Shawnda O'Brien, Director of Public Assistance
Shawnda O'Brien


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 icon6/24 - Director's message regarding 2022 WIC service changes
  • 2/18 - Voluntary recall for certain powder formulas, including Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare
    On February 18, 2022, Abbott issued a voluntary recall for certain powder formulas, including Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare. DO NOT feed your baby formula if it is included in this recall. Abbott recommends that parents dump the formula but keep the cans. Further information for reimbursement or replacement is anticipated from Abbott. (Read more)

  • January 13, 2021: Phishing Alert!
    ImportantPlease be aware that the Division of Public Assistance does not send text messages. Be suspicious of any texts you receive about SNAP or other Public Assistance programs.
  • December 20, 2021:
    One Fax Number for All Division of Public Assistance Offices

    As part of the division’s ongoing effort to improve statewide services we are moving toward a single fax number for all offices beginning January 2022. The division will phase out local office numbers as the statewide number becomes active. The new toll-free fax number is 888-269-6520, and Anchorage area residents can dial 907-269-6520. Please update your contact information for our agency as appropriate.

    We’re modernizing our systems to become more efficient and responsive. The new fax number will interface with the division’s workload processing tool, which schedules tasks for staff statewide as they become available. This will also interface with the division’s Virtual Contact Center, which allows staff members to instantly access client information when people call.

    Reminder to Update Mailing Addresses
    During the pandemic the division has been improving ways to assist Alaskans in need. Even though we’re moving toward a more centralized, electronic service delivery model, we still require a current mailing address for participation in our programs. For this reason, people who use our services are encouraged to update their mailing address if needed to assist in the smooth delivery of services. You can drop off or mail information to any local office, or use the centralized phone, email or fax at:  

    Virtual Contact Center: 800-478-7778
    (TDD/Alaska Relay: 7-1-1)
    Offices Email:
    Secure Email (requires a DSM account):
    Fax: 888-269-6520, Anchorage 907-269-6031

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