Statement issued Thursday:
Today the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) announced they will expand the Hybrid system for public assistance to 22 counties that comprise the Allen and Grant regions. Bringing the statewide total to 60 counties in Hybrid, the Allen region includes Adams, Allen, Dekalb, Kosciusko, Huntington, Jay, Noble, Steuben, Wells and Whitley; the Grant region includes Blackford, Carroll, Cass, Delaware, Grant, Howard, Madison, Miami, Randolph, Tipton, Wabash and White.
“As we rolled-out to the Vanderburgh, Vigo and Clark regions over the past year we involved clients, employees, advocates and providers in the process.” said Secretary Michael Gargano. “We received approval to move forward from the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) on January 28 and are confident that the successes we are seeing in the other parts of the state have prepared us to better the serve the citizens residing in the Allen and Grant regions.”
Roll-out of the Hybrid system began in the Vanderburgh region January 26, 2010 before expanding to the Vigo region June 22, 2010 and then Clark on September 19, 2010. Despite rising case loads of Hoosiers requiring state assistance, Indiana has been able to show improvement in quality and service:
- Number of Hoosiers enrolled in at least one program has increased from 899,701 in December 2005 to 1,279,483 served as of December 31, 2010.
- Positive error rates for SNAP (food stamps) applications improved from 8.21% in July 2009 to 2.76% in July 2010; versus the national average of 3.70% (FNS)
- Negative error rates for SNAP applications improved from 15.10% in July 2009 to 2.48% in July 2010; versus the national average of 7.55% (FNS)
In addition to improved timeliness, Hybrid allows for increased face-to-face contact between case workers and clients who desire it, while maintaining the technological advancements. Important facts for clients in Allen and Grant are as follows:
- Beginning February 14 in the Allen and Grant regions calls to FSSA’s 1-800 number (1-800-403-0864) will be routed to the caller’s local county office based on their zip code, and case workers will work in teams to ensure that clients are served in their local county office.
- Clients will still be able to apply on the internet and complete their application by using the electronic signature.
- Clients will still be able to call the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System (1-800-403-0864) to receive information on their case 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Individuals who wish to talk to one of their team members will have their calls automatically transferred to their local county office rather than a centralized call center. Local County Offices will be equipped to help clients with all aspects of their cases during regular business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Clients can submit applications and have documents scanned.
- Clients may discuss their case at the local county office.
- Enhanced assistance will be available in a local county office for clients needing extra help
- All other counties will remain under the system they currently have. Clients should access benefits as usual until FSSA announces any changes coming to their county.
- FSSA remains in constant contact with its federal partners relative to the development and implementation of the Hybrid system.