For Immediate Release:
July 15, 2013
Northwest Region Communications Director
DCF’s Gulf County Service Center to Close
Port St. Joe, Fla. – The Department of Children and Families announced Friday that the Gulf County ACCESS service center will permanently close effective immediately. Since implementing a number of changes making it easier for people to apply for benefits online, DCF has assisted an average of one person each day at this location. The majority of area residents in need apply for assistance from a home computer or from one of our ACCESS community partners and never set foot in the local office.
The closure, which is expected to produce a savings of more than $40,000 next year, is part of a statewide effort in reducing the amount of leased office space to save taxpayer dollars by increasing telecommuting and utilizing community partnerships. DCF has saved $4.5 million over the last two fiscal years by training employees to telework and reducing leased office space.
DCF determines eligibility for federal public assistance benefits, including Medicaid, food and cash assistance. More than 95 percent of public benefits recipients apply online at www.myflorida.com/accessflorida. Clients never need to come in to the office in order to receive their benefits. Residents who need assistance applying or access to a computer can also go to one of our nearby local community partners. Information on these partners and their locations can be found at http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/access/CPSLookup/search.aspx.
To find out information about a current case, clients can log onto the My ACCESS Account to reapply, submit changes and verifications and get notices and updates from any computer at http://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/. Clients can also call the Customer Call Center at (866) 762-2237.