Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is announcing it will complete the merger of the Salem District Office (DO) with the Southern DO, (located in Nashua), when the Salem DO closes later this week. The consolidation started several months ago when staff from the Division of Children, Youth and Families, Division of Child Support Services, Division of Juvenile Justice Services, and the Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services relocated to the Southern DO. Division of Family Assistance (DFA) staff temporarily remained in Salem. DFA staff are responsible for determining eligibility for assistance programs, including food stamps, cash benefits, and medical benefits.
This merger is the first step in DHHS’ efforts to realign its DO operations. Currently, applying for assistance is done at one of the Department’s District Offices. However, recent technology enhancements to the New Hampshire Electronic Application System (NH EASY), has helped DHHS to expand access to services. The NH EASY pilot program, in place in Salem and Laconia, is allowing people to apply for assistance anywhere they have access to the internet.
“We are in the process of changing the way we do business,” said Deputy Commissioner Mary Ann Cooney. “We believe improvements in technology like this, can help us provide citizens with the services they need without having to visit a District Office. However, we are still making ourselves available in the community, and are working with a local partner to have a DFA staff member work in their office in the Salem area several days a week. As we evaluate the success of this partnership, we could work with other agencies and organizations to do the same.”
DHHS plans to implement the change with NH EASY Statewide in the coming months. The Salem District Office will be open through Friday April 22nd. Anyone in the Salem region who has questions or who may be in need of services can contact the Southern DO at 1-800-852-0632.