8/15/2019 2:24:00 PM County HHS seeing income maintenance numbers go up
Despite the repeated assurances from the national media that the United States’ economy is booming-- it appears Chisago County social services programs are on track to tally their busiest year of at least the last three.
Todd McMurray, Chisago County Health and Human Services division manager, advised the county commissioners last week that as of July the number of persons served for income maintenance needs, is 10,230--nearly where the whole year of 2016 ended at 10,568.
The number of 2019 first six month actual case files (which can include families and multiple individuals) was 6.159.
McMurray said the intake workers see applicants on a daily basis at both North Branch and Center City offices. There are 21 employees housed between both locations.
Income maintenance gets revenues from outside sources and McMurray said the goal is to spend what is provided and keep the programs self-sustaining without a lot of local tax dollars needed. Income maintenance programs include programs like nutrition assistance, MFIP, cash assistance.
Part of this balanced budget effort involves fraud reduction.
“The income maintenance group continues to do good work around fraud,” the Board was told. Fraud investigation is under the sheriff’s office umbrella and HHS provides $60,000 for this. The funding comes from the state. McMurray said for 2018 there were 113 fraud referrals and $216,000 in overpayments or wrongful assistance was investigated and the county also avoided paying out $41,000 in applied-for benefits.
The HHS staff is earning very high marks for performance improvement measures.
Chisago County was the only county in Minnesota to be rated so highly, McMurray noted. Chisago got excellent performance ratings on four of nine program areas; ie: child maltreatment, paternity, SNAP, home permenancy.
Performance is evaluated on a number of levels: cases opened/closed, time needed for certain tasks, in person site visits, quality of reports and other submitted data required by the state. Only a couple of other Minnesota counties rated highly (upper 90th percentile) and that was just in three areas.