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Florida Department of Children and Families - Food Stamp program

United States,
Florida

Consumer complaints and reviews about Florida Department of Children and Families - Food Stamp program

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Aug 2, 2014

Dcf FL.. Medicaid denied/food stamps reduced

A few months ago, we fell on hard times, like many others. We began receiving Medicaid and food stamps. A few months back, my fiancé suddenly lost his Medicaid because I wasn't complying with child support. That was funny considering we live together and always have. After numerous phone calls, they fixed it, but he went a month without his brain injury medication. Fast forward to yesterday..... We found out our food stamps were reduced and OUR entire family is without Medicaid effective yesterday. We log on to see what changes were made..... Apparently our one year old no longer lives with us?!?!?! Is this a joke because I'm pretty sure our daughter is sitting next to us right now? Thankfully the pharmacist watched this happen to us twice now and helped with the cost of his medication.
iceman Send email
 
Apr 29, 2014

re-certification

Received a letter in the mail that said I was approved for the same amount as previously granted. By the way as a single person I am entitled to $200/month. All I get is $189/month. While I was filling out application for Medicaid, I also included food stamps. That was over 8 weeks ago. Then last week I receive a letter from DCF that I need to re-certify by may 15. I am now having my U.S. Senator look into the situation. The problems that are listed here are with everyone. It's impossible to reach customer service in Tallahassee. DCF is always out to screw the public anyway they can. They do throw things out because they are hoping that if they do it enough times, you will stop. Don't ever stop chasing DCF for anything. Stay up their ass all the time!!!!
MomOf2Boys23 Send email
 
Mar 5, 2013

Reduction of Benefits-NO Change in Income!

The information for my earnings, child support, house value, marital status and a few other things keeps getting changed in the computer, not sure who is doing that! My ex husband's info that I put in is missing every time I visit online. It's very upsetting to see that these important pieces of information are wrong and then discover that our family's benefits have been reduced. The medicaid for my boys changed to share of cost and our monthly food benefit was reduced $460!!!! OMG! My boys are wondering why we don't (all of the sudden) have any food in the house. I called and spoke with Larry and he told me to submit some papers to clear up a "mix up" with the child support totals to prove I'm not getting EXTRA $910/mo they think I get, as that's what the total they put in reflected. I did that, along with applying for additional benefits for the second time since they were reduced. Nobody ever gets back to me, sends me explanations of what went wrong, calls me for another interview even though I request it in the comments, and nobody helps to correct the wrong info. What's the point of listing me as "SINGLE" instead of leaving it "DIVORCED"?? Befuddling.

I also have to agree with someone in previous post that they treat you like garbage when you call. I'm a regular person who fell on hard times. We went from making nice paychecks to losing job and being abandoned by husband. It happens, and people need help. -And if you only get it strait for the sake of the kids, then so be it. But when benefits get reduced that much then the kids are suffering. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Maybe "8 On Your Side" wants to investigate this. (?)
Stephkerklin04 Send email
 
Feb 9, 2013

Says processing for 2 months

Filled out all paper work, 2 months later still says processing. After a call the lady said all stuff was turned in a didn't know why the case worker had not done her job and was writing a letter to supervisor. Still after 2 weeks nothing. How can I feed my kids when I have been trying to get this renewed for 2 months. Nothing has changed just had to Renee stamps. I'm having to borrow money now. The last time I called another lady answered and stated it my fault as I should have started sooner and was rude. These people are just crazy now as Obama I guess don't give a shit about us
kealyarce@gmail.com Send email
 
Nov 14, 2012

Inability to reach the Florida Department of Children and Families

They tell me i didn't send them paystubs and i.d when i did and this will be my second time. I feel like D.c.f just throw half of them away this is screwed up. People are not making it easy here, and they just send these letters and longer I have to wait and others when we are barley making ends meet!
kealyarce@gmail.com Send email
 
Nov 14, 2012

Inability to reach the Florida Department of Children and Families

I'm wasting more money buying stamps and envelopes because they say that we haven't received pay stubs and i.d REALLY!!! I feel like they just throw half of them out and there are the few chosen ones I'd rather just have a denial then them lying and saying I didn't send them what I already sent! Lets try this one more time DCF!!!!!! Now I see I'm not the only one here this is screwed up!
Tiffanyodessea Send email
 
