Posted inHealth

DSS’s long-awaited computer fix finally arrives, starting today

The mainframe computer system underpinning operations at the state Department of Social Services is so old, there are few people left who know how to fix it. It’s been blamed for stymieing the agency’s ability to handle programs that serve nearly 1 million people. As its replacement launches in part of the state today, officials say some growing pains are expected.

Posted inHealth

Still on hold: A solution for long DSS call-wait times

It took an average of 54 minutes for callers to reach a Department of Social Services worker by phone last month. That’s an improvement over February’s 70-minute average, and one of the lower average monthly wait times in the past year. But client advocates say it’s long past time things be improved in the phone system, which launched in July 2013 as part of a highly touted “modernization” initiative.

Posted inHealth

DSS call center wait times drop, but two-thirds of callers still hanging up

Callers who wanted to talk to a Department of Social Services worker by phone last month had to wait an average of 39 minutes and 29 seconds to do so. That’s down from one hour and 13 minutes in February. Social service officials say that’s progress, but client advocates say another figure gives more cause for concern.

Posted inNews

DSS’ new system wrongly cutting off benefits, advocates say

Even though Pamela Brown twice sent in the paperwork needed to maintain her family’s Medicaid benefits, she ended up uninsured. That meant she had to pay out-of-pocket for her 3-year-old daughter’s flu shot last month (needed for day care) and, for a time, went without her thyroid medication because she couldn’t afford both the prescription […]