Newsroom > DHHS News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2010

CONTACT
Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287

ACCESSNebraska’s First Customer Service Center Celebrated

Lincoln – The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) celebrated development of its first Customer Service Center (CSC) with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Lincoln today. The Customer Service Center staff will conduct interviews, take customer changes and provide information and referral services via the telephone.

By 2012, DHHS will have four customer service centers to provide a more efficient way to process and approve requests for economic assistance services like SNAP (food stamps), Aid to Dependent Children, LIHEAP (energy assistance), Kids Connection, Medicaid, AABD (assistance to the aged, blind or disabled), child care, and Employment First (job training, education, and employment preparation) and Social Services Block Grant (transportation, chore, meals, respite).

“We’re celebrating another successful component of ACCESSNebraska, which is one of this Department’s biggest priorities,” said Kerry Winterer, CEO of DHHS. “More than ever before, we’re working to bring efficiencies to the people in our state. That means doing our best to provide great customer service and make it easier for people who are eligible for our services.”

ACCESSNebraska modernizes how economic assistance services are provided through three components: The ability to apply for services online; document scanning and retrieving of economic assistance case files; and creation of four customer service centers.

By 2012, Customer Service Centers will be up and running in:

  • Lincoln: This center has approximately 100 staff and will begin taking calls in November.
  • Fremont: Construction started this summer, with a target date of February of 2011 for approximately 150 staff to move in.
  • Lexington: 50 staff plan to move to the location in the fall of 2011.
  • Scottsbluff: 100 staff plan to move to a renovated building in January 2012.

“This success didn’t happen by accident. Over the past two years, we’ve relied heavily on input from front line staff and supervisors, working in partnership with our other partners,” said Todd Reckling, director of the Division of Children and Family Services in DHHS. “I especially want to thank the Department’s technical staff and staff in NFOCUS and Support Services, Lincoln staff and supervisors, staff from the Office of the Chief Information Officer, local elected officials, the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, the Chamber of Commerce and Speedway Motors.”                     

Reckling said, “These centers are not designed to be open to the public because the focus of the work is offering customer service over the phone. However, I want to emphasize that people will continue to have the option of going to a local office and talking to someone in person even after all four centers are in place. The local offices also are equipped with computer kiosks, and telephones to provide increased access to services.”

The Lincoln Customer Service Center will be the test site for the new Universal Case Management System and will begin taking calls from economic assistance clients in mid-November. With a universal caseload, instead of having one assigned caseworker, clients will call an 800 number for assistance. Clients won’t have to wait for workers who might be on vacation or out because of illness to come back to work and then contact them.

Go to http://accessnebraska.ne.gov/ website for information on online applications, change reporting and benefits inquiry

-30-