By Lani Hansen, Senior Reporter
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma– Muscogee (Creek) Nation Acting Secretary of Community and Human Services Shawn Partridge provides an update on the CARES Act funding for citizens.
“On September 21, we threw a partnership in contract with Muscogee Staffing Solution adding 20 temporary staff reporting,” Partridge said. “Fourteen of those staff were designated to work on processing applications. Six of the staff were designated to work in the call center.”
Some of the staff members in both groups are currently out of office, so it has slowed down the process of reviewing applications and answering calls. Currently in the call center there are two staff members working.
Every Monday, there is someone who is compiling data from the week before over the number of applications processed through finance for payment. As of September 25, there was 2,436 income support applications and 2,476 hardship applications that were approved.
“The data and information are compiled weekly,” Partridge said. “As of September 25, we have expended $2,372,000 in hardship applications funding. We also paid out $3,643,000 in income support.”
With temporary staffing being added in the last full week of September, they had to take time to go through training. Looking forward, Partridge said they have seen benefits from having additional capacity to assist. With additional staffing, they are hoping to see an increase of processing applications.
The hours of operation in the call center is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and it is closed for lunch from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
“That allows time for a follow-up with any of the case workers either in the morning or afternoon,” Partridge added. “We do want to re-iterate that even when we had six people working in the call center, there was still a wait time.”
The deadline for applications are set for December 15.
For more information call the Coronavirus CARES Act hotline, at (918) 549-2440.