My family receives medical and SNAP (food stamps) benefits from the state of Connecticut. I work two part time jobs to support my family. Just recently my benefits were discontinued due to a mistake my stare worker made.
In February I received the redetermination paper work, which I filled out and made copies of all the appropriate paper work for proof of income. The paper work was all due to the office by February 20, which was a holiday and the office was closed. I drove up to the office on February 21 at 9am to drop off the paper work. After that I never received anything from my worker saying I was missing anything or that my paperwork wasn't filled out correctly. I did keep a copy of everything I sent in, a lesson my dad taught me. We continued to receive our benefits for the rest of February and March.
On April 2nd I received a notice in the mail that our benefits would be discontinued on March 31st because they didn't receive my redetermination paper work. I called my worker the next day to find out what had happened and her voice mailbox was full. I called her again on Thursday April 5th and left her a message saying, "Hi my name is... and my client ID number is... I received a notice on Monday April 2nd saying my benefits would be cancelled on March 31st because you didn't receive my paper work. I would like to know what is going on. I dropped off my paperwork at your office on February 21st because your office was closed on the 20th. Please call me back at ... Thank you"
She called me on Monday April 9th and left a message because I wasn't home. Her message said I was missing a pay stub from one of my jobs. This doesn't make any sense. I sent in all my pay stubs with copies at home to prove it. Also in the past if something was missing I received a notice within a week of turning in my paperwork and NO notice was ever sent to me this time.
As soon as I got home and listened to the message I called her back and left a message asking what pay stub she needed. I was hoping to get the whole thing resolved quickly. I left both my home and cell phone numbers for her to call me back. I have never received another call. After waiting most of the day I decided to just drive up there and drop off pay stubs from both of my jobs, instead of waiting on her. I also called again to let her know I had done this, but again her voice mailbox was full. On Tuesday April 10th I called again first thing in the morning. Voice mailbox full. I called four times that day until I could leave her a message that I had dropped off my pay stubs at the office. Wednesday April 11th I received paperwork in the mail from my worker. It tells me I need to send pay stubs from my second job and fill out a paper for anyone who lives in my home that is not included in my "finacial family".
I filled out the paper work and I had to wait until I got paid again on Friday April 13th for a more recent pay stub to send in. I dropped everything in the mail on Monday April 16. I also tried calling my worker to let her know I had mailed everything back. Voice mailbox full. The rest of the week was busy and hectic, so I forgot to call her again. I did assume she would get the paper work and everything would be back to normal. On Tuesday April 24 I hadn't heard anything or received anything in the mail, I decided to call my worker. Voice mailbox full. I have been calling her all week and every time I call the voice mailbox is full. I finally got through today to leave a message.
I also called the general line to the office. It is automated, as everything is nowadays.
- If you know the 4 digit extension number dial it at anytime.
- If you know the last name of your worker press 2 for the staff directory
- If you know your workers 4 digit number press 2
- Our fax number is...
- Our office hours are and other info
- press * to go back to the main menu
- press 4 for our fax number
- press 6 to have an application mailed to you
- press 7 to find out when benefits are scheduled
- press 8 for information about protection for elderly, child support, or other benefits
- Stay on the line to leave a message in our general voice mailbox
I stayed on the line to leave a message stating I would like to speak with a supervisor. I was hoping that would help me in someway, but the general voice mailbox was full. I have just gone online to see if I could find the direct number for the supervisor of the office. After much searching on their website I have found that person's number and I'm going to be trying to get in touch with her directly.
I am unable to go up to the office and wait to speak with someone because they only allow walk-in appointments from 8am to 11am. These times don't work for me because of my jobs. Even if I plan to have someone put my youngest son on the bus in the morning so I can be there at 8am, you can be waiting for an hour or more to see someone face to face and talk. It is a half hour drive and I have to be to work at 9am. I need my jobs and cannot afford to be late.
We have been with out our assistance for 27 days. That is an extremely long time for someone who lives paycheck to paycheck. My family hasn't gone hungry in this time. I won't let that happen. But I haven't been able to pay my bills and I'm behind on my rent, so that I can put food on the table for my children to eat.
I realize that my worker probably has a very stressful and somewhat difficult job. But what I can't understand is how this place can allow their voice mailboxes to be full at least 75% of the time. I don't understand how a mistake on my workers end is allowed to effect my family in this way.