The Alaska State Ombudsman can no longer investigate complaints about the Department of Health Division of Public Assistance (DPA) that allege a delay in review, processing, or determination of Food Stamp (SNAP) cases, or complaints alleging that the Division’s Virtual Call Center (VCC) does not provide a realistic means of communicating with the Division. This is because state law and regulation clearly exclude matters subject to a judicial process from ombudsman review, and a class action lawsuit related to these issues has been filed.
Kamkoff et al. v. Department of Health (3AN-23-04259 CI), filed January 20, 2023, in Anchorage Superior Court, is a class action lawsuit that alleges that the Division is not timely processing SNAP cases and is not offering meaningful communication through the VCC. So, beginning January 30, 2023, the Ombudsman will decline all complaints or requests for assistance related to SNAP delays or the Virtual Call Center. Intake staff will continue to provide referrals to agencies and resources that can assist the person with their complaint. We will continue to review complaints related to Medicaid, Senior Benefits, TANF/ATAP, and other public assistance benefits.
For information about the class action suit, contact the Northern Justice Project at (907) 308-3395.
People who have been waiting more than 30 days for a determination of their SNAP eligibility (whether a new application or recertification) can contact Alaska Legal Services Corporation for assistance at 1-888-478-2572 or apply online at https://www.alsc-law.org/intake/.