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‘Essential Services Month’ encourages residents to apply for help when needed


The Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) has launched its August “Essential Services Month” campaign to inform all county residents about its benefit programs and encourage anyone experiencing hardships to apply.

“We offer several ways to apply for benefits. You can go online to the BenefitsCal enrollment site at, or call our Customer Service Center at (866) 613-3177. You are also welcome to visit one of our offices to get assistance,” says DPSS Acting Director Jackie Contreras.

Essential Services Month will showcase the department’s award-winning “What is?” video series to explain each program and how to apply.

DPSS offers nutrition assistance; health care; time-limited cash programs for families with minor children; programs for families and individuals experiencing homelessness; in-home care for blind, disabled and residents 65 or older; and other essential services.

The campaign will also encourage customers and residents to connect with DPSS through its public website, follow its social media, and subscribe to its Essential DPSS weekly newsletter. All these communication platforms include timely information about community resources and assistance events, including job opportunities and job fairs, food giveaways, discounted utility and internet services, and Toy Loan Libraries open for youth, coordinated by DPSS Toy Loan and Volunteer Services.

During Essential Services Month, DPSS will also showcase time-limited benefits, including the 2022 Advance Child Tax Credit Program for families available through November.

“As one of Los Angeles County’s essential services departments, DPSS has so much to offer our community,” Contreras says. “Please reach out. We are here to help.”