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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Ind. Gov't. - Still more on: Issues continue with state's new welfare eligibility system

Updating this ILB entry from Jan. 19th, Ken Kusmer of the AP has a story today that begins:

The state's new social services chief has halted any further rollout of the privatized, automated welfare intake system until agency officials are sure it can handle the additional volume.

The decision by Secretary Anne Murphy of the Family and Social Services Administration comes just weeks into her tenure -- and at a time when lawmakers have introduced bills to tinker with the new system that has met harsh criticism.

More from the story:
About 1.2 million people -- nearly one in five Hoosiers -- receive benefits. About two-thirds of them live in the 33 counties in Northern and Central Indiana that still operate under the old system, in which each household has a case worker overseeing its benefits.

"The secretary has determined that we will not roll out the modernized welfare system to additional counties until FSSA is completely confident we can handle the volume," agency spokeswoman Lauren Auld said in a statement.

Since the rollout began 15 months ago, many clients have complained of lost documents, revoked benefits they were eligible for, lengthy telephone hold times and other problems.

The problems prompted Rep. Suzanne Crouch, R-Evansville, to file a bill that would halt the rollout until lawmakers are satisfied that FSSA has fixed problems in the 59 counties where the changes have arrived.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 4, 2009 09:01 AM
Posted to Indiana Government