Alaska’s Division of Public Help makes progress on meals stamp backlog

Within the final eight days, the Division of Public Help has processed greater than 2,000 meals stamp utility instances in an effort to clear a backlog that has saved 1000’s of Alaskans ready greater than a month for advantages.

Earlier this month, meals assist was delayed by greater than a month for greater than 12,000 Alaskans; that quantity is all the way down to 10,074.

Division Director Deb Etheridge stated her workers are on monitor to clear the backlog in 90 days, as Well being Commissioner Heidi Hegberg stated in a information convention final week.

“Our workers are actually assembly and exceeding the purpose,” Etheridge stated. “They’ve actually form of buckled in and are doing the work.”

She stated their progress could sluggish over the vacations; the division is not going to supply extra time hours on Christmas Day.

“We would like them to be taking good care of themselves and spending time with household… actually simply doing self care,” she stated. “You don’t need anybody to burn out.”

Etheridge stated after the Christmas vacation she is going to reevaluate and see whether or not or not the division will supply extra time hours on the New Yr vacation.

She stated the company is on monitor to launch its on-line utility by Dec. 31. The web software is meant to hurry processing time for functions as a result of it’s going to scale back paperwork for the DPA and assist Alaskans file full functions.

The division is hiring and has two dozen jobs within the technique of being stuffed — wherever from interviews to background checks. Etheridge stated there are 9 vacancies for eligibility technicians, the DPA workers that course of meals assist functions.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed finances contains $8.8 million to rent 30 eligibility technicians. Etheridge stated she will probably be able to submit these positions as quickly because the Legislature passes the finances.