St. Louis County Ranks First Amongst Large Midwest Counties For Food Support Accuracy
Contact: Shelley Saukko, Public Health and Human Services, 218-742-9525
St. Louis County Ranks First Amongst Big Midwest Counties for Food Support Accuracy!
The BIG TEN Food Support Conference represents states and counties within the Midwest Region who issue at least $10 million dollars in Food Stamps each year. Included in the Midwest Regional States are Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin; Minnesota's Big Ten Counties are Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, St. Louis, and Ramsey. St. Louis County maintains an extremely high payment accuracy rate, which helps the state of Minnesota in building up its overall rate. At the most recent Big Ten Conference, St. Louis County received an honor for having the Highest Local Agency Accuracy Rate of 98.48% for 2006.
In the Big Ten Conference program, the following was written about St. Louis County:
“Workers have again proven that their optimistic determination to do the best job possible is a recipe for success. Financial workers and supervisors have been creative, resourceful, and above all else, committed to one of the most important customer service functions of them all, the accurate determination of benefits. Individual income maintenance units have chosen a variety of methods to maintain the county’s low food support (stamp) error rate; however, some common themes have been identified throughout. Unit meetings are opportunities for supervisors and financial workers to discuss new policies and procedures, along with review of current policy. Financial workers are regularly updated with the current error rate, and this has proven to be very motivational. New workers receive not only excellent training provided by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, but are assigned unit mentors who work closely with them as they are eased into caseload work. Some units have moved toward different variations of specialization, along with transferring cases to ongoing workers after a completed intake. This provides a second look at the work done by intake staff and allows for timely corrections when necessary. In addition, random case reviews and a renewed emphasis on improving case notes have also contributed to fewer errors. St. Louis County
eligibility staff members take great pride in the work they do. Whether reviewing a complicated case with a co-worker, or delving deep into policy in order to ‘get it right,’ the citizens of St. Louis County can depend on the professionalism and payment accuracy of those who serve their needs. Creativity and a commitment to excellence have proven to be a winning combination in St. Louis County.”
Commissioner Steve O’Neil, Chair of Public Health and Human Services, said: “This achievement is a testament to the hard work of the Public Health and Human Services Department staff members, and demonstrates that they are caring stewards of the taxpayer’s money.”
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