BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – A day after the Disaster SNAP benefits interview process opened, many people have complained that they have not been successful applying.
Assistant Secretary for the Division of Family Support at DCFS Shavana Howard said some people reported calling 100 times to get through.
“If you can’t get through the first time, I would definitely wait,” said Howard.
On Monday, DCFS reported they received up to 250-300 calls per second, causing lines to tie up and leaving callers with long wait times or worse, having the call disconnected. The agency said they were prepared for volume, but did not expect the magnitude of callers they saw in the first two days.
“We were prepared to serve over 70,000 people during this phase of this event, yes. I would not say that we were prepared to get 20,000 calls on day one by 10 o’clock in the morning,” said Howard.
She said part of the issue is people are calling when it is not their designated day. DCFS designated the following assigned days for people to call:
|Monday, Sept. 20 — A-F|
Wednesday, Sept 22 — N-S
Friday, Sept 24 — A-Z
|Tuesday, Sept 21 — G-M|
Thursday, Sept 23 — T-Z
Saturday, Sept 25 — A-Z
According to Howard, the interview process lasts about 22 minutes.
“It’s a fairly quick process. You know immediately approved, denied or if we need additional verification and what the benefit amount is,” said Howard.
If you get through on your day or not, the agency is asking you to simply be patient.
“There’s going to be opportunities for everyone to apply and not just on your alphabet day but on Friday and Saturday as well,” said Howard.