BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota Health and Human Services (HHS) and its human service zone partners announced today the launch of a new customer service experience for individuals applying for Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Child Care Assistance Program and other financial help.
Beginning Feb. 13, experienced team members from local human service zones across the state will be working together to serve North Dakotans more quickly. The work of processing applications and renewals for economic assistance programs will be shared across teams in the 19 zones.
New Customer Support Center
The redesigned customer experience also includes the launch of a new Customer Support Center where North Dakotans can get answers to questions, report changes and get help applying through one toll-free phone number at (866) 614-6005, 711 (TTY). The Customer Support Center is staffed by experts in the human service zone offices Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.- 6 p.m. CST.
There is now one place to send documents using one fax number (701) 328-1006, one email firstname.lastname@example.org, or one mailing address: Customer Support Center, PO Box 5562, Bismarck, N.D. 58506.
“Our goal is to simplify and improve the experience for the over 154,000 North Dakotans who apply for and participate in Medicaid and economic assistance programs annually,” said HHS Executive Director of Human Services Jessica Thomasson.
North Dakotans who prefer to apply for financial help programs online can use the enhanced self-service portal applyforhelp.nd.gov, which is now mobile friendly. Portal improvements make it easier for individuals to use, update their information, view notices and submit documents from a cell phone or computer. Trusted partner agencies can also use the portal to help North Dakotans apply.
In addition to the self-service portal and Customer Support Center, all local human service zone offices will remain open for in-person support.
Thomasson said, as the redesign of the new customer experience rolls out, workloads will gradually become more evenly distributed across the state, and application and renewal processing times and backlogs will improve.
"It's very beneficial when an individual is able to receive help from any eligibility worker, instead of being assigned a specific worker in a specific office,” said Buffalo Bridges Human Service Zone Director Mandi Freije. “Locally, we’ve been sharing the workload and serving clients collectively as one team since about 2012. More recently our team has joined other zones to help with their economic assistance and Medicaid application backlogs. Working together, we can provide needed financial help more quickly to North Dakotans.”
Redesigning the customer experience simplifies the application process for North Dakotans. They no longer need to think about how geographic boundaries may affect the process of applying for and receiving economic assistance. The newly redesigned network involves 19 human service zones and about 370 eligibility workers who directly serve individuals and families from 53 counties.
Individuals just need to know they can apply online at applyforhelp.nd.gov, through the Customer Support Center at (866) 614-6005, or in person at a local office, and that they can conveniently submit required documents using a single fax, email and mailing address or by using the portal.
This systemic transformation began two years ago with the goals of improving customer service statewide and reducing the wait time between when an individual applies for and is determined eligible for financial help programs. HHS and human service zones have streamlined processes and developed multiple, simplified access points to be more responsive to questions through the new Customer Support Center.
For details about the redesigned customer service experience, visit hhs.nd.gov/eligibility-redesign.