Pitt DSS gets help to process food stamp apps - WNCN: News, Weather

Pitt DSS gets help to process food stamp apps

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -
The Pitt County Department of Social Services is bringing in extra help to help lower the backlog of food stamp applications. A DSS official says there are about 2,000 new applications in need of processing. And without the extra help, that number could rise.

In November, retiring director George Perry told us there wasn't a back log. On Thursday, 9 On Your Side found out they are up to date with existing beneficiaries but not new applicants.

A small business based out of Wilson has agreed to process approximately 800 food stamp applications for $40,000. 
Vanguard will supply the county with virtual workers to process pending applications through the NC FAST system---the state's Medicaid and food stamps processing software.
     
DSS officials say the company is fit for the job since the owners are trained in the NC FAST system and once worked for a DSS office.
     
Vanguard will not be in charge of processing any Medicaid apps. DSS says Vanguard will only get the departments oldest cases. 

“All of this was new to all of us. This contract with vanguard may be one of the answers but it's not all of the answer,” Margaret Dixon, Social Work/Services Administrator said. 

Ever since NC FAST was implemented the Department of Social Services has wanted to remove the black cloud over them. They hope that with Vanguard's help and a new interim director starting February 1st, they'll be able to get back on their feet.

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