DSS staff members placed on leave after forms found - WFSB 3 Connecticut

DSS staff members placed on leave after forms found


The Connecticut Department of Social Services has placed five staff members on leave after multiple boxes of unprocessed paperwork, including voter registration and medical disability forms were found.

Eyewitness News has learned that the department is now doing a thorough review of all the applications found in multiple boxes that were just sitting in the agency's Hartford regional office.

Connecticut Department of Social Services Commissioner Roderick Bremby said Tuesday in a letter to the governor that this is a disturbing situation that warrants a strong corrective action.

The Eyewitness News I-Team started looking into the Department of Social Services back in May after hearing problems from people who heavily rely on either disability benefits or food stamps. There have been complaints of medical benefits being discontinued and people running into red tape, which has caused them to spend hours on the phone trying to find out why.

Linda Antink got a letter saying she needed to prove that she deserved the benefits - a standard procedure called redetermination. Antink's medical benefits were cut despite her sending all the paperwork weeks earlier.

Bremby previously told Eyewitness News that the agency was understaffed, swamped with requests, using an outdated computer system and trying to play catch up.

Eyewitness News learned a supervisor alerted office management last week about the unprocessed paperwork including redetermination forms leading to five people, including three managers and two-hour workers being placed on leave.

In a letter to the governor's office Tuesday, Bremby admitted the situation is extremely serious.

"It is imperative that the DSS Hartford Regional Office, which is the largest in the state, be managed with the level of energy and diligence deserved by both the public and our staff in general," the letter stated.

All the paperwork has also been removed from the Hartford office and moved to central administration where designated staff is now reviewing all the applications.

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