WJTV News Channel 12 - EXCLUSIVE: Employee, officials differ on food stamps backlog

EXCLUSIVE: Employee, officials differ on food stamps backlog

Posted: Updated:
GREENVILLE, N.C. -
Social workers all across North Carolina work through thousands of food stamp applications to meet the federal government’s deadline to clear the backlog or lose funding. The United States Department of Agriculture threatened to pull the state's food stamps money by March if they didn't catch up by Monday. Officials in Pitt County say they met the requirement.

But have they really? In a 9 On Your Side investigation a source tells us the numbers and twisted and says officials are lying to the public. The employee says they are setting the record straight. They asked us to protect their identity.

"I think they're skewed. I think they've been minimized tremendously. It's unfair to tell the public that we're caught up. When they know we're not. Ever since I came to DSS there's been a backlog."

Since late January, the Department of Health and Human Services says employees have been working around the clock to minimize the back log caused by the state's new case management system, NC FAST.

Monday morning, Interim Director Earl Marett and Bryan Averette told 9 On Your Sides Pitt County is caught up. They had more than 12-hundred cases to begin with. 

“We have met the deadline for February 10th required by the USDA,” Averette said. 

But our source says that isn't the case. “Even before NC FAST we were behind. But the old system was different. It was worker friendly. The NC FAST system is not and because of that we will continue to have a backlog.”

Instead of blaming it on a glitchy system, managers accused employees of not doing enough, some were even fired. “NC FAST is a new system and it's different and some people are just not capable of working in that system,” Marett said. 

The employee we spoke to says since the USDA set the deadline their focus shifted to food stamps---neglecting other services. Averette says, “Well we've had to focus on food and nutrition services at the same time; we couldn't just let everything stop because of this project. So I wouldn't say it's been neglected."

NC FAST and the company that designed the software has had so many problems, not just here but in other states, costing millions in tax dollars. Next week we will have a lengthy report explaining why this happened and why some are being wrongfully accused of this mess.
  • HealthMore>>

  • Fist bumps less germy than handshakes, study says

    Fist bumps less germy than handshakes, study says

    Monday, July 28 2014 12:17 AM EDT2014-07-28 04:17:24 GMT
    When it comes to preventing the spread of germs, maybe the president is on to something with his fondness for fist bumps.
    When it comes to preventing the spread of germs, maybe the president is on to something with his fondness for fist bumps.
  • Ruling on antibiotics in livestock reversed

    Ruling on antibiotics in livestock reversed

    Monday, July 28 2014 12:16 AM EDT2014-07-28 04:16:05 GMT
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration isn't required to hold public hearings to evaluate the health risks of widespread use of antibiotics in animal feed, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration isn't required to hold public hearings to evaluate the health risks of widespread use of antibiotics in animal feed, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.
  • Police seek man who refused tuberculosis treatment

    Police seek man who refused tuberculosis treatment

    Monday, July 28 2014 12:16 AM EDT2014-07-28 04:16:02 GMT
    Prosecutors in Northern California said Thursday that they have obtained an arrest warrant for a tuberculosis patient who has refused treatment and may be contagious, putting those around him at risk.
    Prosecutors in Northern California said Thursday that they have obtained an arrest warrant for a tuberculosis patient who has refused treatment and may be contagious, putting those around him at risk.
  • Most Recent SlideshowsMore>>

  • Belhaven mayor continues 237 mile walk to D.C.

    Belhaven mayor continues 237 mile walk to D.C.

    Sunday, July 27 2014 5:35 PM EDT2014-07-27 21:35:52 GMT
    Friday, Belhaven mayor Adam O'Neal will be stopping in Fredericksburg, Virginia as part of his 237 mile walk to the nation's capital.
    Friday, Belhaven mayor Adam O'Neal will be stopping in Fredericksburg, Virginia as part of his 237 mile walk to the nation's capital.
  • Key World War I battle re-enacted in Poland

    Key World War I battle re-enacted in Poland

    Sunday, July 27 2014 2:04 PM EDT2014-07-27 18:04:27 GMT
    About 200 history enthusiasts from across Europe have gathered on hilly area in Poland to reconstruct the Battled of Tannenberg, an engagement between the Russian and German Empires in the first days of World War I.
    About 200 history enthusiasts from across Europe have gathered on a hilly area in Poland to reconstruct the Battle of Tannenberg, an engagement between the Russian and German Empires in the first days of World War I.
  • Man seeks video of 1995 Oklahoma City bombing

    Man seeks video of 1995 Oklahoma City bombing

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:55 AM EDT2014-07-27 15:55:07 GMT
    One man's quest to explain his brother's mysterious jail cell death 19 years ago has rekindled long-dormant questions about whether others were involved in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
    One man's quest to explain his brother's mysterious jail cell death 19 years ago has rekindled long-dormant questions about whether others were involved in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
Powered by WorldNow

1820 TV Road
Jackson, MS 39204

Telephone: 601.372.6311
Fax: 804.819.5569
Email: wjtvnews@wjtv.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.