Community Services announces customer service options
The Income Maintenance Division of Crow Wing County Community Services has announced several enhancements to its customer service process.
“It is part of a multi-step approach to serving the public in a more efficient and timely manner,” said Joan Hasskamp, financial assistance supervisor. “We want to let the public know that there are several ways they can communicate with us that don’t involve phone calls or trips to the county building.”
Communication options include:
• Applicants can apply online at https://applymn.dhs.mn.gov for Health Care, SNAP (food support), child care assistance, cash assistance, emergency help, breast and cervical cancer and family planning programs.
When applying online, applicants are given the option to electronically attach verifications to the application before they submit. The online application is then electronically sent to a state, county or tribal worker to review.
A county worker will contact the applicant if additional verifications are needed. Determination of eligibility may take between 30-45 days.
• Crow Wing County offers phone interviews for many types of applications and reviews. Food Support, General Assistance, Minnesota Supplemental Assistance and Group Residential Housing programs require an interview; however, there is no requirement that the interview be held in the office. They can all be done over the phone.
• Health Care applications require no interview at all. Once an application is received in the office, a county worker will contact the applicant if additional verifications are needed.
• Phones are answered by financial workers from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For questions concerning long-term care programs, call 218-824-1357. For Health Care only questions, call 218-824-1349, and for all other programs, including Cash and Food Support, call 218-824-1250.
• Information regarding county assistance programs along with answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) can be found at www.co.crow-wing.mn.us.
• An online eligibility screening tool is available at mn.bridgetobenefits.org and at www.co.crow-wing.mn.us. This tool is designed to help families and individuals determine if they may be eligible for public assistance programs and tax credits.
• Paperwork can be dropped off or picked up at the customer service desk located on the first floor of Community Services. Applications and most forms can be picked up at this window as well.
• There is a drop box for paperwork located in front of Community Services by the parking lot.
Hasskamp encourages the public to use the alternative methods of communication with Income Maintenance.
“We average around 2000 desk inquiries per month. We realize that it’s a hardship for many county residents to visit our office in person and often there is a wait time. For that reason the county will continue to try to identify ways to simplify the process and provide communication options,” Hasskamp said.