Sep 2, 2012

Department of childrens

I was suppose to recieve my foodstamps on the second of the month
for my daughter and have not recieved it. Its bad enough it
takes ten yrs to get a hold of them and when you do they
tell you yes maam you will receive your benifits still and
send u letters that you are still eligible.So where is my stamps
on my card. The government is all screwed up.
donnako9 Send email
 
Aug 25, 2012

Donnako9

I suppose many people will have compalints in regards to DCF as most of teh times the customer service representatives are rude and act as though because people need assistance they are nobody and as stated the one number to call is ridculous as it is extremely hard to get through to, youhave to try to call exactly at 7.59am to get through if you do and then wait one,two or more hours for the customer service rep.
I have a son who is on disability and DCF has once reduced his ffod stamps due to him having this service aid and now that disability has upped his amount due to bills and so on DCF once again is reducing his food stamps even more starting in October 2012, disability is only to be used for disability not food so I have no idea why they would even go there, to make it worst I now have a baby and they still are reducing it, how am I supposed to feed my children on what they are planning to give to me now? Groceries are to be raised by 20% what happens then?
Something needs to be done about DCF, it's not free, it's our tax payer money so inform your staff of this because we are not begging we pay for it.
Pissedkara Send email
 
Feb 23, 2012

Inability to reach the Florida Department of Children and Families

Well, I too am in the same predicament as all of you. But, I KNOW why they are forcing this system that DOES NOT WORK on us. Yes, florida does have programs for needy families but most of the higher ups are the people who want this program to stop. its all about taxes. The people who make money are paying for us to be on food stams, yes. Therefore, they do not want us on food stamps. So, legally we are entitled to this but only if you are proactive in getting every single document the exact way you want it. I have been on food stamps for 2 years now since my daughet was born and last year, thi switched jobs; reported it and still, after a whole YEAR, they do not have my ifo right. they are saying i make 200% more than i make. I've changed called, done everything. Provided loss of income verification..every time i do, they raise my income in their system. they are CORRUPT!
Philandy Send email
 
Feb 23, 2012

Inability to reach the Florida Department of Children and Families

They recently added the option to submit computer files to ACCESS (instead of faxing perhaps) when you log in - go to "Upload and View My Documents."
ITforHire Send email
 
Feb 23, 2012

Inability to reach the Florida Department of Children and Families

Welp, got the card today. Amazing... 3 days after I did what I posted in the above comment.
ITforHire Send email
 
Feb 23, 2012

Inability to reach the Florida Department of Children and Families

Get this- on a whim I called up the EBT Customer Service line (1-888-356-3281) and followed the prompts to report a lost/stolen card. I was then prompted to verify my social security number and birth date. Once I did that, they (the robot) asks you to press one to accept that the card you're reporting will be deactivated. Then it asks that you verify your zip code- DO NOT ENTER YOUR ZIP. By not entering the zip it forwarded me to a live person (at 10pm on a Friday night- so I'm assuming they are a 24/7 call center).

A live person answered almost immediately and I let them know that I had never received my EBT card (tomorrow it will officially be 2 months since I was approved). They went on to re-verify my social security number, date of birth and went on to ask for my case number. They were able to look up my account and see that... and get this... A CARD WAS NEVER SENT OUT IN THE FIRST PLACE! WTF!

After they verified my current address they put me on hold. Once they came back they told me I would be receiving my card in 5-7 days- wow! It's amazing how simple it was. I guess the trick was to completely avoid DCF and go straight to the card issuing company. So, after nearly two months after being approved for "expedited" food stamps, I'll finally be able to use the funds that have been compounding without me being able to touch them. I can't wait to get off the dollar menu/ramen diet. I'll be back to let you know if this actually solved the problem.

So, thanks for nothing, Rick Scott and the useless bureaucrats running (into the ground) DCF.
Ramelle Send email
 
Feb 23, 2012

Inability to reach the Florida Department of Children and Families

IT - you say : "To all the people, like MollieWollie, who are posting disparaging remarks about people utilizing public welfare programs- just keep in mine that, while you may never need to use such services, there is at least one person in your family or that you know who probably has. This economy touches everybody in one form or another. The people in need could be family or friends- you never know. So try to apply the same compassion you would to them before you run your mouth due to your superior financial situation."

