DCF scuttles change that could have halted benefits
By Jin Saunders
The News Service of Florida
THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, FL — The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) recently scrapped a controversial change that would have halted public-assistance benefits for people whose mail is returned to the agency as undeliverable
DCF will go back to its former policy of allowing those people to continue receiving benefits until they need to reapply for assistance, agency spokesman Joe Follick said. The change took effect Sept. 1, but Follick said it had not caused anyone to lose benefits.
“We remain committed to pursuing the most efficient process of ensuring that qualified Floridians receive the short-term assistance they need,” Follick said in a prepared statement. “Many of our partners around the state had expressed concerns about unintended consequences, and we will continue to work with them toward improving our system and reducing the amount of ‘undeliverable’ mail that is returned to our offices.”
The Sept. 1 change stemmed from concerns that people were not reporting new addresses. DCF said that could lead, for example, to people receiving benefits from Florida after moving to other states. Follick also said the federal government, which provides money for public- assistance programs, requires beneficiaries to report correct addresses.