FSSA, IBM show off service center, but doubts linger

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The state's new automated call center for food stamps and other welfare benefits will begin operation in October.

The Family and Social Services Administration gave a preview of the new system today at a former middle school in Marion. That's where the contractors led by IBM will process welfare applications through automated telephone services.

And at a center for incoming mail, operators will feed documents such as birth certificates and utility bills into scanners that then will provide images accessible to all of the FSSA family case workers in the state.

The state will begin to roll out the new automation on October 22nd for 12 counties in northern Indiana that account for about 10 percent of the state's welfare population. The area will be the pilot project for the new way of applying for and receiving food stamps, Medicaid and financial assistance.

A second major service center will be located in Lake County and six smaller centers elsewhere around the state.

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