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LB 825: Access Nebraska In-Person Services

As introduced: The bill would have required in-person workers in 25 existing state office buildings for a minimum of 40 hours/week to assist with public benefits applications.  The bill would also have required dedicated caseworkers for certain complex cases.

As amended: The bill requires that in-person services be available but gives the Department of Health and Human Services discretion on the number of hours and locations.  The bill also requires training assistance for community-based partner organizations that assist with benefits applications and specialized caseworkers for some clients.

Introducing Senator(s): Dubas (priority), Conrad, Cook, Council, Krist, Lathrop, McGill, Nordquist

Committee: Health and Human Services Committee

Committee Hearing Date: January 25, 2012

Current Status: Approved by the Governor on April 11, 2012; to go into effect in September 2012

Estimated Fiscal Impact:  The cost is estimated to be $3,000,000 ($1,650,000 GF and $1,350,000 FF) in FY 13 and FY 14


Voices for Children Position:  Support

Voices for Children supported this bill due to numerous concerns raised by public benefit program participants statewide about the accessibility of the new online and phone systems for public benefit programs.  Individuals with disabilities and people without substantial access to technology are likely to have challenges accessing services solely through online and phone communications.

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