Call Centers Overwhelmed With Floridians Needing Public Assistance

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You know things are bad when the people who are paid to help the folks applying for public assistance need help themselves.

More than five million Americans are seeking unemployment benefits, the most since records of such things have been kept. Now Florida call centers (not pictured here) have been overwhelmed by callers who have lost their jobs and need help with applications for public services like food stamps, according to a report in The New York Times.

From the story:

"Every day, 250 operators in Florida receive up to 150,000 calls, roughly a 40 percent increase over last year. George H. Sheldon, secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, which runs the centers, has said he needs 288 more operators to meet the surging demand for help, especially with food stamps."

The news gets worse. Most people in Florida apply for the assistance online, so these are mostly just follow-up questions. And these centers don't even handle the questions about unemployment benefits.

So, if you're still unaffected by the current economic crisis, you're probably reading this from a yacht docked off the coast of a country our former President can't pronounce. If that's the case, please send money.

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Sonia Roody
Sonia Roody

40 percent is a tremendous increase, and it's difficult to imagine how the agents fare at such an influx. Then the number of operators could be increased at least until the demand lasts. Otherwise, the companies have to come up with a more efficient solution.

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