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Louisiana auditor raps work requirement oversight – New Orleans CityBusiness – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana 2021-01-14 11:33:11 –

According to the Louisiana State Legislative Auditor, the state government has not done enough to ensure that recipients of cash assistance engage in work-related activities required by law.

Marketa Garner Walters, who heads the Department of Child and Family Services, did not challenge the criticism for creating a new unit for the department to monitor.

Those who can work and are considered eligible for benefits through the Temporary Assistance Program for Poor Families include jobs that include finding a job, participating in job skills training, and performing temporary or subsidized jobs. I am supposed to engage in related activities.

In a sample of 60 work activity records for the fiscal year ending June 30, 25 work-eligible participants did not report work activity hours or provided appropriate supplementary documentation required by federal regulations. The LLA reports that it did not have it. According to the Audit & Supervisory Board, this has been reported as a lack of documentation for the ninth consecutive year.

DCFS has set up a workforce sector in a state-wide unit consisting of three supervisors and 24 direct service workers, Walters said in her written response to LLA’s report. Supervisors within the unit frequently conduct case reviews to ensure that work activities are properly documented, she says.

Walters adds that staff can now use a new system called the Louisiana Integrated Technology for Eligibility to provide case management to work-qualified benefits recipients. LITE replaces the “obsolete” job tracking system with real-time data entry and on-demand reporting, she says.

She said the department would amend state legislation requiring DCFS to provide workers’ accident compensation and liability insurance to participants engaged in work experience or community service activities. Walters said Louisiana’s ability to involve participants in a minimum number of monthly work activities diminished as it failed to secure vendors to help the department meet its requirements.

According to the LLA, DCFS also failed to properly review sub-recipient invoices to ensure that refunds were made for eligible foster parent spending, leading to an overpayment of $ 2,673. It was. Walters agrees that her department has overpaid the juvenile justice department and states that authorities are exploring the possibility of automating the invoice review process to eliminate errors.

LLA also reviewed spending trends in supplemental nutrition support programs over the last five fiscal years. Benefit payments increased in 2017 due to disaster benefits issued after the 2016 floods and tornadoes that hit New Orleans in 2017.

LLA reports that benefits declined in 2018 and 2019 due to a decline in the number of SNAP households. In 2020, the number of SNAP households decreased slightly, but the COVID-19 pandemic relief increased benefits.

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