MOUNT VERNON — Individuals needing assistance with their cases for food stamps, Medicaid and cash assistance at the Knox County Job & Family Services will soon have a more expedited service available when the new Collabor8 program goes into effect.
A process of handling more cases with less money and in a more efficient manner was recently put together to serve customers in the counties of Knox, Delaware, Marion, Morrow, Hancock, Wood and Sandusky. Seneca County had initially planned to participate but later chose to make their decision once the program is under way.
Local residents currently wanting information, or to apply for benefits, will fill out an application either at the Knox County office or online. Appointments are then scheduled with the individuals to get their case established where follow-up visits can take place with their caseworker.
Knox County Jobs & Family Services Director Matthew Kurtz recently explained that when the Collabor8 program begins, individuals can call a toll-free number and be transferred to the next available caseworker, whether it be in Knox County or in any of the six other participating counties. The caseworkers in each county will be available to assist customers and pull up information on their computer for customers in each participating county, enabling a much quicker completion of the entire process.
“They will still need to mail or drop by their identifying information,” said Kurtz about those customers opening new cases by telephone.