Deb Etheridge

Lobby hours:
M-F, 9am to 4pm
VCC/Phone hours:
M-F, 8am to 5pm
Contacts & Office Closures

Phone: 800-478-7778
Fax: 888-269-6520

Division Overview

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Program Highlights


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Division of Public Assistance

Public assistance promotes self-sufficiency and provides basic living expenses to Alaskans in need. Read more…

Our programs help with:

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News & Updates

  • New iconSeptember 29, 2023 - Federal Government Shutdown
    Ahead of the pending federal government shutdown, we would like Alaskans to please note the following:

    October Public Assistance benefits will continue during a federal shutdown.

    The Division of Public Assistance does not anticipate an impact on benefits for eligible participants in its programs because of the pending federal government shutdown.

    The department is working with the Division of Public Assistance and governor’s office to find solutions to keep benefits going if the federal shutdown continues for a longer period. While we are reviewing for possible impacts to aid Alaskans, it is not possible to fully anticipate all situations and supports because each person has unique circumstances.

    In the event of a federal government shutdown, the Division of Public Assistance (DPA) has a plan in place which will ensure SNAP benefits will be funded through October. If the shutdown goes beyond October, the feds have stated they will provide guidance to states.

    Medicaid is funded through the first quarter of fiscal year 24, or December 31, 2023

    WIC Benefits are funded through December 31, 2023

    The Department of Health and Division of Public Assistance will continue to help Alaskans in any way possible.

    For more information and updates refer to the Public Assistance website. People can contact the division’s Virtual Contact Center at 800-478-7778 for status on their case.

  • September 28, 2003 - SNAP Interviews to Resume October 2nd
    During COVID, Alaska was able to work SNAP applications without the required interview. This ends on September 30th, and interviews are starting again for new applicants and recertifications on October 2nd. If your household is due, we will schedule an interview for you when we register your SNAP application or recertification. Reviews for other programs with no SNAP involvement will continue to be processed without requiring an interview.
  • September 13, 2023 - Replacement of Electronically Stolen SNAP Benefits
    The Consolidated Appropriations Act included a temporary provision that allows for the replacement of electronically stolen Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. States will only be able to replace SNAP benefits that were electronically stolen from October 1, 2022 through September 30, 2024. (Read More)
  • June 20, 2023 - Interim Reports for SNAP recipients
    Starting June 1, 2023, the division requires SNAP households to complete and return a report halfway through their certification period to continue eligibility. For more information, see:
  • April 20, 2023 - Public Health Emergency Ending
    The COVID-19 public health emergency is set to expire on May 11, 2023. This means that the flexibilities permitted during the PHE will end, but the end date will vary depending on the type of flexibility approved by CMS. Find out more on the Alaska Department of Health’s Public Health Emergency Ending website.

Medicaid Renewals, Stay Covered. Get ready to renew!

  • New iconFebruary 15, 2023 - Medicaid Renewals
    Alaska will return to the regular pre-pandemic process of Medicaid annual renewals beginning April 1, 2023. When it is your turn for renewal, we will recheck your eligibility to make sure you still qualify for coverage.
Tips when calling the DPA's Virtual Contact Center (VCC)
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  • January 11, 2023 – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
    SNAP requires most households receiving benefits to demonstrate that they continue to meet program eligibility criteria every six months. This process is called recertification. As part of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the requirement for recertification was suspended. In July 2022, this requirement was reinstated, and DPA must request that SNAP households provide documentation to review eligibility. To better address questions the public may have about processing these recertifications, DPA has compiled some answers to these Frequently Asked Questions
  • January 11, 2023 - SNAP recertification application timelines:
    • Filed on or before the 15th of the last month of the current certification period, uninterrupted SNAP benefits.
    • Filed after the 15th but before the end of the certification period, within 30 days.
    • Applications filed during the month following the expiration of the certification period are considered initial applications and follow timeframes for regular and expedited SNAP applications.
    We will continue to improve our systems and processes to give Alaskans the fastest possible service.

  • October 3, 2022 - Language Interpretation Services
    Did you know that DPA offers no-cost language interpretation services for people when they interact with the department? Callers can reach the division’s Virtual Contact Center in their preferred language, by using the numbers provided for commonly spoken languages that are listed on our Foreign Language Support page.

  • June 30, 2022: Director’s letter about changes to supplements for SNAP recipients

  • June 24, 2022: Director's message regarding 2022 WIC service changes

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