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Learning More About the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System


Who are the IVR Users?

Anyone with a touch-tone phone can call the IVR Hotline for general information, but the main customers are Division of Public Assistance (DPA) and Heating Assistance Program (HAP) applicants and recipients. DPA and HAP staff may also use the line on occasion.

Information Available in IVR

  • Up to date information on the status of Public Assistance and Heating Assistance cases
  • General descriptions of Public Assistance programs, Heating Assistance programs, and information about the Earned Income Tax Credit
  • The locations and phone numbers of Public Assistance offices
  • A "bulletin board" with announcements such as the new change reporting requirements and the advantages of direct deposit

Calling the IVR Hotline

The IVR Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling either (907) 269-5777 (within Anchorage) or (1-888) 804-6330 (toll free outside Anchorage). The IVR number is printed at the top of all EIS notices with the exception of those from the DKC office.

In addition to obtaining program and case information, a client can also request additional Medicaid coupons or a Food Stamp ID card. Note - IVR will report information on benefits only after they have been issued.

The IVR Hotline can accommodate up to 10 callers at a time. When you receive a busy signal or a continuous ring, try calling again. If repeated problems accessing the line occur, contact the DPA EIS Helpdesk at

IVR Client Access

To obtain DPA case information, callers are instructed to enter the case number and a security code. The security code is the last 4 digits of the Social Security Number (SSN) of the Primary Information person (PI) on the case. If no SSN has been entered in EIS for the PI, callers must use the digits 0000.

For Heating Assistance information, callers must enter the applicant's SSN and a security code. The security code for this program is the last 4 digits of the client's phone number. If no phone number is available, the four-digit birth year of the applicant is used.

DPA and HAP staff can hear information on the IVR line by using the above process.

IVR Staff Access

DPA caseworkers are assigned a "prompt number" that allows the worker to record their name and other pertinent items. A caseworker's IVR prompt number displays in the lower left corner of the EIS System Selection (SYSE) menu, and can also be found in EIS Table 23 (System User Table). System Operations assigns the prompt number when the DPA Security Agreement form is submitted. The "IVR Prompt Needed" box must be checked and the worker's direct line phone number provided. If you have a caseload and do not have a prompt assigned, contact the DPA Help Desk at

Keeping Your Caseworker Prompt Up To Date

To set up or maintain a Caseworker Prompt, the worker's PCN and IVR prompt number are needed. When recording your prompt, it is helpful to script the text in advance. Recording suggestions include: caseworker name, district office, local phone and/or toll free number, fax number, work days, and any other pertinent information. Caseworkers may change their prompt at any time.

To access the Caseworker Prompt Recorder, call the IVR phone number and press 1. From the IVR main menu, enter the number 7 on the telephone keypad. The instructions ask for a caseworker name, and the system allows time for the worker to record additional details as noted above.

Important IVR Information

If a client requests that their case information not be made available on IVR, the worker can access the CARC screen and change the Y to N in the "Report to IVR?" field.

When applications are registered, a notice is automatically sent to the client (N027 - Information Hotline Announcement). The exception is for cases assigned to the DKC Office (072). To stop the N027 from printing, access the Register Application (REAP) screen, and change the Y to N in the "Print IVR Notice?" field. This may be appropriate for DKC cases that are not assigned to the DKC Office.

Prompt numbers are attached to a caseworker's security key, so when a caseload is vacated, either by resignation or transfer to a different position, the IVR information will no longer be correct. It is important to review and update caseworker recordings, as failure to do so may result in incorrect information provided to callers.

We hope this short synopsis has helped explain the value of the IVR System.
More information is available under the System Tips and Documentation section at

For more information concerning the IVR System contact Char Ervin.

- Char Ervin, System Operations