Florida DCF To Hire 200 People After SNAP Benefit Delays
After inquiries from WEAR ABC 3 News about SNAP benefits being delayed, the Florida Department of Children and Families says that it has recently “experienced challenges in hiring staff.”
“The Department continues to leverage internal resources to prioritize processing benefit applications, including using volunteers from other program areas to assist,” DCF said in a statement to Channel 3 on April 15.
“We have recruited more than 200 new employees since December 2021 to assist with eligibility determinations. We are also offering overtime to compensate the tireless efforts of our existing team in ensuring that individuals receive their benefits timely,” the Department added.
Dede Flounlacker, the executive director of Manna Food Pantries, told Channel 3 that Floridians having challenges with food are “probably having challenges with many other things as well.” Flounlacker also said that they’ve seen an increase in people calling for help over the past six to eight weeks.
“The Department has employed all available policy solutions as allowed by federal regulations to streamline processes,” the DCF says, according to Channel 3. “The Department continues to work with federal partners to determine if there are additional flexibilities that can be implemented expeditiously to assist customers who are in need now.”
The DCF has implemented strategies over the past two months to improve processing times and/or the customer experience. Since Nov. 2021, the DCF has increased applications processed by more than 37% with 23.4 days being the average time to process approved applications.
Outbound calls are also being made to customers to assist with locating food assistance and economic stabilization services, Channel 3 added. The DCF is also prioritizing interviews for SNAP benefits, currently over 8,200 interviews daily, and has seen a 22% increase since December. The current wait time to complete an interview is under four minutes.
More From GOBankingRates