strengths within the state’s various LGBTQ+ communities. 

The Oregon LGBTQ+ Older Adult Survey, which was the first of its kind in Oregon, was led by researcher Karen Fredriksen Goldsen, Ph.D., a national expert on aging in underserved communities at the University of Washington.
The public and members of the news media are invited to join the presentation and question and answer session about the survey results. 

What: Oregon LGBTQ+ Older Adult Survey Results Presentation and Discussion
When: 10 to 11-30 a.m. PST, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021
Where: Online: Join ZoomGov Meeting; Meeting ID 160 381 9506; Passcode 670851. By phone: +1 669 254 5252 US (San Jose); Meeting ID 160 381 9506; Passcode 670851.
Details: Participation is limited to the first 500 attendees. Live captioning and American Sign Language interpretation will be provided. For questions about the accessibility of the meeting, send an email to Elisa.A.Williams@dhsoha.state.or.us

###

 

ODHS expands COVID-19 Recovery Unit network statewide - 09/09/21

SALEM, OR  ̶  The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) expanded its network of COVID-19 Recovery Units to eight long-term care facilities statewide to ensure Oregonians have access to care with the spread of the Delta variant.

These dedicated units, located within existing licensed long-term care facilities, give the state more flexibility in responding to COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities and help ease demand for hospital beds statewide. Five of the units will also provide monoclonal antibody therapy which can prevent an individual infected with COVID-19 from experiencing severe complications and symptoms.  

Facilities with a total of 238 beds under contract to maintain a COVID-19 Recovery unit are:

• Avamere Riverpark, Eugene, 21 beds and monoclonal antibody therapy;
• Avamere at Three Fountains, Medford, 30 beds and monoclonal antibody therapy;
• Bend Transitional Care, Bend, 20 beds and monoclonal antibody therapy;
• Rose Haven Nursing Center, Roseburg, 20 beds;
• Salem Transitional Care, Salem, 16 beds and monoclonal antibody therapy;
• The Pearl at Kruse Way, Lake Oswego, 45 beds and monoclonal antibody therapy;
• The Springs at Willowcreek, Salem, 16 beds; and
• Pacific Health & Rehabilitation, Tigard, 70 beds.

The number of beds under contract could fluctuate as needs evolve statewide.  
The ODHS Office of Aging and People with Disabilities selected facilities based on their ability to care for individuals with COVID-19 in a dedicated area that is separated from other residents and their capacity to provide the number of beds needed in a region. During the previous surge in COVID-19 cases at the end of 2020 and early 2021, ODHS had maintained contracts for seven COVID-19 Recovery Units and more than 1,300 Oregonians were served; from August through Sept. 5 of this year, 212 Oregonians have been served.

These dedicated units fill the following needs:  

• Provide care and services to residents of long-term care facilities that are in crisis due to staffing shortages. This can be because they are not able to effectively cohort COVID-19 positive residents, with dedicated staff, because they lack enough direct-care workers facility-wide.  
• Provide care for COVID-19 positive Oregonians with long-term care needs who have been discharged from the hospital and are still COVID-19 positive. 
• Serve as a care setting for COVID-19 positive Oregonians who do not require hospitalization and are unable to have their care needs met in their current home. 
• Assist with long-term care staffing and bed shortages statewide by preventing individual facilities from having to each set up their own dedicated COVID-19 wing with dedicated staff.

“Re-establishing a statewide network of COVID-19 Recovery Units is essential to the state’s effort to best use available care resources during the current surge in COVID-19 cases. Care providers of all types face staffing shortages and this network represents a collaboration that maximizes available direct-care employees,” said Mike McCormick, interim director of the ODHS Office of Aging and People with Disabilities. “These units also serve a crucial need in rural areas where care options may be limited.”

###

Input sought by Oct. 1 on Medicaid waivers for Oregonians receiving long-term services and supports - 09/01/21

Salem, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) will be submitting two Medicaid waiver application renewal requests to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and seeks input on these applications from the public by Oct. 1, 2021. The waivers, which will be submitted by the ODHS Office of Aging and People with Disabilities through the Oregon Health Authority, serve individuals who meet Oregon’s nursing facility level of care and Medicaid eligibility criteria.

