Monday, July 17, 2006


Can anyone shed light on what is going on in your area as far as exceptions being given to worker staff who are experiencing delinquencies due to the overload of applications? I read in a comment in another post that someone wasn't getting exceptions? How can that be? If an application is not scheduled until the 30th day (for example) it was going to be delinquent before the worker even touches it!

Are you getting exceptions? If not, what are the reasons being given? If not, are you being held accountable on your evaluations for the delinquencies?


Anonymous said...

The FEDERAL REQUIREMENT is that BENEFITS be available by the 30th calendar day following application receipt. I say again BENEFITS BE AVAILABLE BY THE 30TH DAY FOLLOWING APPLICATION.

It's NOT that the case has to be "worked" by the 30th day either....the benefits have to be available to the consumer. That means states are REQUIRED BY FEDERAL MANDATE to get a notice out (or a phone call) to the consumer so that the consumer can ACCESS BENEFITS BY THE 30TH CALENDAR DAY. States are REQUIRED to allow time for the creation and issuance of any electronic benefits card (you call it the Lone Star Card in Texas; here in Kansas it's called the VISION card [and phone support was outsourced to India!]).

If Texas is NOT allowing sufficient time such that the benefits are NOT available to the consumer by the 30th day....complain to the USDA FNS.


These are FEDERAL RULES which many states "Reinterpret".

In the final analysis, people processing food stamp applications do NOT have 30 days from date of application to process: The consumer MUST have sufficient time to receive the mail and have the electronic benefits account created, so you can shave about FIVE days off that 30 day bullroar.

Take that data to your "man". Make him do right.

Oh, and as for use of "date of discovery", there best be good documentation in the case file how the application was screened and what efforts were made to contact the applicant to set up the face to face interview. You CAN use date of discovery if applicants do not have phones and have simply dropped a signed application off. Nonetheless, the application must still be screened for possible EXPEDITE status and efforts must be made to contact the applicant.

If you need help with this....let me know....I'll see what I can can always simply contact the USDA FNS office in your Region. The bloggers link is incorrect. The Texas list of Federal contacts is:

Above is for Washington and, trust me, they'll refer you to the Regional Manager....but that doesn't mean you can't still keep cc'ing Washington in your email. Be certain to request a "read receipt" if you've the capability.

is the link for Texas. is the link you use to get the email address to the names identified as Regional contacts for your specific area.

Love from Kansas

PS: Remember, we're the state where managers got the bright idea to falsify application dates in the computer data base to force "timeliness". An internal management evaluation report has been being circulated....this report was written in December, 2005 and documents that over 80% of the randomly sampled cases had had the application date changed in the computer data base. Oh my.

Anonymous said...

We are all aware of when benefits are to be available. I know that in our office, we give the clients the Lone Star card at the interview, or if it's a phone interview- we mail the card to them that day- so when the case is completed, they already have it. If case is completed on 30th day, the system will put their benefits on the card THAT SAME DAY- thereby making the case 'not delinquent'.

As far as expedited processing, we are also very aware that a client must be seen and certified for expedited within 7 days. However, with the condition of the offices so short staffed, there are no slots to PUT an expedited client into. We do make an attempt - holding slots open specifically for expedited- but our local office gets almost 200 applications per DAY- with ONE scheduling clerk. There is NO WAY that each and every 1010 can be reviewed and screened for expedite- we simply do not have enough staff. If clients come IN to the office to be seen, we make every attempt to do so- even doubling up interviewing workers to see TWO in a 45 minute slot. There is only so much that can be done.

FNS (as far as I'm aware) knows what the stats are- specifically for ART (TIERS workers) - given the fact that they are STILL working applications submitted to TAA dated back to FEBRUARY AND MARCH- those are most CERTAINLY delinquent already.

What I'm curious about is what impact the poor planning is having on the statistics of the workers that are still around. It is NOT the advisor's fault if an application is not even scheduled until the 31st day (for example) and is delinquent when they TOUCH IT. If those workers are not being given exceptions for the delinquencies, this affects their evaluations, which has the possibility of a worker being put on a 'level' (through no fault of their own, you understand) and then that makes them ineligible for the retention bonus (for example).

Anonymous said...

I concur: It impacts on the performance review of the worker stuck with the clean up. We too have not been allowed to have a moratorium placed on this personal tracking.

My comments were meant to underscore the failure of management to properly staff offices. They were not meant to criticize staff doing the work.

Again, here in Kansas, we sit next to the CPS social workers who seemingly have so much time on their hands a good deal of the day IS spent using headphones to listen to music from the CD rom drive on their computers. Social workers are far more "valued" than the run of the mill TANF, food stamp, etc. staff person. We're a dime a dozen to managment and have even been referred to by a past head honcho type as "...glorified data entry clerks...".

I have maintained we do core social work services: We provide the ability for the consumer to obtain food and shelter. The social workers detest being compared to eligibility workers, too. There is NO solidarity.