The Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) is committed to transforming its systems and work to meet its goals of serving customers. In support of these efforts, DHS has submitted seven requests in recent months to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) for waivers to improve outcomes for Division of Family & Children Services customers and benefit workers. Three of seven waivers have been approved, and the remaining four – pending FNS consideration and approval – will help ensure children and families get the services they need in a timely manner, enhance work processes and supports, and improve caseworker effectiveness.
See below an overview of these four requested flexibilities.
- Permission to use attended BOTs to automate select processes without need for caseworker interaction
- Request to utilize innovative technology solutions to complete on-demand, required SNAP interviews for renewals
- Consent to move forward with ex-parte SNAP renewal, allowing customers’ benefits to renew automatically in situations where information needed is known to the department and sufficient
- Review of standard medical deduction information for potential updates to support customer and casework processing
These waiver requests, if approved, will help DHS lighten caseloads and automate time-consuming administrative work. In addition, the recent renewal of the state’s Elderly Simplified Application project – with the first extension in Georgia history of benefit periods to 36 months from the prior 12-month review for seniors – and the approval to waive many SNAP interviews through Sept. 30, 2023, will help the department take significant steps toward easing administrative burdens on customers and benefits workers.
DHS appreciates the hard work of its federal partners in helping explore creative avenues to streamline processes, support benefits workers, and ensure the best service to customers.