Anyone who has applied for food stamps knows it can be very difficult to get in touch with their food stamp representative, who is usually called the caseworker. It can be discouraging, but if you need to reach your caseworker, be diligent and don't give up. If your concern is time-sensitive, such as turning in paperwork on time so your benefits aren't delayed, you may need to go to the Department of Social Services in person.
Getting in Touch with Your Caseworker
Call and leave a detailed message, letting your caseworker know what time you called and what times you're available for her to call you back, states the Michigan Food Assistance Partnership. Then make yourself available during those times. The direct phone number for your caseworker should appear on all correspondence from Social Services.
Contact your food stamp caseworker's supervisor by phone if you're unable to reach your caseworker after several attempts, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If this fails, contact the supervisor's supervisor.
Write a letter explaining your attempts to reach your caseworker and the supervisor with no results, says the Michigan Food Assistance Partnership. Date it, sign it and make a copy to keep for yourself. Mail the letter or, if the issue is time-sensitive, deliver the letter to the Department of Social Services in person.
Request a hearing if you're still not getting a response, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A hearing is a scheduled meeting between yourself, your caseworker and a hearing official. The hearing official is an impartial person not associated with your case who must listen to your concerns and make a decision in fairness. Submit the request by filling out a form at the Department of Social Services or by simply writing "I request a hearing" on a piece of paper. Sign and date the paper.
Contact the food stamp headquarters in writing immediately if you feel you're truly being discriminated against, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The address is:
U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service, Civil Rights Division 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 942 Alexandria, VA, 22302
Always be firm but polite and respectful.
If you're calling on someone else's behalf, the caseworker can only talk to you about the details of that person's case if you're their legal food stamp representative. You can become if that person signs a release authorizing you to become her representative.