DHS sees 21.5% increase in applications for benefits: Here's how you can apply

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EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - The El Paso County Department of Human Services is reminding the community that it can provide help for people who are struggling to pay the bills during coronavirus shutdowns.

Photo courtesy MGN.

The department offers assistance for anything from medical and food needs, to help paying for child care.

Human Services says it's seen a 21.5 percent increase in applications for benefits since the beginning of February, signaling that the pandemic has impacted a lot of people.

"Our staff care about the people that we serve," said Julie Krow, executive director of El Paso County DHS. "We don't want to see anybody, especially during a pandemic, go without food or go without needed medical assistance."

DHS says employees are working hard to process all applications that come in because of business closures.

"It's all hands on deck. We have as many people available to process benefits as we always have, and we're trying really hard to make sure those benefits are processed timely," Krow said.

DHS does ask that you apply online instead of coming in. It's to protect you and employees from COVID-19. If you do not have internet at home, you can apply in person at the Citizens Service Center at 1675 West Garden of the Gods Road.

Krow said people shouldn't let the stigma of asking for help stop them from applying.

"This is an unprecedented time, so maybe even if you’ve never applied for any type of benefits, you shouldn’t feel badly about this," she said. "We’re experiencing a pandemic, and we want your family to have what they need so that you can feed your children, and certainly we want people to have Medicaid if they need medical care."

Here is the link to apply for assistance.