The IVR Hotline is now available for information on your Heating Assistance Program (HAP) application! Call (888) 804-6330 from anywhere within the State of Alaska or (907) 269-5777 in Anchorage and follow the prompts to find out the most current information on the processing timeline for the HAP program as well as the status of your Heating Assistance application. You will need your application ID number to find out the status of your application. You can find your application ID number on the upper right corner of the letter we sent you notifying you that we received your application.
Administrative Operations Manager II
The Administrative Services Team is located in Juneau. The team provides guidance and direction to staff division wide, in regards to a wide variety of items in the finance and administrative areas. The administrative support positions of the division work closely with the team, to ensure that the most current policy and procedures are consistent division wide, with not only division policy, but department and statewide as well.
Good news! This is the first week that indicates a positive trend in addressing the backlog. While the difference is not huge, it is encouraging. Given the tremendous level of effort and the advent of protected work times for staff, we can anticipate more progress in the next few weeks.
Bear in mind that there may still be applications or account transfers that were received over 30 days ago and have yet to be registered. It is also likely that we have more current applications that are on the cusp of becoming out of timeframes. So don’t be discouraged by slippage in the numbers. Great work is being done by all. The fact that last month staff made over 20,000 eligibility determinations on applications in clear evidence of the great work done every day by DPA! Hip-Hip-Hurrah!
Each year, the Division of Public Assistance provides direct services and benefits to more than 200,000 Alaskans. Offices can receive up to 10,000 initial applications and renewals each month. IN addition, each month Field Offices across the state also receive innumerable reports of change, returned mail, and correspondence from clients and partner agencies correspondence. Under any circumstance this is a monumental body of work.
Historically, we have done an outstanding job managing this staggering volume of work. We also faced periods where we have been confronted large backlogs of work. One challenge many of you may remember was the heavy lifting required years ago to process thousands of DKC applications out of timeframes successfully. We encountered and conquered another enormous challenge when problems with the Heating Assistance System stalled work. Again, just a few short years ago, we were inundated with a surge of applications during the “Great Recession.” We overcame all of these trials despite the difficulties and the Division was acknowledged by both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Systems and the Food and Nutrition Services for outstanding performance. Although there are a host of reasons contributing to our current situation, I am confident that DPA will rise to the challenge and resume our position as one of the best, if not the best, Public Assistance agency in the nation.
Our Research and Analysis team has been working to compile and tabulate information about the backlog of work that can help illustrate both the extent of the challenge and our progress in addressing the backlog. This has not been an easy task. Management information reports were, quite frankly, something of an afterthought when EIS was created. At this point ARIES management reports are still in a development stage. Consequently, a great deal of effort is needed to combine data from both systems into documents that can capture the outstanding body of work. What follows are several representations of the backlog of work.
For several years the Division has been advocating heavily to replace the Eligibility Information System (EIS) used to determine eligibility for thousands of people and to issue over $25 million in cash and food benefits alone each month. EIS has been a powerful tool and the backbone of our core business. Almost 30 years old, EIS’ cannot keep up with the demands created by growing workloads, changing policies and more and new federal mandates that require states to stand up systems capable of supporting real-time interfaces, online applications, client portals, and other modern functionality.
Alaska among 23 states eligible for bonus
ANCHORAGE— The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $5,660,544 to Alaska as a “performance bonus” for streamlining and improving Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization (CHIPRA) processes.
- A Message from Ron Kreher, Chief of Field Services -
Over the last week or so, it has been necessary to redistribute work from the Central Region to offices across the state. The Director and the division’s leadership team asked me to share with you their belief and expectation that our ability to provide direct services and supports to our clientele requires a collective commitment and, at times, a statewide effort to ensure that needy Alaskans get the services and supports they require.
On June 26, the Heating Assistance Program (HAP) issued supplement payments to vendors for every household that received heating assistance this past winter. These supplements were made possible thanks to the legislators who authorized $9 million in heating assistance this past legislative session. These payments will allow households to pay down any balances they have from this past winter and/or prepare for the coming season. Some households will even be able to start the winter with oil in their tanks. Notices were sent to households and vendors informing them of the amount of the award.
What happened to DPAWeb? DPAWeb was upgraded to a new version of software. This was necessary as the older version was no longer being supported and that posed a security risk. The Food Stamp Accuracy image on the far right will be replaced in the near future. We may need to add some other tweaks here and there. Report problems to: DPA Webmaster
You’ve brought us another stride closer to our Food Stamp Program accuracy improvement campaign goal. As we near the end of the FFY 2007 sample year, Alaska stands 9th in the nation for overall payment accuracy. This will be our fourth consecutive year of progressive accuracy improvement – a first in our long history of tracking payment accuracy. You may recall that three states per year are recognized for having the most improved food stamp payment accuracy. We are currently in second place, and holding on to our position in the national competition for a performance bonus. We won’t call it a lock yet, but it is looking ever more probable thanks to your consistently great work.