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Friday, December 5, 2014

New Social Assistance System Delays Payments!

Social Assistance Management System Impacts Social Services 

Across City of Kawartha Lakes 105 families had their Disability or Social assistance payments delayed due to a new system that was implemented. This delay not only affects the 105 families, but also many businesses in a trickle -down effect.
City of Kawartha Lakes issued the following statement about the SNAFU.
image Omemee News- Social Assistance Payments Delayed posted on Omemee Pigeon eFlyer envelope with stamp
Omemee News- Social Assistance Payments Delayed
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How has this delay affected you?
KAWARTHA LAKES - The implementation of the new Social Assistance Management System (SAMS) occurred across Ontario on November 11, 2014 for all Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program offices. This system is used by Kawartha Lakes Social Services staff to administer Ontario Works benefits for residents of the City and the County of Haliburton.
 The City has extremely well trained, qualified staff managing the Ontario Works program. As a result of the implementation of the new system there have been issues that are largely outside of the control of local offices and staff and go far beyond the scope of system training. As a result of performance issues with the system, service to local residents is being affected. The issuing of benefits, including basic needs and shelter allowances, has been delayed for December benefit payments for approximately 105 families.
City staff have been working to resolve issues as quickly as possible to reduce the negative impacts on residents. Resolving delayed or missing payments has been a priority. The final benefits for December are expected to be issued today, Friday, December 5. The processing of new applications is also delayed due to the reduced system performance.
 On December 3 Rod Sutherland, the City’s Director of Health and Social Services, attended a meeting of Social Services Administrators and the Ministry of Community and Social Services Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for Social Assistance. The Ministry, who is responsible for the system, has assured the City that they are working to address the problems with the system.
The primary focus for the City is client service, ensuring that the basic needs of clients are met, now and in the coming weeks, and that staff have the resources and the support they need to do their work. Staff will continue to work with the Ministry to develop and implement solutions to the current system issues along with the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association, who is helping to co-ordinate a broader municipal approach with the Ministry.
Service will be monitored on a continual basis and local solutions implemented until the system is able to perform to meet the needs of staff and residents.
How has this problem affected your family?
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