Monday, July 17, 2006
Clients speak out!
Here is a synopsis of a client navigating the 'system' since 'privatization'- you can read it HERE.
Posted by HHSCEMPLOYEE at Monday, July 17, 2006
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An employee of the "Food Stamp" office in Texas .... writing about the system that is crumbling from the inside and the outside, all in the name of Politics. **I'm writing this as a private citizen of the State of Texas--I do not claim to represent the opinions of HHSC**
It happens all over. We have a young family that has been waiting for their food stamps since Feburary. She applied, the app was faxed to the proper place, and no word back. She called and called, with no response. We told her to keep pressing the issue, but instead, hoping to get some assistance, she reapplied, which started the whole process over again. She was asked for information that shouldn't have been needed, and sent it, only to be told that "we" must not have faxed it. (We have confirmations, and are fighting for her to get the benefits since her 0206 file date, but no progress yet.) Sadly this seems to be a dual edged sword. She thought could get the benefits quicker if she just reapplied again, but that just isn't right. The only reason that they are on the "New Eligibility System" is because a daughter was stayng with relatives in San Marcos, which had rolled out. The relative applied for and received Medicaid for her, she came back home, and now the whole family and all of their cases must be worked through the new system.
Yes, this is happening all over. This scenario has been repeated over and over all over the state- not just Austin- in March 2005, there was a conversion done putting cases into TIERS- anyone with an active SSI case (and no other active cases) were converted into TIERS. Nevermind that some of them had denied out of FS at March Cutoff- so many workers in offices across the state had cases on their WIPS that had converted and couldn't be completed by them, but had to be faxed for data entry.
We have also had clients accuse us of not faxing info, because TAA tells them we didn't do it. Oftentimes, I can get an ART worker to check the portal for a 1010 that was never sent by us, and voila! There it is! Funny how ART staff could find the 1010 that was never sent, but TAA couldn't.
BTDT - got denied for Medicaid at the beginning of the year on a renewal that I returned on time, in person, but mysteriously disappeared. Tried again, hand delivered to my local office, but they say it was probably sent on for central processing. Never heard anything and calls to the local office found no records of it being received for processing. Finally a third try got benefits for the kids, including Medicaid for one who has been on CHIPS (instead of Medicaid) for several years now??? I'm just waiting for someone to decide that was an error and I owe someone something or her benefits start getting denied (the only reason I found out that the first renewal had been denied). Have just received another renewal form (approx 6 weeks after receiving a card - thought they had changed that to 6 months?) - and I am dreading starting this whole process over again. I am glad that I know now what I didn't know then and not assume that just because I hand-delivered my application that it will processed - EVER.
The fax system does not work. The expidited food stamp apps sit in a fax que and can't be retrived. Accenture is working on it for almost 7 month.
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