I say: Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant with the weak and the wrong. Sometime in your life you will have been all of these.
( I read your last paragraph. *hugs* )
ITforHire Send email
 
Feb 23, 2012

Inability to reach the Florida Department of Children and Families

Here's my experience with the underfunded DCF here in Orlando, FL's Orange County:
Basics:
I am a network administrator who was working for a company who's three senior partners had a falling out that, consequently, led to the demise of a majority of the company's operations. So, I was laid off in November of 2011 and applied on the 14th of the same month and was approved for expedited food stamps ($208 pro-rated for November and $367 for each following month up to April 2012).
My Situation:
I'm married and we pay about $1, 200 a month for all bills (rent & utilities) before food expenses. We lived comfortably on my salary and my wife was able to be a homemaker, so we were blessed in that way. Unfortunately, because I was a contracted employee, I worked under the company as a contractor (shady, yes... it helps them save on benefits, etc- whatever, no biggie) and thus had to save money for taxes- due to the fact that they aren't taken out automatically by the company. So, while we were able to eat out and catch movies when we wanted, we weren't exactly living it up. But, as I see it, we were stimulating the local economy and paying our fair share of taxes- so the circle of suburban life was playing out up until the layoff.
Current Employment Situation:
After I was laid off, I applied to positions within my field (I.T.)- which was, in retrospect, a big mistake. The people who were hiring in November were retail and places that would receive a lot of business during the holidays. By the time I figured that out, and started applying for jobs I was (and I hate to use the haughty term, even though it's true) overqualified for in late December, these employers (Publix, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Walgreens, etc) were experience hiring freezes and post-holiday layoffs. Which has made my job hunt a bit tougher. I will likely be moving back to Texas where I'm from if I don't find anything in January.
The DCF Nightmare:
After applying for foodstamps on November 14th, I was contacted a couple of days later by a DCF employee who conducted an interview and told me that I was approved for expedited food stamp processing and that he was going to send some documents for me to fill out- which I received a couple of days later.
There was a form in the two pages sent to me that I assumed I needed to fill out despite the fact that they had neglected to check the box(s) next to the information block(s) they wanted me to fill out. I had to look at my status online to figure out that the portion of the form they needed was "proof of loss of income"- no big deal. So I filled that section in and sent it back.
I religiously checked my mail box and the online status to verify that they had received it. But to no avail. Nothing came in the mail and the Florida Access website profile for my case indicated that this form was still required.
I got a little frustrated and worried because I had read that they would close my case in 30 days from the time it was opened if they did not receive the information they requested (the proof of loss of income form). So I found the fax number and the required form they needed at the Florida Access website, printed it out, filled it out again, scanned it to PDF and then used a free online fax service (which allows one to send up to 5 pages for free) to fax it to the DCF fax number for my area.
Unfortunately, each time I tried to fax it in, the fax was rejected. I'm assuming the line was busy or simply didn't work. But, because I was using an online service, I didn't really know. The message I kept getting from the service was "fax failed". So, I'm not entirely sure that it was the DCF fax number's fault- but I'd love to hear from anyone who's had problems with faxing anything to DCF to put that wonderment to rest.
At this point I tried to get through to a real, live person to no avail until I called a downtown DMV office who gave me the physical address of the Access office closest to me. Fortunately for me, it was over on West Colonial, about 3 miles down the road from where I live. But because we had sold our car a couple weeks before, I walked down instead. I could have taken the bus, but it was about an hour trip due to the fact that it detours around all sorts of places. The walk would only be about 45 minutes and, in the spirit of saving money, I opted for that instead. The weather was really great, too- so it was kind of nice to be out and about on foot.
When I got down to the office, I was greeted by a lady who, and I'm not exaggerating, would not make eye contact with me. She droned (in every definition of the word) that I needed to fill out an information slip- which was a piece of paper that was cut in half with blanks asking basic information. I asked if I had to fill out the social security block and she said no (why in the world would that even be on there then?).
