Effective Tuesday, February 1, the Cabarrus County Department of Social Services (DSS) will begin extended hours to provide greater convenience for working families and those who have difficulty getting to DSS during its regular 8 am to 5 pm hours. Now, DSS will open the first and third Tuesday of each month from 8 am until 6 pm. The extended hours will be implemented on a trial basis.
These extended hours are dedicated solely to residents who need to apply for assistance such as food and nutrition services, formerly known as food stamps, Medicaid, child day care, crisis economic assistance and child support.
“With the challenging economy, DSS has seen a drastic increase in the public assistance caseload size over the past three years. We hope that extended hours will benefit our working recipients so that they can receive the needed services from the department without having to sacrifice work time and productivity,” said Ben Rose, director of Cabarrus County DSS.
The public service demand has continued to increase significantly. In food stamp distribution alone, over a three year period, the caseload size has risen more than 50 percent – with 5,875 additional cases. As of November, 10,613 households in Cabarrus County are receiving food stamps, which equates to serving 24,821 individuals.
The Medicaid caseload also has increased with 21,778 current cases – up 20 percent from 17,291 cases in 2007. Extended hours will offer additional service access for working customers, who in the past have had to take time away from work to visit the agency.
The dates for extended hours during the trial period are:
• Tuesday, February 1, 2011 • Tuesday, February 15, 2011
• Tuesday, March 1, 2011 • Tuesday, March 15, 2011
• Tuesday, April 5, 2011 • Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Clients can call DSS at 704-920-1400 during operating hours for additional information about services and programs or visit the Cabarrus County website at www.cabarruscounty.us/social