Our agency is doing its best to keep up with record demand in our public assistance programs. One in six in this county is now on food assistance or Medicaid and that means 60,000 people a month visit our lobby and 13,000 calls a week come into our call center.
Please be assured we are doing everything we can to process cases in a timely manner. Much of this is due to yearly re-certifications kicking in in April. Ultimately, this will be a good change, but we knew we would be swamped once the first cycle hit. In March, we needed to schedule 264 reapplications a day to ensure we were able to see all the customers who were due to recertify that month. In April, that number went up to 448 a day. That’s a 70% increase. In July, we are now recertifying more than 800 people a day.
Thing should get better. The state is moving forward with increased Internet technology. We are integrating more technology here, as well as streamlining our processes. We are taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to this problem. And, hopefully, the economy should improve.
Please encourage those who do business with us to take advantage of the Internet, phone, drop boxes in our lobbies and other methods of communication that keep them from waiting in long lobby lines. Let them know they can fax in verification documents from their local library branch.
Thank you for your patience.