After I had filled out the slip, I went on to explain my situation described above, she called the supervisor over. He told me that, because I was technically self-employed, I would need to fill out the section reserved for the employer- weird, but no big deal. This was in addition to the "proof of loss of income" portion. So, I did, and then was told to give it to a third lady who scanned the slip, document and my final pay stubs into a big Xerox-type machine. They said that that was it and didn't give me any explanation as to why my snail-mail and fax never made it to them- I'm not really the type to pry so I just left it alone and headed home. P.S. I found a really neat hobby shop at a shopping center at West Colonial and Kirkman and spent a few minutes walking around in awe at all the cool R/C vehicles and models- but I digress...
I checked online the next day and saw that all was well- as far as things I was required to submit. The interview was complete and the paperwork was finally showing as completed. I assumed that I was 100% good-to-go and relieved to finally have everything taken care of.
About two weeks later, having not received my EBT card, I tried calling in to find out why I hadn't. But, like a lot of other people posting, I kept running into brick walls. It's nearly impossible to get in touch with someone from the Orlando, Orange County area. So, after further research, I found numbers for several of the DCF offices.
After no luck getting a live person, I finally got through to the Secretary of Communication's office (850-488-4855). I explained my story and the gentleman on the line told me that he wasn't sure why I hadn't received my EBT card yet (he was able to access my account) but that he would put in a request for a new one. He stated that, if they act immediately (and said so in a way that lead me to believe that they don't often act "immediately"), I would receive it in 7 days. He also informed me that the DCF staff had been reduced at a time when demand was very high- thanks, Rick Scott...
That call was on the 27th of December, 2011. It is now the 10th of January, 2012. So, it's been about 14 days (10 business days) and I have yet to receive the card. In four more days it will have been about two months since I was approved for "expedited" services from DCF.
Today, after checking my snail-mail and it being empty, I decided to make some more phone calls. I started with the Secretary of Communications (the one I actually managed to get through the last time) to no avail- it simply rang to voice mail each time. I left a message the fourth time I called and decided to try other DCF offices. I got nothing until the Office of the Inspector General. I had the pleasure of speaking to a rude and nasty woman named Latrice Macy who, after telling me they have nothing to do with what I was trying to find out, gave me a number to call. Upon calling said number, I was told that they were the office that dealt with fraud. However, the lady I spoke with gave me the extension to the number I needed- YES!
The extension went to the Client Relations department (407-317-7000 ext. 7045 for anyone who wants to know) and, after a long-winded message that made clear that they couldn't access your account number (I'd love to know why they felt it necessary to state that- could it be that they obviously get a lot of calls from people frustrated that they can never get account information from a live person?) I realized it was a voice mail message. The voice mail message ended in stating that the mail box was full- wonderful...
So, for the sake of my blood pressure, I gave up and started searching online for others who've had problems with DCF- and here I am. After reading all of the above posts, I felt the urge to give my story. Sorry for the length, but I couldn't really condense my situation any more (believe it or not, this is condensed). It's obvious that DCF is underfunded and broken.
My personal opinion is that, being a good-ol'-boy Republican state, they assume that if they have a working assistance program then they will receive an influx of people trying to game the system and abuse it. Now that the economy has been limping for the last couple of years since the real-estate bubble burst, it's coming to light because more people like me are having to turn to assistance programs and exposing the Republican's fear-of-moochers policies that have been in place for years which include underfunding, reducing or eliminating social programs.
I feel like I can identify with those in poverty that feel as though they can't get a break. They've been screwed conservative fear-mongering for a long time and people like me have never noticed it while we were out at the movies or on a cruise. It's sad, really.
P.S. To all the people, like MollieWollie, who are posting disparaging remarks about people utilizing public welfare programs- just keep in mine that, while you may never need to use such services, there is at least one person in your family or that you know who probably has. This economy touches everybody in one form or another. The people in need could be family or friends- you never know. So try to apply the same compassion you would to them before you run your mouth due to your superior financial situation.
Also, you never know- it might be you next. I never thought it would happen to me, either.
Ramelle Send email
 
