Committee Reluctantly Accepts Aid To Put Food Stamp Applications Online

By: Melissa deCordova

NORWICH – Financial leaders narrowly agreed Thursday to accept a $25,000 state bonus for the Chenango County Department of Social Services due to stipulations regarding its use.

New York State rewarded DSS with the gift for having a low rate of error last year within its food stamp distribution program. The bonus is restricted, however, to making it easier for people to apply for food stamps, Commissioner Bette Osborne said, particularly on the Internet.

“The governor is steering away from face-to-face interviews for food stamps and toward more ways for people to apply for them,” she said. The Commissioner met with two county committees this week to outline her plan for using the bonus.

Osborne recommended using the bonus to make the county’s website capable of processing food stamp applications that are available on the state’s website. She suggested that it might also be used for related technical assistance and computer equipment needs.

Town of Lincklaen Supervisor Wayne C. Outwater asked if the state assumes that people on food stamps have computers.

Osborne said her department already receives e-mails from customers and individuals seeking services.

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