State public assistance offices will close in 19 towns

BILLINGS — The Office of Public Assistance will close 19 locations in Montana because officials say the Legislature’s recent budget reductions forced them to cut back.

The Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services, which oversees Public Assistance, had to reduce its budget by $49 million, so it’s closing half of its 38 OPA offices by January 31.

The offices primarily assist low-income Montanans with health, food, and other benefits and aid.

The Department of Health and Human Services recently announced the closures are in Big Timber, Chinook, Choteau, Columbus, Conrad, Cut Bank, Deer Lodge, Dillon, Forsyth, Fort Benton, Glendive, Livingston, Malta, Red Lodge, Shelby, Sidney, Plentywood, Roundup, and Thompson Falls.