The first waiver, APD 1915(c) #0185 Aging and Physically Disabled Waiver, will enable case management services to help individuals gain access to needed medical, social, educational, and other services. It also provides community transition services to support individuals who need to transition from an acute care hospital, or licensed care setting, to an in-home setting. For individuals over the standard Medicaid income levels, monthly waivered services will also make it possible access all other Long-Term Services and Supports benefits that are funded through the Medicaid 1915(k), or Community Choice First Option. A new service will be added to the waiver to support individuals with finding and maintaining housing.

The second waiver, APD 1915(b)(4) Case Management Freedom of Choice Waiver, will make it possible for Oregon to choose to contract with Area Agencies on Aging, willing Tribes, and APD offices to perform waivered case management services. This waiver ensures that ongoing case management is coordinated with all the other services provided to eligible individuals.

In response to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP), APD plans to submit the following requests to CMS when filing the waiver renewals. For the 1915(c) Waiver, APD will eliminate the client contribution for in-home consumers. Currently, in-home consumers can keep up to $1,294 a month. Any income above that amount must be contributed toward the cost of services. For the 1915(b)(4) and 1915(c) Waivers, APD will add Housing Support Services to assist consumers who want to transition, or want to maintain living, outside of a long-term care facility setting.

In response to preparing for the end of the Public Health Emergency in place with the COVID-19 pandemic, APD plans to submit the 1915(c) waiver to request a permanent change tied to Person-Centered Service Plans. The change specifies that when a written signature is not possible, an alternative signature method may be used.

Members of the public are invited to send comments by Oct. 1, 2021, on these applications to Beth Jackson by email to eth.Jackson3@dhsoha.state.or.us">Beth.Jackson3@dhsoha.state.or.us; by fax to 503-947-4245; or by U.S. postal mail to Beth Jackson, Office of Aging and People with Disabilities, Oregon Department of Human Services, 500 Summer St. NE; Salem, OR 97301-1079. Printed copies of the waivers may also be requested including in other languages, large print, braille or other preferred format.  

Oregon approved to issue an additional $167 million in Pandemic EBT food assistance to 430,000 children - 09/01/21

Need to know:  

  • Current recipients of P-EBT benefits for the 2020 - 2021 school year will automatically receive an additional $389 per child in food assistance that will be received as two payments in September and October. There is no need to apply.  
  • If your child has not applied and been approved for free or reduced price meals at school, you can still receive P-EBT food assistance for the summer if you apply online at the Oregon Department of Education website by September 4.  
  • Oregon will provide approximately $591 million in food assistance for children from July through October 2021.
  • P-EBT is a benefit program separate from meals currently provided at no charge to children and students. These meals do not impact P-EBT eligibility or benefits.

(Salem) – The State of Oregon received approval from the federal government to expand the Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program and provide an additional $167 million in food assistance to approximately 430,000 children in Oregon.  

Oregon was previously approved to provide approximately $424 million in food benefits to children in Oregon. Combined with the summer expansion of the program, Oregon will provide approximately $591 million in food assistance to children from July through October 2021.  

P-EBT provides food benefits to families whose children were eligible for free or reduced priced meals at school or daycare, but did not have access to these free meals because of COVID-19 closures.  

Children currently receiving P-EBT benefits for the 2020 - 2021 school year will automatically receive an additional $389 per child in food assistance that will be received as two payments in September and October.  

Eligibility for additional P-EBT food assistance

  • Students eligible to receive P-EBT benefits for the 2020 - 2021 school year will receive additional P-EBT food assistance for the summer of 2021. There is no need to apply.  
  • Children age six or younger whose families participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program will receive P-EBT food assistance for the summer of 2021. There is no need to apply.
  • If your child has not applied and been approved for free or reduced price meals at school, you can still receive P-EBT food assistance for the summer if you apply online at the Oregon Department of Education website by September 4.  

Two ways children receive P-EBT food assistance

There are two ways children receive benefits:  

  • If the child’s household currently participates in SNAP or TANF, their P-EBT benefits will be deposited into the household’s EBT account.  
  • Children who already have a P-EBT card will continue to receive food assistance on their current card.  
  • Children new to the P-EBT program whose household does not participate in SNAP or TANF will receive a P-EBT card in the mail at the address on file with their school.

P-EBT cards look different than the Oregon Trail EBT cards issued to SNAP households.  

