Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) will be transitioning its Public Assistance Helpline to a new phone system beginning Aug. 9.

During the transition, the Helpline will be temporarily unavailable Aug. 7 and 8. The Helpline number will remain the same.

The popular Public Assistance Helpline was launched in 2015 and is staffed by knowledgeable eligibility workers for clients to call and receive assistance.

DPHHS Director Sheila Hogan said she appreciates the public’s patience during this process and apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause clients.

Hogan said by taking the Helpline offline for a few days, it will allow for a much smoother transition to the new system on Aug. 9. Staff will use this time to close out calls logged into the old system before launching the new system and for staff training.

Hogan said the new phone system also brings an exciting change. “The new system will allow us to add call scheduling,” Hogan said. “This new function will allow clients the opportunity to pre-schedule a specific time that is convenient for them to connect with an Office of Public Assistance employee.”

In addition to the new phone system, Montanans can now download the Bnft Mobile App from both the App Store and Google Play. This application provides real time available balances for SNAP and TANF benefits as well as transaction history, pin selection or change, store locator, ordering a replacement card and other features.

The helpline number is 1-888-706-1535.