New system in place to reach DSS

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)-- It can be difficult to get help from the state Department of Social Services. Whether it's food stamps or other help, it has been tough to get through to the agency.

The new system is designed so that after answering just a few automated questions by pushing numbers on the phone answering system, you can push the pound key and get a living breathing person to help you.

"When a couple, because it's her and her spouse, make more than 685 and 29 cents a month, they go in, what's called a 'spend down," said a DSS worker.
            
After years of complaints, a new system to help people get answers more quickly is finally up and running.

"We know that we've had difficulty in our customers reaching us and so this technology will enhance that," said Bremby.
            
But it was kind of a rough start.  The average wait time on Monday was 14 minutes.

"Monday, we did have some difficulty because we had over 11,000 calls, which was far greater than anticipated but yesterday the call volume dropped and the longest wait time yesterday was shorter than the average wait time Monday," said Bremby.
            
Tuesday, the average wait time was down to under three minutes.

During the mid-day Wednesday, the computer display indicated that state-wide there were just 34 people waiting and the maximum wait time was about 6 minutes.

End Hunger Connecticut is a non-profit agency that helps people who need help and they report that they still are hearing from many people having trouble getting through.

"We have to give them more than a week I think but certainly through the summer but, you know, we are paying attention and we are trying to let them know that there are some problems with it," said Nolan.
    
Here's that number to call; 1-855-6-CONNECT.

If you or someone you know has access to a computer, you can set up an on-line benefits account or check for service availability, by going to www.connect.ct.gov.

Despite all the cut-backs in state government, the Department of Social Services is the one agency that actually has more employees than it did a few years ago, because times are still tough for a lot of people and a lot of people still need help.
 

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Connecticut (change)

 
Connecticut has 169 cities and towns, which serve as the fundamental local political subdivision of the state. Connecticut is the 5th of the original thirteen United States.
 
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