Social service providers in Kentucky are dealing with the rollout of the new Benefind system for public benefits. Those benefits include Medicaid and food stamps.
Across the state, there have been reports of long waits on the phone to update or change benefits with the Department for Community Based Services.
Melissa Grimes is Community Action’s program manager for Kynect. That’s the state’s health exchange that Governor Matt Bevin has promised to dismantle and replace with the federal exchange through Benefind.
Grimes says some of Community Action’s facilitators called Kynectors have had long telephone wait times.
“Some of the holds have been quite extensive for some of my Kynectors. I’ve heard up to three hours,” said Grimes. “But I think most are starting to get through now within an hour if not shorter.”
Grimes says the wait times are when Kynectors have to add or change benefit information through the Department of Community Based Services, or DCBS.
“Most of our Kynectors have experienced some lengthy hold times when needing to transfer over to the DCBS office. We’ve had a few glitches in the system,” said Grimes. “I think for the most part, most of these glitches are semi-normal to anything that’s been updated and reevaluated and they’re trying to work through it.”
Community Action of Southern Kentucky agency has five full-time and five part-time Kynectors working with residents in the 10-county region. Community Action of Southern Kentucky services Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson and Warren.
The Benefind rollout was February 29th.