In September, Georgians with lower incomes received more than $1 billion in one time payments. Two months later, $235,000,000 remains unclaimed.
ATLANTA — Although it’s a new calendar year, some tell 11Alive that they still await money from Gov. Brian Kemp’s office was last year.
State statistics show that more than $1 billion has been sent to Georgians with lower incomes since Sept. 20, when the cash assistance program was launched. However, more than $235,000,000 of this funding has yet to be claimed.
Rebecca Jean Pratt, a Kennesaw resident, has been unsuccessful in obtaining a representative from the state to assist her with card access.
Pratt, a senior citizen on a fixed income, said that it was “kind of like a tease.” It’s here, but you won’t be able to use it.
Pratt currently lives on a fixed income and has to pay for her doctor’s appointments as well as new medical bills. Pratt stated that the $350 payment would help her buy groceries and pay her insurance deductible.
She claimed that her client ID was not received in the mail. Since then, she has been trying to contact someone.
Pratt stated, “If I can’t get through to speak to someone evidently I’m not the only person having problems with this card.”
Lindsey Anderson is an Atlanta Legal Aid attorney. She has been answering clients’ questions about how they can access the funds. Anderson stated that $350 is a significant amount considering the rising prices of almost everything.
She said, “That’s huge to a lot clients.” “We sometimes see people with fixed incomes below $1,000.”
Georgia Department of Human Services stated that there are still some confusions around the location of client IDs. They pointed to the FAQs on their website.
11Alive learned from DHS that calling the customer service phone number on the back can prove to be futile if you don’t have your ID. DHS spokesperson clarified that the number is managed by a third-party vendor and should only be used to activate or reactivate the card.
If you need to reset your password or find a client ID, please call DHS Gateway support at 1-877-423-44746
11Alive was informed by a spokesperson that DHS branch offices are open for support in person.
Anderson tried to call her client multiple times, but she said that it was important to continue paying attention to those who are still having difficulty accessing the funds.
She said, “I want people to not forget about this.” “I just want to remind everyone to keep this in mind until every dollar is spent to the right person.”
DHS informs 11Alive that millions of dollars are still unclaimed and there is no deadline for claiming the money.
The spokesperson stated that they want all eligible customers to be able activate their cards and help those who have already used their cards.
11Alive asked for information about how the department would reach out to people with funds, but was not given any details.
Phone support is available at 1-877-423-44746. These steps will help you understand the prompts on the phone and guide you through the process.
- Initial recording says “Thanks for calling the Georgia Department of Human Services for English, please press 1″ (other languages follow).
- “If you’re calling to inquire about the cash assistance program, press 1
- “Thanks for calling Georgia Division of Family and Children Services. For English press 1,”
- When prompted, press 2 to hear the message regarding case updates via SMS messages.
- Wait for the prompt: “If your recent application for new benefits, renewal benefits, or any other benefits has been approved,” then press 1.
- Wait for the prompt: “For technical assistance with Gateway website,” press 4.
- Wait for the prompt: “For technical assistance with Gateway website,” press 1.
- The message may be about an increase in call volume. Your phone will then sound disconnected and it will beep. Wait until the phone rings. A message will confirm that you want a callback. Confirm your callback number.