Benefits Centers Called "Understaffed"

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Nebraska's child and family services director says the call centers that handle requests for food stamps, Medicaid and other public benefits are understaffed.

Thomas Pristow told a legislative panel Tuesday that staffing at the centers has not kept pace with the number of programs now handled by its employees. The state runs four customer centers that process applications for 16 public-benefit programs.

The call centers have received mixed reviews since the program was launched in 2010. Call times have trended downward, but some users still complain about long waits and mix-ups that caused them to lose their benefits.

A new law requires the state to offer face-to-face services as well as the call centers. Lawmakers have said they'll likely push for more changes next year.

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