PETERSBURG, (WRIC) — The Department of Social Services is changing the way it handles benefits and public assistance cases, and the change will cause a disruption to service.
Department executives say for two days, the Petersburg social services office — along with social service offices across the state — will be unable provide benefits to anyone due to a system upgrade.
“It is a case management system, an integrated case management system,” explained Thomas Steinhauser, director of the Virginia Department of Social Services Division of Benefits Programs. “So for the first time ever, all of the benefit programs and public assistance programs will be in one system.”
The Department of Social Services is converting from a software program called Application Benefit Delivery Automation Project (ADAPT) to the Virginia Case Management System.
“We have to bring our systems down for these two days, but there should be a minimal impact on the customers,” Steinhauser said.
Friday and Monday, social services offices across the state will not be able to approve benefits, verify eligibility or issue EBT cards. However, the upgrades to the system will save money.
“It will reduce costs significantly because we were charged for transactions on the old system,” Steinhauser said. “We are going to save about $20M.”
Some customers say the two-day delay is an inconvenience.
“I just feel like most of the time they don’t care and it is people out here who really need this stuff,” Petersburg resident Rashell Bonner said.
According to executives, there was not a way to transition without temporarily impacting customers. They expect the new software to improve operations for workers as well as social services customers.
If you have any questions or concerns you’re asked to call your local social services office.