Visit pebt.oregon.gov for more information about the P-EBT program.

P-EBT does not replace any child nutrition program already offered and families are encouraged to continue to participate in meal programs in their communities.  

P-EBT is separate from SNAP benefits including emergency allotments that are also being issued due to the impact of COVID-19. P-EBT benefits are not considered in a public charge test.

Resources to help meet basic needs

About SNAP

Administered by ODHS, SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to approximately 1 million eligible, low-income families and individuals in Oregon, including many older adults and people with disabilities. Oregonians in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP, child care, cash assistance and Medicaid. Learn more at https://govstatus.egov.com/or-dhs-benefits. For local resources in your area, such as food or shelter, please call 2-1-1 or reach out to the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) at 1-855-ORE-ADRC or 1-855-673-2372.

About the Oregon Department of Education  

The Oregon Department of Education fosters equity and excellence for every learner through collaboration with educators, partners, and communities. ODE oversees the education of over 560,000 students in Oregon’s public K-12 education system. While ODE isn’t in the classroom directly providing services, the agency (along with the State Board) - focuses on helping districts achieve both local and statewide goals and priorities through strategies such as:

  • Developing policies and standards
  • Providing accurate and timely data to inform instruction
  • Training teachers on how to use data effectively
  • Effectively administering numerous state and federal grants
  • Sharing and helping districts implement best practices 

###

Attached Media Files: Summer_PEBT_News_Release.pdf
UPDATE - Oregon Department of Human Services announces that ShaNai K. Daniels has been found - 08/23/21

(Salem) – The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Child Welfare Division, is thankful for the community support to find ShaNai K. Daniels. 

ShaNai, age 16, is a child in foster care who went missing from Clackamas on June 4, 2021. She was found July 6, 2021. 

A small number of children in foster care may be in significant danger when they run away or have gone missing. As ODHS works to do everything it can to find these missing children and ensure their safety, media alerts will be issued in some circumstances when it is determined necessary. Sometimes, in these situations, a child may go missing repeatedly, resulting in more than one media alert for the same child.

Report child abuse to the Oregon Child Abuse Hotline by calling 1-855-503-SAFE (7233).  This toll-free number allows you to report abuse of any child or adult to the Oregon Department of Human Services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. 

###

Increased emergency SNAP benefits continue in September - 08/23/21

Need to know

(Salem) – Most Oregonians who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will receive emergency allotments in September. 

The federal government has approved emergency allotments every month since March 2020. This gives SNAP recipients additional support during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In September, approximately 402,000 SNAP households will receive approximately $65 million in extra food benefits in addition to their regular SNAP benefits.

“We are grateful to have the opportunity to provide emergency benefits to most SNAP households in Oregon,” said Dan Haun, director of the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS), Self-Sufficiency Program. “We also know that many Oregonians are still struggling to meet their basic needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we encourage them to contact our partners at 211 and the Oregon Food Bank for support during this difficult time.”

Emergency allotments will be available on Sept. 11 for current SNAP households. New SNAP households will receive the emergency allotments Sept. 30 or Oct. 2.

SNAP recipients do not have to take any action to receive these supplemental benefits as they will be issued directly on their EBT cards. 

More information about emergency allotments is available at https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/ASSISTANCE/FOOD-BENEFITS/Pages/About-SNAP.aspx.

Questions about your SNAP benefits should be directed to the ONE Customer Service Center at 1-800-699-9075.

If you are a SNAP household and your income or the number of people in your household has changed, it could impact your benefits. It is important to make sure ODHS has the most up-to-date information.

You can report any changes to your income or household in many ways: 

  • Online at: ONE.Oregon.gov
  • By mail at: ONE Customer Service Center, PO Box 14015, Salem, OR 97309
  • By fax at: 503-378-5628
  • By phone at: 1-800-699-9075 or TTY 711

Resources to help meet basic needs

Administered by ODHS, SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to approximately 1 million eligible, low-income families and individuals in Oregon, including many older adults and people with disabilities. Oregonians in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP, child care, cash assistance and Medicaid. Learn more at https://govstatus.egov.com/or-dhs-benefits. For local resources in your area, such as food or shelter, please call 2-1-1 or reach out to the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) at 1-855-ORE-ADRC or 1-855-673-2372.

###