Alaska Division of Public Assistance opens virtual call center to streamline access

Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 4:28 PM AKDT
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clarification: We corrected the introduction to Jamie Moore's quote in order to more clearly explain the changes made to the Virtual Call Center's workflow when compared to what was previously offered by the Division of Public Assistance.

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Those looking for help receiving public assistance have a new tool. On April 5th, the Alaska Division of Public Assistance (DPA) launched a virtual call center to help streamline the process for applying for these benefits.

Many DPA offices around the state have been closed for the last year due to COVID-19, creating added difficulties to apply.

The call center has a staff of 45 individuals with experience in Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Senior Benefits among other programs.

The call center is able to perform more of the application process than had been previously available, including interviews.

The call center can be accessed Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by calling 1-800-478-7778 and choosing the appropriate option.

According to Jamie Moore, Virtual Call Center Workflow Monitor with the Department of Health and Social Services, individuals applying for or needing to make adjustments to their DPA services “would get clerical. Clerical can take information and they would enter changes or things into the workflow, but they weren’t being worked at that point of contact, so now we have this call center and we have staff on the call center, and they’re able to work these changes and do interviews and work the Medicaid, especially for the emergent need, while the client is on the phone.”

According to Moore, non-peak wait times are about 10 minutes, and callers can choose to be called back when someone is available.

She said the center has seen steady phone calls and is looking to potentially expand its hours in the future.

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