DENVER (February 24, 2017) - The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) today recognized the Sedgwick County Department of Human Services for its performance in delivering food and cash assistance.
CDHS announced in January that the Denver District Court had terminated a long-running settlement agreement after CDHS, working with its county partners, significantly improved its performance in delivering food and cash assistance benefits. Eight counties including Sedgwick are being recognized with C-Stat awards for exceptional performance.
“If you and your children are hungry, you need to be certain that when you come to a county agency, you’ll find the right services – and quickly – to help you get back on your feet,” said Reggie Bicha, executive director of CDHS. “This award recognizes the counties that are among the best of the best at helping people get the help they need, when they need it.”
In 2004, plaintiffs filed the lawsuit (originally styled as Hawthorne-Bey v. Henneberry and Beye, but ending as Davis v. Birch and Bicha) alleging the length of time it took the department to process applications for food and cash assistance did not comply with law. The parties settled the lawsuit in 2008. The terms of the settlement agreement required the state process new and expedited applications in a timely manner 95 percent of the time for at least 12 consecutive months. The settlement also required the state to process redeterminations -- which establish whether individuals currently receiving assistance are still eligible to receive benefits -- in a timely manner 95 percent of the time for at least nine consecutive months. Performance has exceeded all of these requirements, thanks to strong improvements in counties such as Sedgwick.
Sedgwick County has processed:
· All new Colorado Works (cash assistance) applications timely since March 2009
· Redetermination Colorado Works applications timely in all but two months since September 2008
· At least 95 percent of new food assistance applications timely since December 2014
· All expedited food assistance applications within seven days since February 2014
· All redetermination food assistance applications timely in all but six months since January 2014
Overall, the counties process new food assistance applications in a timely manner 98.9 percent of the time, up from 70.36 percent in October 2007, the date when CDHS started tracking data for the settlement. The counties process expedited applications in a timely manner 97.93 percent of the time, up from 46.17 percent in October 2007, and redetermination applications in a timely manner 97.89 percent of the time, improved from 43.32 percent in October 2007.
For Colorado Works cash assistance, the counties are processing applications in a timely manner 99.37 percent of the time, up from 82.7 percent in October 2007. Colorado Works redeterminations are being processed in a timely manner 97.10 percent of the time, improved from 59.6 percent in October 2007.
Applying for food and cash assistance programs can be done online, over the phone, by mail or in person at numerous assistance sites statewide. For more information, visit https://coloradopeak.secure.force.com.