Food and nutrition benefit wait times
As of Oct. 31, 2013, Cabarrus is experiencing a backlog of applications and recertifications waiting to be entered in the NCFAST system. At this time, clients can expect to wait an average of 8 weeks before they will receive their benefits. Please check back weekly for updates.
How to get assistance with your request
- If you call the general DHS phone center (704-920-1400) and select the option for Economic Services, you will be able to reach a phone center worker Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. If callers to the general DHS phone center select the Economic Services phone option after 2 p.m., they will receive a recorded message. At that time, center staff will redirect their services to processing a backlog of NCFAST applications.
- Electronic applications may be submitted online at www.epass.nc.gov.
- Clients may apply for benefits at the DHS office (1303 S. Cannon Blvd, Kannapolis) Monday-Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
In February, Cabarrus County Department of Human Services (DHS) and DHS offices across North Carolina counties began implementation of a statewide electronic case management system, North Carolina Families Accessing Services through Technology (NCFAST). The system consolidates administrative processes and allows staff to dedicate more time to assisting families.
Since the NCFAST program launched, the County has worked with state leaders to address issues reported by nearly every Department of Social Services (DSS) agency in N.C. Cabarrus received on-site training and support from the State, worked to troubleshoot a myriad of technical issues, provided staff with advanced training, created flexible schedules for employees and allowed overtime. On Sept. 16, the County also sent 1,000 recertifications to the State, which will help enter cases on behalf of the County.
What’s being done
At its Sept. 16 meeting, the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners approved hiring 10 temporary employees for five weeks to assist with data entry in the County’s Department of Human Services (DHS) Economic Services Division, which handles food stamp applications and cases in Cabarrus.
Beginning Monday, Sept. 23, Cabarrus County will also implement a temporary phone schedule that will affect calls to the DHS Economic Services phone center.
Under the temporary phone policy, the phone center (704-920-1400) will operate Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. When the phone center closes, staff will redirect their services to processing a backlog of NCFAST applications and callers will receive a recorded message. Clients may apply for benefits at the DHS office (1303 S. Cannon Blvd, Kannapolis) Monday-Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Electronic applications may be submitted online at www.epass.nc.gov
The County’s move to the temporary phone policy is motivated in part by an upcoming transition of the State’s Medicaid program to NCFAST. On the heels of the food stamp conversion, counties will be required to follow a similar process to transition Medicaid applications and recertifications to the new system.
Update: At it's October meeting, the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners extended temprary employee assistance for an additional month.