Caseworker Salaries and Benefits

  • Description
  • Funding History
  • Proposals

Caseworker Salaries and Benefits funds salaries for caseworkers at the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA). Even as SNAP (formerly food-stamps) caseloads have grown in the past decade, funding for caseworkers has been reduced causing severe increases in the number of cases each caseworker administers.

A federal entitlement program, SNAP benefits are almost entirely paid for by the federal government. In 2000 Massachusetts had the worst take-up rate for eligible people in the country and in 2006 only 54 percent of eligible people were signed up. Massachusetts has launched a number of initiatives to increase participation and in 2010, 75 percent were signed up. By 2012, over 90% of eligible people were signed up. Since 2002, the SNAP caseload has increased more than 300 percent. At the same time these initiatives were raising SNAP participation levels, the number of case workers decreased by more than 30 percent. Caseload levels, once averaging below 300 are double or triple that number in some offices.

Caseworkers perform a multitude of services including intake and screening, assessments, case management, benefit services, family resource services, while also meeting regulatory requirements for federal reporting. Any person applying for or receiving SNAP benefits has a caseworker who determines eligibility. For those who are eligible, case workers provide any needed information and help navigate the process of signing up. High caseload levels affect the quality of service provided to each case and reduce the timeliness of processing both new applications and re-certifications.

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