Friday is the deadline for the state Department of Welfare to review the benefits of many Philadelphians. Some advocates say the review is taxing the scaled-back department.
Earlier this summer Harrisburg alerted about 9,000 residents on temporary assistance and 16,000 Medicaid recipients that they would have to visit a welfare office to confirm their continued eligibility for benefits.
Michael Froehlich, staff attorney with Community Legal Services, said conducting so many interviews has burdened the department staff, which was scaled back during recent budget cuts.
“Our concern is that when you try to get 9,000 families in a short, three- to four-week period and you don’t have the staff in the welfare office, you’re going to have some eligible families who are going to fall through the cracks,” he said. “And they’ll lose their critical welfare benefits.”
Froehlich encourages recipients to reply immediately to the notices. A Department of Welfare representative says the department is looking into the claims of a logjam.