Being a professional and out of work in a failing economy is enough to make your skin crawl most days. Each day is spent sending out resume after resume, usually online, never knowing if that written biography of your life, the one you worked hours on, even met the hands of the human resource department before being tossed in the waste basket. Realistically, today there are hundreds of people applying for each new position, and it’s common knowledge that most of those resumes won’t make it past the clerk. Couple that with the fact you must have more than one resume on hand these days for all various job board postings, and you have a recipe for emotional disaster. To add insult to injury, these online submissions require 30-40 min for each new posting and must be accompanied with a fresh new cover letter.
You’d think that at least while you are job searching endlessly, your state entitled benefits would be of assistance. After all, you paid into the system for years while others used it, and now it is your turn; you need it. Not so. Before you know it, you are bombarded with endless requests, information you sent and thought should be clear in its own right, is accepted and then rejected. Before you can catch your breath in this new found dilemma, you are spending exhorbitant amounts of time faxing, calling, sending letters to appease a determining caseworker. At times nothing seems sufficient. You are approved, then more Determination Case Letters meet your mailbox requesting further information before your case is discontinued. You spend more time faxing, calling in information you thought was already submitted to a call center that doesn’t answer – for days. This waste of precious job search time is spent trying to receive a paultry amount of EBT assigned to you and your family.
Do you know how many complaint boards on DCF Florida Food Stamps can be found? An enormous amount! If you are reading this letter you are one of the tens of thousands that are being treated the same manner! You know for a fact the call center is useless because you’ve called it in a frenzy for days. You’ve even tried the online email system that never answers. You know there is only one possiblity to get through. You are forced to trump down to your local agency, wait in line for hours to use one of the two customer phones available to speak to a caseworker. Or, maybe you resigned to eating onion soup for days on end, and said, “The heck with it”. Nonetheless, precious hours and minutes that should have been devoted to job searching is wasted again.
Take note of other plights, Karen from Florida writes, “The Florida Department of Children and Families’ ACCESS website should be disabled as well as the ACCESS toll-free number. It is at an expense to tax payers to maintain the website and the toll-free number and both, especially the ACCESS toll-free number, are practically useless. There is not any contact or email address on the website to assist one if you have a problem other than the listed ones. You can not reach a live person at all on the 800 number. I have a simple problem. I need my case number. I can not access any information with out it and I can not get anyone to help me get it. I am homebound, as many, many others that receive assistance are. This long-standing issue needs to be brought to the attention of our law makers as it is a gross misuse and mismanagment of tax payers dollars. I actual feel the the FDCF is intentionally making it as difficult as possible to receive assistance so that perhaps people will be discouraged and not apply or give up.”
Another frustrated individual, S. Lynne, writes, “I am a professional who cannot secure a job due to the horrendous economy in Florida & therefore had to apply for food stamp assistance. My worker has proved completely unprofessional & incompetent and the agency (DCF Food Stamp Assistance) has proved completely unresponsive to my inquiries. Despite having met the criteria for expeditied foodstamps and having completed an interview and provided the requested information, my case worker failed to remove the hold from my account which caused me to lose all of my July Food Stamp benefits. I’ve called my worker, Jarvis Greene, more than 7 times and he has not returned any of my phone calls, despite previously stating to me that all he had to do was ‘change my information’ in the system to remove the hold status on my account since he had received all of the necessary verification information he requested from me. Initially, he actually refused to provide me with his name & was only able to find it out by leaving all of the phone messages requesting he contact me, on his office answering machine. I’ve also sent a complaint and request for appeal to DCF ACCESS customer service center and received absolutly no response. If anyone has any idea of how to get the attention on these incompetent civil servant or even better, whom ever they have to account to if anyone, I would sincerely appreciate it. I wouldn’t be applying for food stamps unless I desperately needed them, which is humiliating enough, but to be treated so dismissively by people who are paid by my taxes is not tolerable. Thank God I don’t have children to feed and do have family to help me otherwise I would be at a soup kitchen.” The local system complaint boards are inundated with these types of pleas.
Applying for Food Stamps is an embarrassement at times in its own right, but it is more of an embarrassement when you can’t feed those you love most. If you are experiencing the same, make your voice heard!
Comment on this article.