Food stamp recipients statewide face delays

10 days ago, the Georgia Department of Human Services underwent a system overhaul.

Instead of customers coming to the county office, the new system relies heavily on computers and telephones, but there's just one problem.

Many customers will try and call their case worker, but when they do, they don't get an answer.

Juan Garcia says he's tried calling and waiting in person and hasn't had any luck.

"The population is really poor, so waiting, so it's really bad. I mean, two hours, three hours waiting for some documentation is really bad," Garcia said.

Meanwhile, they say the state's computer system that manages the program has also had problems.

But the Department of Human Services does have some tips to help customers.

Mondays and Tuesdays are busiest, so customers are likely to get better service calling other days.

Some customers did not receive a notice of the need to renew their benefits in October or they received the notice too late to prevent their case from closing at the end of the month.

So, customers who file the renewal form or application at before Nov. 25th will receive benefits for the entire month of November.

"You're probably still going to have to come back," said Keyonea Smith, a DCFS customer. "And, I mean, it's probably still going to be more paperwork you have to fill out. And when you do fill out those papers, you're still going to have to come back for more stuff. It's still going to be more and more problems as you go."

Susan Boatwright with the Department of Human Services said they are working to resolve their technical problems as quickly as possible.

According to state numbers, more than one out of six Georgians receive food stamps, and more than one out of four in Bibb County.

Follow Kristen Swilley on Twitter @KristenSwilley and "like" her Facebook page "Kristen Swilley WMAZ"


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