Feb 23, 2012

Inability to reach the Florida Department of Children and Families

You expect anyone to read that novel IT? Summarization is your friend, superfluous info is your enemy.
ITforHire Send email
 
Feb 23, 2012

Inability to reach the Florida Department of Children and Families

Lol... believe me, that is the summary. =P
ITforHire Send email
 
Feb 23, 2012

Inability to reach the Florida Department of Children and Families

I also notice I posted "keep in mine"... MIND*
No1's Fool26 Send email
 
Feb 23, 2012

Inability to reach the Florida Department of Children and Families

I agree with everyone 200%. I used to have the exact same problem in regards to getting thru to a live person, faxing/sending paper work dozens of time just to be denied because they claim they hadn't receive anything! I applied for food stamps for my mom who's having a really hard time due to the economy I applied in November it was a whole month & she still didn't hear anything from them so I had to re-apply in December, here's my issue they approved my mom for food stamps but she still hasn't gotten a dang thing! But on her access account it claims that they gave her $84 in November, $200 on December 01, that's bullshit! She hasn't received a thing from them. & they denied my sister on my moms application & when asked why? They simply told her that they consider a person her age should be working... WTF?! First off working where?! There's no jobs out here unless your ok working for $6 an hour for the holidays... So I want to file a complaint but I can't seem to locate the number of the head office... I usually add my sister on my moms application & I have been doing so for the past 2 years now . My mom used to get $367 than they lowered it to $295 now they only give her $200! How is $200 suppose to feed 3-4 people in the household.. My mom hasn't had anything in her refrigerator in months! I've had to buy her groceries & food... This is rediculous
Determineswelfare Send email
 
Feb 23, 2012

Inability to reach the Florida Department of Children and Families

Before you go saying DCF doesn't care, do me a favor and read this.
http://www.tumblr.com/blog/determiningwelfare
MaddadJax Send email
 
Feb 23, 2012

Inability to reach the Florida Department of Children and Families

Check this out that dcf is still using pen and paper when handling cases. http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/state/state-agency-enlists-help-from-businesses-for-social-2014156.html
MaddadJax Send email
 
Feb 23, 2012

Inability to reach the Florida Department of Children and Families

No wonder dcf workers are tired and don't want 2 help http://www.theledger.com/article/20111130/NEWS/111139929/1002/SPORTS?Title=DCF-Labor-Department-Continue-Talks-
MaddadJax Send email
 
Feb 23, 2012

Inability to reach the Florida Department of Children and Families

Child protective investigators with the Florida Department of Children and Families look into complaints of child neglect and child abuse. They determine whether there is probable cause to remove children from parents' or guardians' custody.

Statewide, their average salary is $36, 315. In this judicial circuit, it is $37, 728.

Statewide, an investigator averages 16 active investigations. In this area, it is 17.

Because of job stress, many investigators quit. The turnover rate statewide in a given year is 31 percent. Locally, it is 37 percent.
This is y dcf is so much having problems. http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20111128/ARTICLE/111129625/-1/sports?Title=Child-safety-investigators-face-their-own-ordeals
MaddadJax Send email
 
Feb 23, 2012

Inability to reach the Florida Department of Children and Families

Hey people I don't know who really 2 blame because of this welfare situation thou. Gov. Scott fired a lot of dcf workers and in turn hurting us together. http://www.tallahassee.com/article/20111113/NEWS01/111130320/Fla-s-DCF-staff-labor-vain-make-difference-people-s-lives?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7Cfrontpage%7Cp what is a person to do. How about contacting out rep. And state senators.
Karen From Florida Send email
 
Feb 23, 2012

Inability to reach the Florida Department of Children and Families

The Florida Department of Children and Families' ACCESS website should be disabled as well as the ACCESS toll-free number. It is at an expense to tax payers to maintain the website and the toll-free number and both, especially the ACCESS toll-free number, are practically useless. There is not any contact or email address on the website to assist one if you have a problem other than the listed ones. You can not reach a live person at all on the 800 number. I have a simple problem. I need my case number. I can not access any information with out it and I can not get anyone to help me get it. I am homebound, as many, many others that receive assistance are. This long-standing issue needs to be brought to the attention of our law makers as it is a gross misuse and mismanagment of tax payers dollars. I actual feel the the FDCF is intentionally making it as difficult as possible to receive assistance so that perhaps people will be discouraged and not apply or give up.
MaddadJax Send email
 
Feb 23, 2012

Inability to reach the Florida Department of Children and Families

They gave me food stamps and next month was on hold because they never received my pay stubs, but I faxed it in 2times and still waiting. I tried calling to find out what's going on. The phone just takes you back to the main menu. I got a job but only pays 8.00. I have a master degree and cant a decent job to support my daughter. It is hard to find any answer. I read all the articles and they all ate true. Dcf does not care at all.

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