General Program Information, Office of Economic Self-Sufficiency (ACCESS) – Florida Department of Children and Families

Office of Economic Self-Sufficiency

Assistance Application Information

Welcome to Florida Department of Children and Families Office of Economic Self-Sufficiency application march overview. The ESS self service portal allows customers to connect with their public aid data 24/7 .

Applying for Assistance

You may apply for aid from any computer with an internet connection at or at one of our community partner sites. You may besides complete a composition application that can be mailed, faxed or returned to your local Customer Service Center .
To download the application please visit our forms page .
Applying for public aid benefits is exempt. Clients can apply online for absolve by using the Office of Economic Self Sufficiency Self Service Portal or by visiting a DCF Community Partner. If you believe you have been charged a fee inappropriately or have suspected imposter to report, please do so at this radio link : hypertext transfer protocol : //

To locate a Community Partner in your area, please visit : hypertext transfer protocol : //

You Just Submitted Your Renewal or Request for Additional Benefits: What’s Next?

Read our What ‘s future ? ( spanish version ) ( Creole version )

24/7 ESS self service portal (benefit information)

The quickest manner to make changes or check the condition of your benefits, while avoiding a wait time, is to use the Self-Service Portal, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. additionally, DCF ’ s virtual adjunct stands ready to assist clients by providing event information and answering benefit questions. In addition to around the clock access to your case, you can besides submit request confirmation to the department using the document upload feature. Click here to log into your account. If you have not registered for an account, suction stop here to register today
You can besides get information about your application or benefits by using our automated answer organization at 850-300-4323. Your shell count or Social Security Number and date of birth are required to get your case information.

PLEASE NOTE – You may want to allow at least two weeks before calling to check the condition of your application .

How do I apply?

  • The quickest way is from any computer with an internet connection at:
  • At one of the Department of Children and Families community partners. A listing of community partners can be found online at:
  • At a Department of Children and Families customer service center. A listing of Customer Service Centers can be found online at:
  • Complete a paper application by downloading and printing from this site: The completed paper
    application can be mailed to ACCESS Central Mail Center, P.O. Box 1770, Ocala, FL, 34478-1770, or it can be faxed or hand-delivered to a customer service center

How long will it take to complete an application?

On average, it takes about 30 minutes for most of our customers to complete the on-line application. This is the quickest means to apply. Once you finish filling out the application, you may submit it to DCF automatically by using our e-signature option .

What happens next?

It may take up to 30 days to process your application ( longer if you need a disability determination ). We encourage you to opt-in for electronic mail notifications. once you opt in, you will receive an e-mail alert when we post a notice in your history. If you do not sign up for e-mail telling we will send your notices by mail.

STEP 1: Your application is reviewed to see if you need an interview.

  • If you need an interview:
    • We will call you within 5 days at the phone number you provided. If we can’t reach you we will leave a message and send a notice with our contact information.
    • During your interview, we will ask questions about your household situation.
    • You may also be asked questions to help us verify your identity.

STEP 2: You may need to provide additional information.

  • We will give or send a notice to you showing what is needed.
  • The notice will give you a deadline to provide the required information. Some examples are:
    • Proof of identity, citizenship, and noncitizen status.
    • Proof of earned and unearned income for each household member (such as last four weeks of check stubs, child support, notices from Social Security or Veteran’s Administration)
  • You can mail, fax, upload your documents in your ESS self service portal t, or turn in information at a local office or community partner. Please write your ACCESS # or
    case #, name, date of birth, phone number, etc., on all of the information you give
  • Allow 3 days for your account to show your information was received.

STEP 3: Your information has been received and your application is being processed.

  • Your needs are authoritative to us and we want to ensure every family receives the discipline profit, but it may distillery take up to 30 days to finish your application ( longer if you need a disability decision ) .

STEP 4: Your eligibility is determined.

  • Food Assistance or Cash Assistance:
    • If you are eligible for the first time, and your case is approved, you will be mailed an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card with a brochure that tells you how to use your card.
    • If you received benefits in the past 24 months and still have an EBT card, you can use that card if your case number is the same and the card is not expired (see Good Thru date on the card).
    • If you no longer have your EBT card or your card has expired, please contact EBT customer service at 1-888-356-3281 for a replacement.
    • If you are reapplying and it has been more than 24 months since you received food or cash assistance, a new EBT card will automatically be mailed to you.
  • Medicaid:
    • If you are eligible for Medicaid you will receive a gold card in the mail for eligible household members. The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) will send Medicaid Choice Counseling information to you if you need
      to select a managed care plan.
  • If you are not eligible for one or all benefits (food or cash assistance or

    • You will receive a notice in the mail and in your ESS self-service portal with the reason(s) you are not eligible.

Are there any other places I can go to for help?

More services are available to you from other agencies and organizations. Click here to see a tilt of other state and federal programs you may find helpful .

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